The team manager John Wyer and the chief engineer Ted Cutting are brainstorming. They will cut five inches in a DB4 to produce a cheap and cheerful GT. This shortening to gain some weight is concomitant with the shortening by Ferrari of the chassis 250 GT for improving the handling. The project is accepted by Aston Martin under the acronym DP-199 (DP stands for Design Project).
The prototype DP199/1 is tested at Le Mans in April 1959. Stirling Moss, always keen to drive a new machine, convinces Aston Martin to engage the car on May 2 at Silverstone in a 12-lap race in the GT class. Moss wins the pole position, the race and the lap record without even pushing the engine beyond 5,500 rpm.
The demonstration is impeccable. The prototype remains unique but its technical solutions pave the way for the entire Aston Martin GT line starting with the DB4 GT and the highly efficient DB4 GT Zagato.
In a first phase DP199/1 was fitted alternately with a 3.7-liter engine and a 3-liter engine to meet the regulations of various competitions. It has been restored in a configuration prior to 1961 when it left the factory team to be sold to a private owner. It retains its 3.7-liter engine of that period and has not suffered clumsy enhancements. It never had an accident and its body is remarkably original.
Cutting had met Wyer's expectation. Despite an intensive use DP199/1 is still today light, lively and easy to drive fast, inspiring confidence. It is estimated $ 6M for sale by RM Sotheby's in Monterey on August 18, lot 147.
SOLD for $ 6.8M including premium