Vintage Aston Martin used by Peter Sellers and Princess Margaret up for auction

The 1964 DB5 convertible, which has carried a bevy of high society stars, could fetch up to £1.7m.
The 1964 DB5 convertible, which has carried a bevy of high society stars, could fetch up to £1.7m.

A vintage Aston Martin once owned by comedy star Peter Sellers and used by royalty could be driven off at auction for up to £1.7 million.

The limited edition DB5 convertible from 1964 has carried a bevy of high society stars including – rumour has it – the daughter of a marquis, who was smuggled in its boot.

Featuring what is believed to be the first car phone in Britain, it was originally owned by actor Sellers and later sold to Lord Snowdon, society photographer and husband of Princess Margaret.

Bonhams Festival of Speed Sale
Chris Bailey, of Bonhams, cleans the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 convertible (Andrew Matthews/PA)

The Caribbean Pearl Blue car will be going under the hammer at the Bonhams Festival of Speed Sale at Goodwood in Chichester, West Sussex, on Friday.

In 1964, Sellers’ career was at its peak, as the star of box-office hit films such as The Pink Panther and Dr. Strangelove.

He was a well-known car aficionado and Aston Martin enthusiast, and the DB5 caught his eye.

Sellers’ car was one of just 123 soft-top variants and its 282bhp four-litre straight-six engine was capable of a top speed of 145mph.

It features fog lamps, a cigar lighter and, the height of technology for the time, a wireless Motorola radio car telephone.

Lost Sellers film clips released
Peter Sellers bought the car when he was at the peak of his fame (Dimwittie Films Ltd/PA)

Sellers was known for frequently changing his car collection and he later sold the DB5 to his friend, Lord Snowdon, in the late 1960s.

The earl was often seen cruising around the Chelsea, Mayfair and Soho areas of London, but also took the car as far afield as Prague.

The four-seater was also used as a family car, with Viscount Linley, son of Lord Snowdon and Princess Margaret, recalling: “We always had the windows down so my mother could smoke her cigarettes.”

Over the last 10 years with its present owner, the car has helped raised millions for UK children’s charities through various tours and appearances.

Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon – Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London
The Aston Martin DB5 was used as a family car by Lord Snowdon and Princess Margaret (PA)_

Sholto Gilbertson, director, Bonhams Motor Cars UK, said: “If ever a car defined an era, this DB5 is surely on the shortlist.

“Not only was it one of the most desirable and thoroughbred sportscars of its day, but it has an extraordinary provenance, being owned by the creme de la creme of the 1960s.

“This is a fitting star for our first sale at the Festival of Speed for two years.

“We are greatly looking forward to hosting a live auction again at our second home and welcoming our Goodwood friends and clients back to the Bonhams saleroom.”

– The Bonhams Festival of Speed Sale will be a traditional live auction on Friday July 9, with bids accepted from socially distanced clients in the room, and will also be livestreamed via https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/26999/