Wednesday, December 28, 2022

An ‘En Vacances’ Aston Martin

1993 Aston Martin Virage converted to a shooting brake for ‘vacances’ to be sold at auction; one of seven examples, the other six were built for Prince Jefri of Brunei

One of just seven Aston Martin Virage saloons converted to a five-door shooting brake is to be sold in Paris this week.


Increased in length by 12-inches, subject to an engine upgrade from 5.3-litres to 6.3-litres and changed to left-hand-drive configuration, the car was built at the behest of a German Aston Martin collector named Dr Roland Müller. He named the car ‘Vacances’ as he used it for holidays, auctioneers Bonhams claim.


So pleasing was the Buckinghamshire Green vehicle to Prince Jefri, the brother of the Sultan of Brunei, when he visited the Aston Martin Works and saw it that he ordered six of them. Being a bit of an excessive sort and known for being someone whose extravagance knew no bounds, the royal had his examples stretched by a further by 16-inches.


Bonhams offer the V8 shooting brake – which now has a five-speed manual transmission and a folding bench in the trunk – at an estimate of £125,000 to £208,000 ($167,000 to $279,000, €150,000 to €250,000 or درهم614,000 to درهم1 million). They will auction it in Paris at The Grand Palais Éphémère on Thursday 3rd February.


1993 Aston Martin Virage 6.3-Litre 'Vacances' Shooting Brake 2
The interior of the car is in good condition, but of it Bonhams state: “[This is] a wonderful opportunity to own and enjoy one of the rarest, and at the same time most practical, Aston Martins of the post-war era. This exceptionally rare and bespoke Aston Martin has been on static display for a number of years and may require recommissioning prior to road use.”
1993 Aston Martin Virage 6.3-Litre 'Vacances' Shooting Brake 3
There is plenty of room in the rear for three passengers whilst the boot beyond can accommodate plenty of luggage for those wishing to head off on tour in a grand style.
1993 Aston Martin Virage 6.3-Litre 'Vacances' Shooting Brake 4
From the front.
1993 Aston Martin Virage 6.3-Litre 'Vacances' Shooting Brake 5
And from the rear.

Aston Martin Shooting Brakes

Over the years, The Steeple Times has previously featured various other Aston Martin converted to shooting brakes. Amongst them have been:


2012 Rapide ‘JET 2+2’ by Beretone

2012 Aston Martin Rapid JET 2+2

Featured on our pages in December 2019, this 6-litre beast – complete with the registration ‘JET 2’ – was created for an adventurer and artist named Barry Weir as he wanted “good head clearance to stop his hair brushing the roof panel.” It came with a full-size clay rolling model – which gave the capability to build additional examples – and a not so insubstantial price tag of £1.25 million ($1.68 million, €1.50 million or درهم6.15 million). By August 2020, it had been reduced in price to £800,000 ($1.1 million, €962,000 or درهم3.9 million) and still now it remains on offer tagged with ‘Price On Application.’


1996 V8 ‘Sportsman’ coupé

1996 V8 ‘Sportsman’ coupé

Sold for £337,500 ($452,000, €406,000 or درهم1.7 million) in May 2017 by Bonhams at their Newport Pagnell, Aston Martin Works Service sale, this left-hand-drive example was ordered as one of a pair by a pair by two Swiss brothers. It was rebuilt by the factory in 1999 and then sold to a French art collector based in Monaco. Its most unusual extra was an inbuilt humidor.


1966 DB6 Vantage shooting brake by Harold Radford

1966 DB6 Vantage shooting brake by Harold Radford

Offered for just under £1 million ($1.3 million, €1.2 million or درهم4.9 million) in August 2020 by Bonhams at their Quail, California sale and one of only six examples ever built by Harold Radford, this shooting brake was commissioned by a “gentleman realtor” named Middleton ‘Middy’ Train whose passions included “duck hunting” and golf. It features not only a commodious boot, but also a “novelty” of a Webasto sun roof and a luggage rack on the roof.


1965 DB5 shooting brake by Harold Radford

1965 DB5 shooting brake by Harold Radford

Featured by us in August 2019 and sold by RM Sotheby’s at their Monterey, California sale that month, this upgraded 4.7-litre vehicle hammered down for £1.316 million ($1.765 million, €1.583 million or درهم6.482 million). Kept in Switzerland from new, the shooting brake was described at auction as “the ultimate gentleman’s express.”


Matthew Steeples
Matthew Steeples
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Matthew Steeples is a writer and marketing consultant. He conceived The Steeple Times as a media arena to fill the void between the Mail Online, The Huffington Post and such organs as the New York Social Diary in 2012.



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