1954 Aston Martin DB 2-4, the real Bond car
1954 Aston Martin DB 2-4, the real Bond car

A 1954 Aston Martin DB 2/4, considered as the inspiration for James Bond’s original Aston Martin in Ian Fleming’s novel Goldfinger, is to be auctioned by international auctioneers COYS this Saturday 12th July at Blenheim Palace.

This iconic car will be featured alongside over 90 important motor cars, including a fine selection of Jaguars.  The auction will also feature over 90 motorcycles, which are to go under the hammer on Friday 11th.

The Aston Martin, a DB 2/4 Mk I Vantage, chassis number LML-819, was owned by Phillip Ingram Cunliffe-Lister, whose father was Lord Swinton, a close confidant of Winston Churchill, head of MI5 and the Security Executive during WWII, and Ian Fleming’s boss. Moreover, the vehicle was regularly at Fleming’s next-door neighbour in Kent, which was the same place where he based the HQ of Sir Hugo Drax in his Bond novel Moonraker.

All the gadgets that appeared in Bond’s car in the Goldfinger novel appear in this Aston Martin, including reinforced steel bumpers, concealed lockers, a heavy-duty anti-interference ignition system, driver’s seat connections for two-way radio and a Halda Speed Pilot.  This model is a strong contender for the world’s most significant Aston Martin ever to be offered to the open market.

Chris Routledge, Managing Partner of the auction house, said “This could be one of the most important discoveries of all time, confirming the link between the undoubtedly most famous spy in history and possibly the world’s most iconic sports car marque”.

Also appearing at the auction will be a 1951 Jaguar Mk V Drophead Coupé, one of the most desirable cars of its time, with exceptional performance and handling. Its age has added lustre to its reputation with the stylish drophead coupé being particularly desirable.  Estimated at £50,000 – £60,000, these were one of the most luxurious models of their day and still turn heads today.

A 1934 Bugatti Type 57 Series I Ventoux is estimated to make £275,000 to £320,000, featuring a ‘profilee’ windscreen and what were known as ‘spats’, which fill the rear wheel arches.  This is an uncommonly pure example of the superb early version of the design; the frontal aspect is balanced by a small integral projecting luggage boot, the exterior handsomely finished in Embassy Black and retains the correct wire wheels.

Alongside the car auction, attendees have been invited to bring with them their own classic cars, comprising a Concours d’ Elegance, which is set to feature the likes of a 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/4, a 1967 Lamborghini Miura and many more, all of which will be judged by a selection of guest judges.

This selection of judges includes BBC Oxford’s Roving Reporter Lilley Mitchel, AC Owner’s Club Chairman Bertie Gilbart Smith, Royal Marine Lt Colonel Cliff Dare MBE and Karen Ellis, the CEO of Ellis Clowes specialist motor sport insurance company.  This event will provide a bit of light hearted entertainment, as well as giving those present a chance to showcase their own classic cars.

To celebrate the 350th anniversary of Royal marines, a number of military vehicles will be present on the day at Blenheim Palace, including a 1941 Austin Utility, a 1944 Bedford M.W, a 1936 Morris Commercial CS8 Mk3, amongst others. This marks a momentous anniversary of a vital part of Britain’s Armed Forces, who were formed on the 28h October 1664 after an Order-in-Council was issued calling for 1200 soldiers to be recruited for service in the Fleet.  The military vehicles will be accompanied by a group of Royal Marines Cadets, and will be judged by Lt Colonel Cliff Dare, who will award the winner the 350th Anniversary Cup.

Not only will COYS be putting an extensive selection of classic cars under the hammer, they will also be putting over 90 motorcycles to auction on Friday 11th July at Blenheim Palace.  Featuring among these motorcycles is a 1920 Henderson 1300 four cylinder, complete with a stylish sidecar assembled by Ferrari, which was an exhibit in the sidecar museum near Ancona.  A very rare find, this Henderson is estimated at £55,000 to £70,000, and is presented in a well-preserved condition.

Also featuring at the motorcycle auction on the 11th is an extremely rare Harley-Davidson XR750, described as one of the most famous racing bikes in American motorcycle history, estimated to go for £25,000 to £30,000.  This model was limited to the public through only authorised dealers, meaning even in its day it was a rarity, dominating ‘flat track’ racing for over 10 years.

For more information on these lots and to view all other lots for sale, please visit

Location: Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PX.

1934 Bugatti Type 57 Series I Ventoux
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Series I Ventoux
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