FrontRunners: Auto Focus

When a British consortium acquired Aston Martin in March for about $930 million from the Ford Motor Co., the purchase marked another new beginning for the sometimes troubled 94-year-old company. Despite its periodic financial difficulties, the firm has produced remarkable vehicles, from the DB5 of 1963 to the new DBS V12. (In his 1959 novel Goldfinger, Ian Fleming placed James Bond in a DB Mark III; the makers of the 1964 movie used the company’s latest model, the DB5, and thus the brand became synonymous with Agent 007.) The DB5 and other classic Aston Martins will be lined up on the lawn on August 19, when the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance (www.pebblebeachconcours.net) honors the marque. Ford also will figure prominently at the Concours, in the hot-rod class, which will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the 1932 Ford Coupe, better known as the Deuce Coupe (see "Two for the Show"). On August 16, at the Monterey Jet Center, Christie’s International Motor Cars (www.christies.com) will auction the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso purchased in 1963 by actor Steve McQueen (see the August issue of The Robb Report Collection). In the late 1990s, a subsequent owner restored the Lusso to its original condition. The Ferrari is expected to fetch from $800,000 to $1.2 million.

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