YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Aston Martin once owned by Paul McCartney sells at London auction

November 01, 2012|By David Undercoffler

Money couldn't buy him love, but it could buy him an Aston Martin.

A 1964 Aston Martin DB5 originally owned by former Beatle Paul McCartney sold Wednesday at an auction in London at the hammer price of $496,613. The hammer price is what an auctioned item sells for before any fees or commissions.

According to RM Auctions, the Canadian company that held the auction, McCartney ordered the car during the summer of 1964 and owned it for six years. In that time, the Beatle is believed to have put some 40,000 miles on the car, and a 1967 Time magazine profile said "Bachelor Paul" "is a movie addict, loves 'the look of London,' and tools around town in a spiffy blue Aston Martin DB5."

Photos: Sir Paul McCartney's Aston Martin DB5

The DB5 was the first Aston Martin that McCartney purchased and was ordered in the Sierra blue paint you see here. He bought this DB5 with options such as chrome wire wheels, a Motorola radio and a Philips record player. RM says McCartney also ordered the stitching on the leather interior to include musical note patterns, though this upholstery has since been replaced.

The DB5 is perhaps Aston Martin's most iconic sports car, its presence in numerous "James Bond" films (including "Skyfall," which opens next week) only furthering the mystique of the model. It's powered by a 280-horsepower inline six-cylinder engine featuring three SU carburetors, and a five-speed manual transmission routes power to the rear wheels.

This wasn't the only notable sale at RM's London auction. Several Ferraris were up for sale, with the most attention going to the ... deep breath ... 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta "Tour de France" by Carrozzeria Scaglietti. The car, of which only 36 were made, sold at the hammer price of $3.2 million. It's powered by a 247-horsepower V-12 engine with triple Weber carburetors.

A personal favorite of Highway 1 was also sold at RM's auction. A rare 1988 Porsche 959 "Komfort" sold for $444,000. This all-wheel-drive supercar has a composite body, twin turbochargers and produces 450 horsepower, and this particular model has just a sneeze over 400 miles.

Photos: Sir Paul McCartney's Aston Martin DB5

The star of the show, however, failed to sell. A highly prized 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL alloy-bodied Gullwing hit a high bid of $3,876,000, just short of its reserve price. Only 29 such models are known to exist, and it is powered by a 215- horsepower, fuel-injected, inline six-cylinder engine.

Although these prices may seem high, RM saw even greater success at the Pebble Beach auction in August. There, the auction house sold an ultra-rare 1968 Ford GT at a hammer price of $10.7 million.


Top 10 technologies for older drivers

Photos: Highlights from the 2012 SEMA Show

Sitting shotgun in Porsche's upcoming plug-in hybrid supercar

Los Angeles Times Articles