How much for a piece of history? A vehicle left to rot under the open sky in a forest for 45 years fetched 300.909 pounds at an Arizona auction on the 18th of this month. The classic car was found in a terrible state, having been driven for the last time many years ago. It would be hard to comprehend how a vehicle in such condition can be so highly prized if it wasn’t because this was an iconic Aston Martin DB4 and perhaps as well because of the mystery surrounding its origins.
Lets start at the beginning: The Aston Martin DB4 might very well be one of the most highly desired car models in history. It was first presented at the 1958 London Motor Show. Over the following five years only 1.200 of its kind were sold, but the legend behind it was starting to take shape, particularly since it featured in James Bond’s Goldfinger in 1964. The DB4 is a sports car but also a luxury model, even more so at the time, with a classically elegant design. Today it is a truly hard to find specimen.
All of these qualities however didn’t seem to have made that much of an impression on the last owner of this New Hampshire example, whom sometime at the beginning of the seventies, parked it in the forest next to his house and didn’t move it ever again.
A few more details of the vehicle have emerged from before it was abandoned: It was built in the United Kingdom in 1960 (although a left hand drive model) and exported to the United States. Once there, it was first driven on the Los Angeles’ roads by Dallas Williams, a voice over actor who took good care of it for seven years. The years between 1967 and 1972 are a mystery as it is how it ended up in the hands of its last owner in Massachusetts who would then leave it to languish in the forest adjacent to his property. The wife of the latter, who has preferred to remain anonymous, did say to remember going on leisurely drives on board the magnificent car. After this, it has literally remained untouched over the last four decades. Even the wheels are the original ones.
The rarity and desirability of this model, as well as the curious story behind it, were probably responsible for pushing up the sale price at the auction where it was sold a few weeks ago for 374.000 dollars (300.909 pounds). Despite the vehicle being in an awful condition and in no way drivable, it attracted plenty of attention… perhaps because of the rare story behind it? Now the question is: What would the new owner do with it? A thorough restoration that would take it back to its old glorious self or perhaps leaving it as it is, showing off the signs of history and time in its skin. What would you do?