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February 28, 2016

Aston Martin Sotheby Special
United States

This is an early 1970s Aston Martin “Sotheby Special”, one of just three built. It was built on a DBS V8 chassis with a body designed by Ogle Designs. It’s been in storage for the past 40 years. This specific car, though originally an apparently largely-functioning, fully-finished example, was created only for display purposes and was never road-registered. Of the other two known versions of this model, one was a road-legal, registered version that saw duties as a promotional vehicle traveling extensively around the UK and Europe before being repainted and used as a promotional car for the Graham Hill Grand Prix team. The other was a private commission for a person who, after seeing the vehicle on the BBC TV program Tomorrow's World, convinced the manufacturer to build one specifically for them. Aston Martin did so, but at a cost in 1973 of £28,750 (US$44,400). The standard V8 Aston Martin Saloon of the time was already a hefty £8749 (US$13,500), so the one and only customer for this vehicle paid a princely sum for the privilege of ownership. One of the most unusual features of the Sotheby Special is the arrangement of 22 tail lights that were designed to light up progressively in relation to the amount of force applied to the brake pedal. Not quite as radical, but quite interesting, the front headlamps have downward-dropping flaps that operate hydraulically when the lights are switched on.


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