It has been described as ‘the most important Aston Martin ever produced’. And in August this 1956 DBR1 could also become the most expensive British car ever when it goes under the hammer at one of the year’s biggest auctions.
The 1956 racer, which is chassis number one of just five made, has been predicted to achieve more than £15 million ($20 million) when it is wheeled into the auction room of the most prestigious sale of 2017.
If it achieves more than £17 million ($21.7 million) it will surpass the 1955 Jaguar D-Type that sold at the same auction last year to become the highest-valued British motor of all time.
RM Sotheby described the car as Aston’s ‘equivalent to the Ferrari 250 GTO’, one of which happens to be the most expensive car ever after selling for an eye-popping £30 million ($38.1 million) in 2014.
The similarities are that both were purpose-built to dominate on the track, with then-Aston Martin owner David Brown setting his heart on triumphing at the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The car due to be sold, DBR1/1 (signifying that it is chassis number one) debuted at the legendary race in 1956, however, an engine bearing failure in the 22nd hour meant Tony Brooks and Reg Parnell didn’t reach the finish line.
Three years later, after DBR1/1 failed to win at the 1957 and 1958 events, one of its sister cars did manage the feat, taking the chequered flag in 1959 leading Aston to become the first ever British manufacturer to win the World Sportscar Championship.
In the same year, Sir Stirling Moss and Jack Fairman took this Aston Martin to victory at the Nürburgring 1,000 KM at the third successive attempt, marking one of the most monumental years of competition for the British marque.
It also took part in the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1958 and 1959, making it one of the most seasoned endurance racers of all time.
Barney Ruprecht, car specialist at RM Sotheby’s, said:
This is the most significant group of Astons to ever come to auction. It is a true privilege to be entrusted with the sale of all four remarkable cars.
From the Ulster—the pinnacle of pre-war competition—to the founding member of the DB4GT family, the ultimate Aston in the DBR1, all the way through to modern times with the DBR9, the group represents the complete lineage of Aston Martin competition history.
The DBR1/1 features a 3.0-litre straight-six engine packing around 250bhp.
It was retired by the official Aston Martin Works team after the Nürburgring victory in 1959 – a win that secured the DBR1 a triple-header with the victory at Le Mans and the RAC Tourist Trophy in the same year.
Since then, it has been owned by the Honourable John Dawnay, future Viscount Downe and Aston Martin Owner’s Club president and has been passed through a number of major collections.
However, August will mark the first time a DBR1 will ever be offered at a public auction, making it almost priceless for the most affluent of classic car enthusiasts.
RM Sotheby’s describe it as being ‘immaculately presented down to every last detail, and the most correct of all five examples built’.
Note: This article originally in part or total via This Is Money.