Wendy's own account of her pursuit of "Ivan the Terrible"
2009 - 2020
Created by Ruth 5 months ago
IVAN THE TERRIBLE
Roger was very attached to his Aston Martins, not least his 1932 International nicknamed “Ivan the Terrible”. In 2009 this went to Bob Anderton, owner of HRG 500 (of which more elsewhere). He worked on restoring the mechanical parts for two years, then sadly had a series of strokes and sold it to a young man in Farnham, who was told that “Mrs. Bennett would like a ride in the car when it is mobile again.” No response from there and the bush telegraph informed that he had sold it to “the Chimney Sweep in Bentley”. Yellow pages .... I then discovered that I passed his road every week when I went to my art group. One Friday I found myself driving in to find him. Notice on the front door. Please call at the back door” - out he came in his black overalls, followed by two lovely black Labradors (what other colour would a chimney sweep have?). He ushered me towards an enormous old Chicken shed which was full of old cars, clicked a switch and took me next door to a faux stable door .... opened the door and there was “Ivan”. Apparently mobile and still the same livery as when it had left me; this had been hand-painted in the sixties by my mother-in-law and still looked good. I left with his promise to contact me and arrange a drive. A year passed and I made contact. “Oh, I have sold it to William I’Anson in Cirencester” Hmm. Poor “Ivan” these young men would appear to have been using him to make a buck.2
A year or so later I was planning a visit to old friends and family in Worcestershire and made contact with William to ask if I could visit and have my “ride”. Of course! On a Monday morning I arrived having been away for the weekend; he had tried to contact me to delay the visit as he was caring for his two small children. However, when his wife returned, he bade me follow him. We went into a huge shed packed full of sparkling Bugattis (obviously his first love) and through a small door at the far end into a little bam. There was “Ivan” all alone. He pushed him out of the doors, pumped up the tyres, sprayed Ethanol under the bonnet and, hey presto, he started! Hurrah. We then set off up the road to the “local” for lunch.
While we were chatting, I discovered that William had taken Ivan to the Paris Motor Show earlier in the year and a Frenchman was interested in buying him. Well, I could have been chasing around France trying to get my “ride”! Anyway, the plan now was to sell him at the Goodwood “Festival of Speed” with Bonham’s in the summer. He would send me a catalogue. Catalogue didn’t come. Telephone call. Catalogue arrived: £50 a go! I duly turned up for the Auction on Friday, 26th June, 2015, catalogue in hand entry was by catalogue.
I walked into the entrance hall of Goodwood House and there, on duty as volunteers were two friends of mine: Jenny and Louise. Good start! -followed on through to the huge marquee which was buzzing with excitement. It was packed with the most beautiful motorcars and there in the middle, looking rather sad, was “Ivan”. The roof had been folded down and left akimbo and I was anxious to “tidy him up” but he was not mine and there was a notice “Do not touch”.
The Auction duly started and Ivan was No. 22 on the list. No sign of William, the vendor, despite looking around. Bidding progressed and No. 22 came up. Bidding took place from someone unsighted to me on the far side. I remember the Auctioneer saying “You have sold your......and now taking on another project are you!” William wanted £200,000 in Paris; the guide price in this catalogue was £110,000 - £130,000. It sold for the lower amount. I suspect he might have been out of pocket, which is maybe why he was not there. Who knows! I went to say my farewells to “Ivan”: “Goodbye, old thing, Good luck!”…and departed. Mission complete …or was it?
After Roger died, I was encouraged by John Glyde to continue with membership of the Aston Martin Owners Club, Area 21. I knew many of the members and much enjoyed their Pub Night on the first Tuesday of the month at the Jolly Drover, and their other activities. I also received all the literature.
In the Winter of 2017/18, the Quarterly Journal duly arrived. A short while later I was flicking through the magazine and stopped suddenly: “I know that number plate!” - it was “Ivan” on the Area 19 stand at the “Ignition Festival of Motoring” in Glasgow from the previous August. He was complete apart from the body and was absolutely sparkling!!! Well. I looked up Area 19 in the monthly AM News and the writer of the article was the Rep for Area 19. Before I knew it, I was writing him an email to say how delighted I was to see the article. His immediate response included the new owner in the reply: Jim Campbell. Since then, Jim and I have been in regular contact and he has been sending me updates of “Ivan’s” progress. He is now a completely new creature! At some stage I came to realise that the car Jim had sold at Bonhams was his father’s former much-loved Aston which was pictured on the front cover of the Catalogue. Details on page 116 and my pencil note gave £2,600,000 as the sale price. Phew! Ivan now has the Campbell family strip of the darkest navy-blue/black body with a stunning cherry red leather interior. He looks wonderful. We have yet to meet - it had been planned for this year but sadly due to the pandemic it has been deferred to 2021.
With "Ivan the Terrible"
Wendy remained in touch with Ivan through a succession of owners after she parted with it, even being taken to lunch on one occasion.