Aston found in Sidmouth garage exceeds auction hopes

The Aston Martin DB5 that was found in a garage in Elw Way, Sidford

The Aston Martin DB5 that was found in a garage in Elw Way, Sidford - Credit: Archant

An iconic Aston Martin found in a Sidmouth garage sold for more than £320,000 at a specialist auction on Sunday.

The classic blue DB5 had been gathering dust for more than 30 years, until David Ettridge’s family came to sell off his estate after his death in 2011.

Miraculously, mechanics managed to start it up, but it was clearly a fixer-upper.

James Knight, of auction house Bonhams, said: “Original-condition ‘barn discoveries’ in need of restoration continue to fascinate the true enthusiast for whom there can be no greater satisfaction than returning a once-great thoroughbred motor car to its former glory.

“Bonhams has handled many barn-discovery Aston Martins in the past and none of them has been in as good a condition as this example.

“We very much doubt we will offer another DB5 like [this one] again.”

The sports saloon fetched even more than the £200,000 the auctioneers expected – and a cool 20 times what Mr Ettridge bought it for in 1972. Similar models have been selling for the same price once they had been restored.

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Mr Ettridge was an active member of the Aston Martin Owners Club, at which he represented Devon and Cornwall.

The motoring enthusiast also served as a fire marshal at the Wiscombe Park hill climb, which gave him the chance to take his sporty vehicle for a spin at the end of each day.

The DB5 – made famous as James Bond’s first car – stood among a collection that also included an Austin Westminster and a Triumph TR2. But Mr Ettridge’s neighbour revealed he normally opted for a little Citroën run-about.

The 48-year-old car had fewer than 48,000 miles on the odometer.

It hadn’t been driven for so long that a mouse had taken residence in the engine.