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Upcoming Events

Save the Date - Key events in 2017
Now that 2017 has set off in earnest, this year promises an exciting schedule of classic and historic events/rallies and you may wish to save some of the following dates – here is a handful of our favourites: The Retromobile Show runs from 8th – 12th February at the Porte de Versailles Exhibition Centre in Paris. Next up is the Olympia Historic Automobile Fair and Auction from 17th - 19th February at Olympia, Kensington, London, which is run in partnership with Coys. The London Classic Car Show returns to Excel, London from 23rd - 26th February and this year also provides access to sister show, Historic Motorsport International, which runs alongside the main show championing and celebrating historic motorsport. The show will features £120 million worth of Ferrari’s celebrating 70 years since the first Ferrari road car hit the streets. There will also be a Jacky Ickx tribute and 50 classic cars taking part in the Grand Avenue. Goodwood season starts with the Members Meeting on 18th & 19th March and continues with the usual spectacle of Festival of Speed from 30th June - 2nd July and the Revival 8th – 10th September. At Beaulieu on 2nd April, a Simply Aston Martin event will be hosted where all owners are invited to drive into the estate and park up at the museum for what promises to be a superb day out for both Aston Martin owners and enthusiasts. Still in the UK is the AMOC Spring Concours which will be held on 9th April at Saint Athan, South Wales. The Autumn event will be held on 17th September at the Eden Project, Cornwall. Heading to Europe the Techno Classica Essen takes place from 5th to 9th April displaying vintage, classic and prestige automobiles, motorsport features, motorcycles, parts and restoration features. Comfortable footwear required if you are visiting as this show covers a vast 127,000m2 across 21 halls at Messe Essen! On Saturday 13th May Bonham’s will host their annual Auction at Aston Martin Works, Newport Pagnell. For those serious about rallies the Pan Am Classic Rally starts on 14th June and traverses the Southern United States from Savannah to Seattle completing on 13th July. It is a competitive event for cars up to 1978 and mixes up dirt roads, mountains, country roads and occasional main roads and explores trails and tracks rarely used. The Flywheel Festival at Bicester Heritage on 24th-25th June will show stunning displays of winged and wheeled power in this live action celebration of historic cars, aircraft and military machinery. If European touring is of interest Classic Grand Touring are arranging a Bond Tour from 18th – 25th July. You will drive some of the smoothest mountain roads and take in breath-taking views whilst visiting some unforgettable locations that were used in the Bond movies. Later in the summer key Concours events take place. Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance takes place on Sunday 20th August which is the final spectacle of Automotive Week which includes the Tour d’Elegance and Retroauto. In September Salon Prive takes place at it’s now regular home of Blenheim Palace from 31st August – 2nd September and the Concours of Elegance on 1st – 3rd September returns to most elegant Hampton Court Palace – uniquely, the Concours of Elegance winner isn’t selected by a panel of judges but by the owners of the cars themselves so this should be interesting! Well there is indeed plenty here to keep us all busy.


Desmond's motorsport involvement traces all the way back to the formative days of his professional life, working on Aston Martin racing legends like Project 215, and he’s remained involved ever since.

Behind the wheel, Desmond's early racing saw him contest the Slick 50 Road Saloon Championship and Tomcat Challenge. In 2011, Desmond relaunched his race team, Border Reivers, in the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge.

The team has also prepared a host of one-off Aston Martins for competition, including, uniquely, rallying. In 1997, we readied a DB5 for the legendary, 47-day Peking to Paris Challenge. Not only did the 35-year-old car stand up to the test, it was the first Aston Martin home.

Other campaigns have included the Monte Carlo Challenge, the North Cape Rally and the Round The World in 80 Days Challenge.

If you have an interest in taking an Aston Martin into competition, whatever the adventure, we’d love to hear from you.


May 2014 - Desmond Smail Pre Bonhams Auction Luncheon

On the 17 May we hosted a successful pre-auction lunch for 76 of our customers and friends. The weather was glorious and we all enjoyed a delicious luncheon hosted at Robinsons in Newport Pagnell. Onto the Bonhams Auction and despite not selling our headlining car, a fantastic green Zagato, we enjoyed the atmosphere and buzz the day had to offer.
May 2014 Desmond Smail Pre Bonhams Auction Luncheon 1
March 2014 - 72nd Goodwood GRRC members meet

Desmond gave his popular 1963 Morris Mini Cooper mark 1 a turn out at the 72nd GRRC meet weekend entering in the Sears trophy. With an impressive and competitive line up Desmond managed a respectful 15th final positioning. Richard Meins teamed up with Ludovic Lindsay to compete in the two driver Moss Trophy race with the 1961 DB4 GT Zagato. The opening section of the race was a hard-fought affair but it was the Aston Martin DB4GT of Wolfgang Friedrichs and Simon Hadfield who eventually emerged triumphant.
March 2014 72nd Goodwood GRRC members meet  1
January 2014 - Desmond J Smail Customer on The Road to Mandalay

Desmond Smail customers, Cayman Islands-based Julian Reddyhough and Gus Pope recently completed the three week rally, The Road to Mandalay, organized by H&H in Myanmar (Burma). The pair competed in their Aston Martin DB6, prepared by Desmond Smail and brought their car home second in class and fourth overall. “This was a fascinating experience,” said Reddyhough. “Myanmar has only recently opened its doors to visitors and this was a unique opportunity to see the country before it is changed for ever by foreign investment. The Burmese are a warm and friendly people. This was the first competitive rally within Burma and our rally cars certainly generated a lot of local interest. ‘Our only problem was with the rear suspension. The set up will need looking at when the car arrives back in Olney. It is a bit of a mystery as we have been rallying the car since 1999 without any suspension issue. “ “Some local driving customs took a little getting used to”, added Reddyhough. “In Myanmar you drive on the right. When the vehicle in front puts on its left indicator it means ‘lots of room, safe to pass’. Alternatively, it can mean ‘Look at me! I am turning left’. “
January 2014 Desmond J Smail Customer on The Road to Mandalay 1
July 2013 - The Golden Age of Motorsport

The Directors of Chris Beetle Fine Photographs held a summer party and private viewing to celebrate the opening of JESSE ALEXANDER: THE GOLDEN AGE OF MOTORSPORT. Desmond J. Smail and Alan Baker hosted the event at Aston Sales Kensington and Aston Service London, where the renowned work of the quintessential motorsport photographer Jesse Alexander was displayed. The unique archive of racing photography from the mid-20th century was surrounded by some of the finest vintage Aston Martins in the world including a 1955 Aston Martin DB3 S/6 and famous Aston Martin Le Mans race cars.