Aston Martin DBR1 is among the two or three sexiest English sports cars ever made, as voluptuous and provocative as any 1950s Ferrari or Maserati, yet in an unmistakably elegant English way.

DBR1 was England at its best, back up against it in a must-win situation. DBR1 secured Aston Martin’s only victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the World Sportscar Championship, both in 1959. RM Sotheby’s expects this car, the first DBR1 built (DBR1/1), to reach $20 million at its Monterey auction later this month. DBR1/1 could potentially break the auction record set last year for a British car when RM cleared $21.78 million for the 1956 Le Mans-winning Jaguar D-type.

DBR1/1 is inarguably the finest of the species, having been maintained by a series of the finest possible custodians, and was in fact inspected by Ted Cutting, the car’s lead engineer and designer, down to the last detail just before his passing. It is quite perfect.

It also gave Stirling Moss one of his greatest drives ever, claiming victory at the Nürburgring in 1959 (see video at bottom). In all details, the car is virtually perfect. DBR1/1 will also tell much about the argument that the very finest cars continue to pull high dollars.

Though the DBR1s never had overwhelming horsepower like the big-bore Ferraris and Maseratis, or even the Jaguar D-types, its drivers considered DBR1 one of the sweetest handling sports cars of its time. But packing power, it could only compete on tracks that emphasized chassis.

Though the DBR1s never had overwhelming horsepower like the big-bore Ferraris and Maseratis, or even the Jaguar D-types, its drivers considered DBR1 one of the sweetest handling sports cars of its time. But packing power, it could only compete on tracks that emphasized chassis.

After nine years fighting to win in France, Aston Martin owner David Brown wanted Le Mans to be the DBR1’s sole event in 1959. But the drivers thought otherwise, and won the debate. Salvadori ran DBR1/1 at Sebring, though it failed to finish. Convinced he could replicate his victory at the Nürburgring, Stirling Moss persuaded Aston to again enter the 1000km. With Jack Fairman as co-driver, Moss drove DBR1/1 to victory, breaking the lap record 16 times in one of his most epic drives.

This was the third consecutive victory at the Nürburgring for a DBR1, an achievement only equaled by Porsche’s 908 more than a decade later, and a victory certainly adding to the car’s legend and relevant value. More

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