Unique Aston Martin DBR2 'Tribute' in Shannons Melbourne Auction
MELBOURNE – Sept 18, 2013: A carefully executed ‘Tribute’ to one of the rarest and most significant Aston Martin sports racing cars ever built is one of the highlights of Shannons Melbourne Spring Classic Auction on September 23.
Offered as the British sports car maker celebrates its Centenary, the one-off replica was manufactured by Queensland enthusiasts in the likeness of the two factory team cars that contested the 1957 Le Mans 24-Hour race – two years before Aston Martin won the French classic and the World Sportscar Championship with the sister DBR1/300 in 1959.
The DBR2 was developed in the mid 1950s from a short-lived Lagonda project known as DP166 and was built using a wider multi tube, backbone space frame chassis than that subsequently used in the DBR1.
It was originally fitted with a Lagonda 4.5L V12 engine, however the DBR2’s true relevance in Aston Martin history came when it reworked to accommodate the prototype 3.7 litre Tadek Marek-designed DOHC engine that made its first production appearance in the stunning DB4 sports saloon introduced at the 1958 London Motor Show.
Due to a 3.0 engine capacity limit introduced for the World Sportscar Championship in 1958, the DBR2 was relegated to non-championship British, European, and American events that permitted the larger capacity cars and its only notable success in 1957 was at the Daily Express Trophy race at Silverstone driven by the late Roy Salvadori.
Continuing in the United States in 1959, the works DBR2s again took victory in New York and twice in the Bahamas, driven by George Constantine and Stirling Moss. Both cars were then returned to Aston Martin in 1960.
The ‘Tribute’ DBR2 being auctioned on September 23 uses mainly Jaguar components of the period and features a largely-fibreglass body, with aluminium used for some interior bodywork to ensure it both looks and goes like the original.
Painted in the traditional Aston Martin racing colour of Sage Green, it was completed in 2007 before being purchased by the vendor, who has since made various improvements and refinements.
Shannons expect this stunning and visually-faithful DBR2 Tribute to sell in the $100,000-$125,000 range – well below its build cost and a fraction of the estimated £10 million that one of the original cars would likely bring if brought to auction today.