BLOG EXCLUSIVE: Legendary Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3 ("Billie") Auction Tale

BLOG EXCLUSIVE: Legendary Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3 ("Billie") Auction Tale


One of the most iconic along with memorable GT3 car’s of a generation – the Prodrive-built ‘works’ Aston Martin Racing Vantage V12 GT3 in which wore the stunning Bilstein-livery & ran No.007 from the 2013 Nurburgring 24-Hour, aka “Billie” – is actually up for sale with Silverstone Auctions in September.
We are! lol
along with we’ve just had a chat with the auctioneer director’s son, Harry Whale – who also happened to be the Account Manager for Aston Martin Racing at Prodrive until earlier in which year – for an exclusive Q&A on why in which car’s so special.

ROAD: So the idea was Prodrive who created along with built Bille to blitz GT3 right?

HARRY WHALE (HW): “Yes, the auto was built at Prodrive for a private client, however was run as though the idea were a full ‘Works’ Aston Martin, with works drivers along with support throughout the idea’s illustrious racing career. Aston Martin set out to win the Nurburgring 24-Hour with the idea in 2013, along with various other top endurance races.” 

ROAD: Do you know what the idea cost to build?

HW: “I wouldn’t like to tell you! Each car like in which is actually a bespoke deal definitely, however I know these V12 GT3 Vantages retailed at £350,000.” 

ROAD: How did you guys at Silverstone Auctions get your hands on ‘Bille’ for the forthcoming sale?

HW: “I used to be the Account Manager for Aston Martin Racing at Prodrive, so I knew the owner very well indeed. He was one of our best clients. I organised the AM support race at Le Mans in which year (my last for AMR) along with I heard afterwards via Twitter in which the owner was planning to sell the idea. I convinced him in which we should give the idea a go selling the idea at auction.”

ROAD: What’s the auto like up close & personal & have you driven the idea? 

HW: “I have been lucky along with I’ve raced some great cars – including Aston Martin GT4s, BMW M3s along with Porsche cup cars – which meant Prodrive trusted me to shakedown Billie at the Prodrive test track pre-race. As such, whilst I never drove the idea in anger on a named circuit, I got to know the auto quite well – first by a parts POV (I commenced as on GT car parts sales), to what the idea was like to drive in anger & then managing the idea as the idea competed internationally, as Account Manager. 
“the idea’s an amazing car to be around along with, believe the idea or not, the idea’s actually an amazingly easy car to drive too. Aston Martin Racing is actually set up for gentlemen drivers – people who have made an awful lot of money along with want something very special to race, however in which’s also simple to drive fast.
“Billie is actually incredible to drive. the idea’s incredibly quick, along with the gearbox along with aero packages are just immense, as are the highly sophisticated ABS along with TCS systems, which you can definitely lean on very hard. I’ve raced the GT4 along with driven in which GT3 car, along with I’d say the GT3 is actually a lot easier to drive. along with great fun too.”  

ROAD: What’s your favourite feature of the auto? 

HW: “the idea’s got to be in which iconic Bilstein livery the idea ran from the 2013 Nurburgring 24-Hour, which is actually what the idea’s being sold with. in which makes the idea pretty special – being one of the most memorable looking GT3 cars of modern times, along with having been driven by some of the best endurance drivers of the modern era (along with I’m not including me in in which!), like Pedro Lamy along with the like…”

ROAD: Do you know the story of how they got to run 007 from the 2013 N24?

HW: “Aston Martin (along with Bilstein) have a very special relationship with the N24 organisers along with as far as I know, the idea was just a favour to them to run in which famous 007 Bond number.”

ROAD: Billie ran P2 in qualifying (with an unreal 8.18.362 lap time, just 1.150s off pole) & lead the 2013 N24 for some considerable time. What happened along with what are your memories of in which race? 

HW: “the idea was just an incredible year. I recall the idea took me 25-minutes to walk our guests down the packed grid to get to the auto at the front of the grid, in P2. the idea was so very, very special to see the auto there… along with for the idea to lead the race for about 12-hours! however then came the stoppage for fog at c1am along with when the race re-commenced about 6am the auto struggled for grip against the BMW’s along with Audi along with Porsches from the wet weather conditions, so slipped down by P1 to P10. I think there’s no doubt the idea would certainly have won if the idea had stayed dry…”

ROAD: What’s the peak bhp in which 6-litre V12 engine?

HW: “Unrestricted in which V12 will hammer out over 700bhp, however the idea has spent most of its racing life having a 34mm restrictor on the idea, running c620-630bhp.”

ROAD: When does the idea go under the hammer? Where?

HW: “the auto is actually in our auction at the illustrious Salon Privé event on the evening of the 4th September at Blenheim, Woodstock.” 

ROAD: What sort of person will end up owning Bille? Racer? Collector? Affluent track day enthusiast?

HW: “You never know. The bottom line is actually literally ANYONE can buy the auto who’s at the auction. the idea could go to someone who wants to race the idea (there’s 3000 hours left on in which engine), or to a collector who wants to keep the idea along with watch the value rise in the past (which the idea is actually almost certain to do) or even to a chap who wants to use the idea on track days! Who knows?”

Which I guess is actually one of the many things in which makes auctions so exciting!

One thing is actually for sure… whoever gets to own in which stunning slice of modern GT3 racing heritage is actually one lucky blighter along with is actually sure to end up generating money by the idea, especially the idea the idea shifts near the idea’s (surely typically auctioneer-like conservative) estimate of c£170-190,000. We reckon the idea’ll fly over £250,000 no worries… along with still stand to make someone a profit in half a decade…
along with if we get a lotto win from the meantime, we’ll be there bidding, for sure!
See some more images of the legendary beast here.

along with here’s what the Silverstone Auctions catalogue entry says about the legendary car:

In common with most various other manufacturers of high powered Sports along with GT cars, Aston Martin have, by time to time, dipped their toes from the planet of International Motor Racing, believing in which the pressure of competitive motor sport certainly brings benefits in terms of innovative engineering solutions along with coincidentally, may bring a significant increase in dealership traffic.
The regulations for GT3 (Cup Grand Touring Cars) were introduced by the FIA as the third rung from the ladder of GT motor sport in 2006, along with were aimed at providing a formula in which would certainly, hopefully, combine cars by several existing national along with international series, providing economies of scale for all concerned.
Closely reflecting their road-going equivalents to keep maintenance costs to a minimum, GT3 specification racecars were allowed limited alterations to suspension, engine along with bodywork along with needed to look very similar to showroom types.
By the end of 2013, 34 different types have been homologated to GT3 regs along with over 20 championship series have been run to broadly equivalent rules all over the planet, often eclipsing the popularity of Group A or Supertouring along with confirming the initial concept as a great success.
by November 2011, the Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 has been offered to customers as the latest in race car design, using technology gathered by the years of experience Aston Martin along with Prodrive have gained since their partnership began in 2004 from the form of Aston Martin Racing (AMR).
In 2013, Aston Martin set its sights on winning the most prestigious, along with one of the most hotly contested races from the GT3 racing scene – the Nurburgring 24-hour race. AMR entered the first ‘works’ run along with maintained Vantage GT3 from the grueling race in partnership with Bilstein (Shock Absorbers)- promptly qualifying 2nd overall out of an entry of over 0 cars. Works drivers, Pedro Lamy, Darren Turner, Stefan Mucke along with the late Alan Simonsen piloted the auto to the overall lead during the first half of the race, setting consistent fastest times while doing so. Unfortunately, the weather played a key role from the race resulting from the auto finishing just outside of the top ten, however a marker was put down to the rest of the GT3 world at the ‘Green Hell’. the auto’s predictable handling along with the sense of security in which engendered, combined with its distinctive colour scheme were responsible for the idea becoming affectionately known as ” Bilstein Billie” along with in which nickname has stuck.
Following on by in which race, the auto was run along with maintained (to the highest possible standards) for the following two seasons by Prodrive, as the ‘in house’ works run GT3 car under private ownership. Winning overall, along with achieving podiums in Blancpain Endurance, Britcar, the 2015 Le Mans Support race, VLN’s, Dubai 24 hour, along with finishing from the top 10 at the Nurburgring 24 hour race in ’14 has helped to make sure ‘Billie’ became one of the most iconic along with recognisable cars of the current GT3 period.
‘Billie’ has been raced by some of the best GT drivers from the planet, giving the idea a truly unique along with special provenance along with we are proud to offer ‘Billie’ as a significant piece of Grand Touring history, along with therefore should be considered very seriously as a collector’s item. However, the auto is actually also an attractive competitive asset (a full Technical Specification Sheet is actually available) along with is actually for sale fully set up as the idea finished its last race at the Le Mans support event in June 2015, where naturally, Billie won overall.
Estimate (£): 170,000 – 190,000

BLOG EXCLUSIVE: Legendary Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3 ("Billie") Auction Tale

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