The valiant DB3S manages to sneak into the podiums of the endurance competitions but is not powerful enough against Ferrari, Jaguar and Maserati. The changes in Le Mans regulation for limiting the volume in the prototype category are favorable to Ferrari and Aston Martin. The two brands launch ambitious developments : the 250 TR in 1957 for Ferrari and the DBR1 (David Brown Racing 1) in 1956 for Aston Martin.
The first DBR1 car (DBR1/1) is assembled in 1956 with a 3-liter engine sometimes replaced until 1958 by a 2.5-liter engine to comply with the new regulations of some competitions. In 1957 a second DBR1 is made, along with two DBR2 equipped with a larger engine that will be upgraded in two phases to 4.2 liters. Three additional DBR1 will follow.
This model is perfect for the 1000 Km Nürburgring won in 1957 by DBR1/2, in 1958 by DBR1/3, and in 1959 by DBR1/1 with Stirling Moss and Jack Fairman. Taking advantage of Ferrari's misfortune, DBR1/2 realizes at last its boss's dream by winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959. After a final DBR1/2 victory at Goodwood, Aston Martin stops the competition probably due to financial difficulties and the cars continue their careers with private teams.
Painstakingly maintained as close as possible to its 1959 configuration with the cooperation of the former chief designer of the DBR project, DBR1/1 will be sold by RM Sotheby's in Monterey on August 18, lot 148. It is equipped with a replica engine of the correct configuration and accompanied by its 3-liter engine of 1959. The press release of June 23 expects a price in excess of $ 20M.
Wikipedia and several sources on the web since 2013 indicate that DBR2/1 was sold for £ 9.2M in a private sale.
Please watch in the RM tweet the very short video shared by the auction house.
Wikimedia shares an image of DBR1/1 driven by Carroll Shelby at Sebring in 1958. Attribution : By C5813 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
SOLD for $ 22.6M including premium