The most celebrated Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato – ‘2 VEV’ – will hit the open market for the first time in almost half a century when it crosses the block at Bonhams’ Goodwood Festival of Speed auction on 13 July. Bonhams expects the car to make well in excess of £10m.
The Essex Racing Stable 1961 Zagato ‘2 VEV’ is easily the best known of the 19 cars produced, and ranks somewhere near the top of Carrozzeria Zagato’s most important creations. Raced in period by Jim Clark, ‘2 VEV’ is one of just two quasi-works cars and one of only three configured in the ultra-light – and ultra-desirable – DP209 specification. Incredibly, the FoS sale represents the first time that the car has been offered for 47 years, having spent all of that time in the care of the same family.
Owner John Ogier campaigned the Zagato throughout 1961 and 1962 under his Essex Racing Stable banner, during which the car was driven extensively by the great Jim Clark. The future two-times Formula One World Champion famously took the wheel during the 1961 and ’62 RAC Tourist Trophy at Goodwood, finishing fourth behind sister car ‘1 VEV’ – driven by Roy Salvadori – in the first race before colliding with the Ferrari 250GTO of race leader John Surtees during the second.
Clark also drove the Aston at Montlhéry, and finished sixth in the Paris 1000km alongside Innes Ireland. The car also took to the grid of the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1961, though, along with its Essex Racing sister car, it failed to last the distance.
A fruitful career in historic racing followed once the Zagato retired from top-flight competition, being raced with great success throughout the ’80s and ’90s by Roger St John Hart, and later by Nick Cussons of the Aston Martin Owners’ Club.
The car benefited from a full Aston Martin factory restoration in the mid-1990s and is described as being ready for track action. Bonhams’ James Knight said: “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.”