The Sotheby Special for sale at H&H auctions Duxford Sale on the 14th October, started out as an Aston Martin though not one you probably recognise.
The future can be pretty bleak for concept cars once the glimmer of the Motor Show lights has faded. This bold vision of automotive future certainly needs (and deserves) to find the right owner on 14th October to restore some of the former glory to this seventies Motor show pin-up.
Aston Martin Sotheby Special – History
The Sotheby Special was based around an Aston Martin DBS V8 chassis (chassis number – DBSV8/10380/R), with that angular 1970s coachwork crafted from glassfibre supported on a Reynolds 531 tubular steel frame.
Named the Sotheby Special, after the sponsor W.D. & H.O. Wills’ cigarette brand. The ‘Sotheby’ part of the name came from a (short-lived) licensing deal with the famous auction house.
Like many great seventies wedges, the cars cutting edge lines were by Ogle Design, the Letchworth-based studio also responsible for the Reliant’s Scimitar GTE, the Bond Bug and the Raleigh Chopper bike.
Under the bonnet lies an early prototype Aston Martin V8, while the green cockpit matches the grass in the pictures and provides seating for three, with the trim made from Moquette, a particularly hardwearing material more commonly found on buses and trains.
One of the Sotheby Special’s most striking features is the light show at the rear. Back in the day this would have given Blackpool a run for it’s money as the rear of the car is peppered with a 22 light strip, the harder the driver pressed the brake pedal the more light up.
A second, fully functioning car was manufactured for promotional duties. This car was later repainted in Embassy colours and used by Graham Hill’s Grand Prix team. A third car was commissioned by a private individual who after seeing the car on BBC TV’s Tomorrow’s World “had to have one“, even at a cost of £28,750 (in 1973 a standard Aston Martin V8 Saloon cost £8,749).
This car, the original Sotheby Special, was thought lost for so many years, or confused with the second chassis. The car was disassembled after it left the show circuit and then sold and placed in long-term storage.
Sotheby Special to be sold
Like many concept cars, this car was built purely for show, was never road-registered and will require much loving care to bring it back to ‘Motor Show’ condition. H&H will offer this car at an estimate of £100,000 – 120,000 on 14th October at their Imperial War Museum sale in Duxford, Cambridgeshire.
Damian Jones, Sales Director for H&H Classics comments: “As ‘barn-finds’ go, this one is pretty special. It is a fascinating part of automotive history and we are delighted to place it back in the limelight for which it was designed.”
With the Sotheby Special and the extremely high-profile Colton Ferrari Collection going under the hammer at the same sale, H&H Classics Duxford auction looks like one not to be missed.
To find out more about the Sotheby Special please visit www.classic-auctions.com