Aston Martin gearknob fetches record price - without a car attached
15 May 2007

How much would you pay for a gearknob? Five pounds? Maybe £20 for a decent one. But over £40,000?Last Saturday (12 May) one bidder paid £41,000 for an Aston Martin gearknob, while a classic DB6 fetched a record £430,000, in the clearest sign yet that interest in Britain’s rejuvenated sports car maker is surging to Ferrari levels.It was, of course, no ordinary gearknob, but the one that had featured in the Bond films Goldfinger and Thunderball. Used in a special effects car, the gearknob featured the film car’s iconic ejector seat button. After the car was rebuilt for road use and sale in the late 1960s, the unused gearknob languished in the factory’s store rooms for the best part of 40 years. Ten times as much as was spent on the gearknob was paid for an immaculate 1970 DB6 Mk2 Volante Convertible, which was recently restored at Aston’s factory-owned Works Service where the quality of rebuilds is legendary and the starting price for the ultimate rebuild reputedly starts around £250,000.“This highly desirable car provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that the new owner was not prepared to miss,” said auctioneers Bonhams.Although the buyer could have bought a new Mercedes SLR McLaren and an Aston V8 Vantage for the same money, such a comparison makes little point, because it’s likely they already own similar models.Also making strong money at the auction was a 1967 DB6 Saloon that went well beyond the £28,000 - £32,000 estimate, selling for £63,100. Other highly desirable Astons in the auction were a 2000 Vantage Volante SWB (£238,000), 1965 DB5 Convertible (£2212,500), 1989 Vantage Volante (£128,000) and 1966 DB6 Vantage Saloon (£120,300). The latter made over double its estimate.Aston’s DB4 GT was one of the most handsome ever made, but mechanics poring over its workshop manual in the 1960s couldn’t have dreamt that the same manual would sell for £12,650 40 years later.Even relatively recent memorabilia such as a 1994 Aston bicycle made good money — £9775. Still, at least it was unused, and included a helmet and shirt. We'd expect nothing less.

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