Aston Martin’s 1956 DBR1 racing car is the firm’s equivalent to the Ferrari 250 GTO and Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR.
Just five were built between 1956 and 1958 and this is chassis number one, a purpose-built model developed by racing design chief, Ted Cutting.
DBR1/1 was designed to win at Le Mans, debuting at the 1956 race when Tony Brooks and Reg Parnell drove for 22 hours before suffering an engine bearing failure.
It was raced at two more runs at Le Mans in 1957 and 1958, the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1958 and 1959, as well as three entries at the Nurburgring 1000 KM, in 1957, 1958 and 1959, the latter of which saw an overall victory with Sir Stirling Moss and Jack Fairman at the helm.
The car didn’t ever win Le Mans, but another DBR1 did, and it was chassis number one which paved the way for the success and 1959 World Sportscar Championship victory – the first time victory for a British manufacturer.
RM Sotheby’s has now announced it will be selling DBR1/1 over the weekend of August 18/19 at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
They have given the Aston Martin a guide price of “in excess of $20 million” (£15.6m) – potentially toppling the $21.8 million paid for a Jaguar D-Type last year.
It is part of a “once-in-a-lifetime group of Aston Martins” being sold at Pebble Beach, with a 1935 Aston Martin Ulster Competition Sports set to sell for £2 million and a 1959 Aston Martin DB4 GT valued at £6 million.
Barney Ruprecht, car specialist, 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 Nurburgring victory marked DBR1/1’s final appearance as a Works…