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Actor Peter Sellers’ Aston Martin on sale at Festival of Speed

Offered with an estimate of £2,200,000 – 2,600,000

A 1961 Aston Martin DB4GT, driven by actor Peter Sellers in the comedy crime caper The Wrong Arm of the Law, and also owned by the actor, is offered for sale at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Offered with an estimate of £2,200,000 – 2,600,000, Sellers’ Aston Martin will go under the hammer on 14 July in Bonhams Cars sale held at Goodwood’s three day Festival of Speed event. 

One of the fastest Grand Tourers of its time, this excellent example was put through its paces as the getaway car belonging to Sellers’ character ‘Pearly Gates’ in the motion picture – most notably in the getaway high-speed chase through Uxbridge Moor with a Wolseley 6/90 police car in pursuit.  

Sellers' Aston Martin

As Britain’s answer to the Ferrari 250 GT SWB, the DB4GT coupé could boast a top speed of more than 150mph, thanks to a combination of its powerful 3.7-litre engine delivering 302bhp, its triple webbers, its 12-plug head and its weight-saving magnesium-alloy body panels, Perspex rear windows and its trademark sloping headlight covers. Most of the 75 production GTs had their rear seats replaced by a carpeted shelf. However, this car was one of just three with factory-fitted occasional rear seats, utilised by character actor Lionel Jefferies as Pearly’s accomplice in the on-screen getaway, before the car and its passengers were stopped at Denham airfield. 

The Aston was driven by Sellers for the ‘hero shots’ with most of the fast driving done by Ken Rudd, Aston Martin dealer, who appeared in the film as a gang member extra. His dealership, KN Rudd in Worthing, had taken delivery of 41 DPX as a demonstrator, equipped with rare features including aluminium bezels surrounding the headlights, a single air scoop for the oil cooler and two air scoops.  

It is understood that its original 3.7-litre engine was damaged during filming and was replaced at the Aston Martin factory, with a larger 4.0-litre block fitted in early 1963, and stamped as a 4.0-litre GT engine, according to Aston Martin records – to date the only factory-fitted 4.0-litre DB4GT engine. Meanwhile, another DB4 performed the film’s famous flying jump over a bridge. As the scenes were not filmed in sequence, 41 DPX was again in the spotlight for the last scene.  

On sale at Festival of Speed

Sellers, a noted car collector and aficionado of luxury marques was particularly fond of Aston Martins and acquired the DB4GT in late 1961 or early 1962. The car was serviced at Aston Martin Feltham where he befriended the late Richard Williams, future founder of eponymous restoration business RS Williams. Sellers hired Williams to look after his collection, which included the DB4GT. 

After its famous custodian, the DB4GT was owned by several enthusiasts, including the former chairman of the Aston Martin Owners Club, Gerry Keane, before being totally rebuilt. The body and chassis work was undertaken by Bodylines and it was repainted Goodwood Green in 2002 by Spray Tec. The car has appeared in Aston Martin’s original press photos and has featured on the cover of various classic car publications. 

“The DB4GT was bred to compete and gained immense success on the racetrack in both National and International competition. It’s arguably Aston Martin’s finest road car and is right up there as the ultimate 1960s’ GT,” commented Bonhams|Cars Senior Collector Car Consultant James Knight. This example is in great condition, has a wonderful provenance and is offered for sale from a committed Aston Martin enthusiast. It really has all the credentials to be one of the most coveted examples”. 

41 DPX will be ready for its close-up from Thursday 13 July during the Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale preview before going under the hammer on 14 July.  

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