Media Release


DBR1: THE MOST IMPORTANT ASTON MARTIN EVER PRODUCED COMES TO RM SOTHEBY’S MONTEREY SALE

Monterey

  • RM Sotheby’s secures the most significant group of Aston Martin competition cars to ever come to auction for flagship Monterey sale, 18-19 August
  • Group is led by first iteration of the most important Aston Martin ever produced, 1956 DBR1, chassis no. 1
  • Latest highlights also include the DB4GT prototype DP199, a 1935 Ulster Competition Sports, and a semi-Works DBR9
  • Updated list of entries for Monterey sale available at www.rmsothebys.com

 

LONDON (23 June, 2017) – RM Sotheby’s is thrilled to announce that it will bring a once-in-a-lifetime group of Aston Martins to its flagship Monterey sale, 18 -19 August during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance motoring week. The group is led by arguably the most important Aston Martin ever produced, the 1956 Aston Martin DBR1, chassis no. 1 (DBR1/1)

 

The British marque’s legendary equivalent to the Ferrari 250 GTO and the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR, the DBR1 was the result of David Brown’s dream to win Le Mans, a victory achieved by DBR1/1’s sister car in 1959. The first of just five examples built by the factory between 1956 and 1958, DBR1/1 was a purpose-built competition car developed by racing design chief, Ted Cutting. The DBR1 boasted a lighter, faster 3.0-litre engine than its DB3S predecessor, set into a small tube spaceframe chassis with an all-new rear end. The gearbox was replaced by the new semi-dry sump, five-speed transaxle, and the new racer was equipped with cast-iron Girling disc brakes with groundbreaking light alloy calipers.

 

DBR1/1 debuted at the 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans at the hands of Tony Brooks and Reg Parnell, retiring after more than 22 hours with engine bearing failure. The car’s impressive list of Works entries that followed saw the who’s who of endurance racing behind its wheel, including greats such as Carroll Shelby, Roy Salvadori, Stirling Moss, and Jack Brabham. Entries included 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 Nürburgring 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. This marked the third consecutive win for Aston Martin and the DBR1. The win at Nürburgring also played a major role in securing Aston Martin the 1959 World Sportscar Championship victory—the first time a British manufacturer had done so. 

 

Nürburgring would mark DBR1/1’s final appearance as a Works entrant, but it would return under privateer Essex Racing Stable in both 1961 and 1962. The Aston was then sold to the Honourable John Dawnay, future Viscount Downe and Aston Martin Owner’s Club president, under whose ownership it saw considerable historic racing success in the early 1980s, piloted by veteran Mike Salmon. The car passed through another major collection, during which time it was awarded the Most Elegant Sports Car Trophy at the 2001 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, before landing with its current owner.

 

Immaculately presented down to every last detail, and the most correct of all five examples built, DBR1/1 is offered with its final Works fitted engine, and is currently equipped with a bespoke, completely correct reproduction engine manufactured by Aston Martin specialist Richard Stewart Williams. Following recent competition at Goodwood Revival at the hands of Brian Redman, DBR1/1 comes to RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale as the first DBR1 ever offered at public auction. With the potential to break the current record for the most valuable British car ever sold, DBR1/1 is expected to fetch in excess of $20,000,000 when it crosses the Monterey podium this August.

 

“This is the most significant group of Astons to ever come to auction,” says Barney Ruprecht, Car Specialist, RM Sotheby’s. “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.”

 

DBR1/1 is joined in Monterey by three additional significant competition Aston Martins: 

 

  • 1935 Aston Martin Ulster Competition Sports, chassis no. B5/549/U
    One of the best known and most original of the 21 Ulsters produced, B5/549/U was a Works-supported car, campaigned in period at motorsport’s finest events. The Ulster ran the 1935 Mille Miglia, and secured a fourth in class finish at Le Mans that same year before winning 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, ready for the Le Mans Classic, the Mille Miglia, Goodwood, and the Monaco Historic Grand Prix (Est. $2,500,000 - $3,000,000).

 

  • 1959 Aston Martin DB4GT, chassis no. DP199
    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 (Est. $6,000,000 - $8,000,000).

 

  • 2006 Aston Martin DBR9, chassis no. DBR9/9
    Fast-forward to the 21st century and Aston Martin continues to dominate the track, having just clinched victory at Le Mans earlier this month. In 2006-2007, DBR9/9 was one of four chassis 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 (Est. $275,000 - $375,000).

 

Led by DBR1/1, RM Sotheby’s 2017 Monterey sale features another superlative group of 100 of the world’s finest and most sought-after automobiles, offered amongst a week of thrilling automotive activities. For further information on RM’s Monterey sale, along with an updated list of entries, please visit www.rmsothebys.com. To discuss limited consignment opportunities with an RM Sotheby’s specialist, please call +1 519 352 4575.

 

*The current record for the most valuable British automobile ever sold at public auction is held by the 1955 Jaguar D-Type, chassis no. XKD 501, sold for $21,780,000 at RM Sotheby’s 2016 Monterey sale.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more