1956 Aston Martin DBR1 tipped to fetch over $26.5m at auction
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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.
It will be sold at RM Sotheby's flagship Monterey sale taking place on August 18 and 19 during the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance motoring week in the US.
The 1956 racer, which is chassis number one of just five made, has been predicted to achieve more than NZ$26.5 million (US$20 million estimate) when it is wheeled into the auction room of the most prestigious sale of 2017.
If it achieves more than $US21.78 million (NZ$29.73 million) it will surpass the 1955 Jaguar D-Type (pictured above) 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 US$38.1 million (NZ$52 million) in 2014.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The car is currently equipped with a bespoke, completely correct reproduction engine manufactured by Aston Martin specialist Richard Stewart Williams, though the final Works engine fitted - the one used by Sir Stirling Moss to take victory at the German endurance race - will also be included in the sale.
Three other Aston Martins for sale
1935 Aston Martin Ulster Competition Sports
According to the auctioneer, this is one of the best known and most original of the 21 Ulsters produced.
Chassis number B5/549/U was a Works-supported car that competed in some of the finest motorsport events of the era.
This includes the 1935 Mille Miglia, a fourth in class finish at Le Mans that same year and victory at the Targa Abruzzo in 1936.
After having spent more than three decades as the personal race car of Derrick Edwards, founder of Ecurie Bertelli, it is presented in Monterey as a highly eligible historic racer.
1959 Aston Martin DB4GT
Estimate: US$6,000,000 - $8,000,000 (NZ$8.19m - $10.92m)
Chassis number DP199 (Design Project) is widely considered the most important non-Zagato DB4GT.
Significantly, DP199 took overall victory in its first competitive outing at Silverstone in 1959, with none other than Sir Stirling Moss as its driver, and was campaigned at Le Mans later that year.
Following its Works career, DP199 passed through a string of privateers, seeing club racing action over the next couple of decades.
Restored to its 1959 Le Mans specification, the DB4GT comes to Monterey representative of the beginning of the GT lineage.
2006 Aston Martin DBR9
Estimate: US$275,000 - $375,000 (NZ$375,380 - $511,880)
Leaping into the 21st century, this is one of the modern-era DBR9s that's featuring heavily on the endurance circuit.
In 2006 to 2007, chassis number DBR9/9 was one of four cars campaigned by Scuderia Italia BMS, operating under semi-Works status at the time.
The car competed at the highest level, including at Le Mans and Spa. Seldom does an opportunity to acquire a factory race car arise, especially one with four FIA GT1 class podium finishes.
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