Aston Martin DBR101

This 1956 Aston Martin DBR1 becomes the most expensive British car to be auctioned

Described as ‘the most important Aston Martin ever produced’, the 1956 DBR1 is likely to become the most expensive British car ever when it goes under the hammer at RM Sotheby’s flagship Monterey sale. The auction is scheduled for 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, is said to attract bids of over £15 million ($20 million) from wealthy connoisseurs. This is closer to the £17 million ($21.7 million) mark of the previously sold 1955 Jaguar D-Type that sold at the same auction last year and currently holds the record for the priciest motor sale at an auction in Britain.

Aston Martin DBR102

The car is described as Aston’s ‘equivalent to the Ferrari 250 GTO and the similarities between the two are undeniable. Both vehicles are built to dominate on the track with the DBR1 making its debut at the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1956.

Preserved in pristine condition, the svelte frame of the legendary model hides a 3.0-litre straight-six engine packing around 250bhp. In 1959, that was enough to shame all the competition at the Nurburgring 1,000 KM race.

Aston Martin DBR104

This is the first time a DBR1 has ever been made available to the public, so there is already a long line of potential buyers who are eager to own this historical piece. The fact it is chassis number 1 makes this model the most enticing for fans of classic British cars.

RM Sotheby’s describes it as being “immaculately presented down to every last detail, and the most correct of all five examples built, making it the most significant group of Astons to ever come to auction.”

Aston Martin DBR103

The legendary model was retired after the Nürburgring victory in 1959 and has since been in the ownership of the Honourable John Dawnay, future Viscount Downe and Aston Martin Owner’s Club president as well as been part of a number of major collections.