A 1961 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato ‘2 VEV’ will be featured at the 2018 Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed auction, scheduled for 13 July on the Tapestry Lawn at Goodwood House in Chichester, UK. The Essex Racing Stable team Aston is the most celebrated of all of the Newport Pagnell marque’s early 1960s Grand Touring cars. This competition car is to be offered fresh from 47 years in single- family ownership.
Bonhams said ‘2 VEV’ is the most important DB4GT Zagato in history for several reasons. It is one of two of the legendary ‘VEV’ quasi-works cars, and one of three configured in the ultra-light DP209 specification. If that were not enough, it was also driven, in period, by the legendary racing superstar Jimmy Clark and comes from long-term, single-family ownership of nearly 50 years. These are attributes that none of the other 18 DB4GT Zagatos can boast.
A great racing car is judged by the company it keeps, and ‘2 VEV’ raced internationally throughout 1961-62 against rival Ferrari 250 GT SWB and Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinettas. ‘2 VEV’ was campaigned by owner John Ogier’s Essex Racing Stable team as a quasi- works Aston Martin entry against some of the most notable grids ever assembled in GT World Championship history. Driven by the revered Jim Clark, two-time Formula 1 World Champion Driver and winner of the Indianapolis 500 — this is a ‘DP209’ lightweight version of the already rare Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato model — of which only 19 were made.
Jim Clark most notably drove ‘2 VEV’ for John Ogier and Aston Martin to confront the Ferraris in the RAC Tourist Trophy race at Goodwood in both 1961 and 1962. He brought the car home fourth behind contemporary team leader Roy Salvadori’s sister car ‘1 VEV’ in the 1961 race, but in 1962 he became involved in a multi-car accident. Just after rejoining the race following a pit stop, the future World Champion spun at Madgwick Corner in the path of race leader John Surtees’s Ferrari 250 GTO. The two cars collided and crashed into the safety bank, only to be joined a few laps later by Robin Benson’s Ferrari 250 GT SWB which careered into both of them.
By that time, the DB4GT Zagato had already been reconfigured by Aston Martin into the factory’s latest ‘DP209′ ultimate-lightweight specification following a crash while being driven by Belgian Lucien Bianchi at Spa-Francorchamps earlier in 1962. In 1961, it had competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Paris 1,000 Kilometers in which it finished 6th, driven by Jim Clark and Innes Ireland. In 1962, the car was repaired after the TT incident to reappear at Montlhéry, this time co-driven by Jim Clark and Sir John Whitmore.
The Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato later achieved success in historic racing throughout the 1980s and ’90s campaigned by Roger St John Hart and then, for the family, by prominent Aston Martin Owners’ Club personality Nick Cussons. It has now been in one caring stewardship for nearly 50 years. Its racing career has taken a gentler pace since a full Aston Martin factory restoration in the mid-1990s, but it remains ready for track action.
James Knight, Group Motoring Chairman, commented: “Bonhams is absolutely delighted to be bringing this landmark vehicle to auction, which continues our history of offering the world’s most important and celebrated sports and collectors’ motor cars to market. It is, by some distance, the most valuable British motor car ever to be offered at a European auction, and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for this historically significant vehicle.”
For further information, visit Bonhams.com.