An Aston Martin model worth an estimated £1.6million to £2million has been revealed as part of the Bonhams Goodwood Revivial Sale this September.
The ‘Red Dragon’ Aston Martin Speed Model with its oustanding competition history will be up for auction at the sale on September 10.
Built in 1936, the racing car was tailor-made to be the ultimate ‘Ulster’ Aston Martin, created for British driver Richard ‘Dick’ Seaman to challenge Germany’s sophisticated new BMW 328s in the most important UK race of the period: the RAC TT on the Ards circuit in Northern Ireland.
A win was not to be, but the Aston went on to compete in the 1000-mile Italian Mille Miglia, the RAC Tourist Trophy in Ulster, and France’s famed Le Mans 24-Hour race under the ownership of Dutch driver Eddie Hertzberger.
Hertzberger also won at the 1937 Grand Prix des Frontiéres meeting in Belgium.
The car gained its famous Welsh red dragon livery when owned by wealthy Welsh amateur racing driver, Dudley Folland, who acquired the car after the war.
Carmarthenshire-born Folland had started his racing career under the alias ‘Tim D. Davies’, contesting in the 1935 Le Mans with a Frazer Nash, before graduating to the powerful Aston.
Bonhams motoring specialist, John Polson, said: “Folland chose ‘Red Dragon’ because it was the most competitive British built car available in the early years after the war.
“Having proven itself in Hertzberger’s hands, it was the best British race car available, and Folland proved very competitive in it, finishing third in the Paris 12-hour race in Montlhéry in 1948, and holding 2nd in the Spa 24-hours before crashing dramatically very near the finish.”
Both races were won by the new Ferrari 166 Spider Corsa V12, driven by Luigi Chinetti. Folland was so impressed by the Ferrari’s speed and agility that despite his loss, he ordered one for himself, and in the meantime modified the Aston Martin after its Spa crash with lightweight bodywork resembling the Ferrari.
Bonhams UK motoring director Tim Schofield said: “This is an incredibly historic Aston Martin. Having competed in so many of the most renowned great sports car races of the 1930s and 1940s, it is regarded as the ultimate ‘Ulster’ Aston Martin and its provenance, including Dick Seaman, Eddie Hertzberger and Dudley Folland, is impeccable.”