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Car Of The Week – DBR 1/5

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Captured here at the first ever Donington Historical Race Meet in April 2011.

This was the only DBR1 that was built for a private owner. Completed in 1959, it was sold directly to Peter Whitehead. He raced the car extensively that year and scored some podium finishes. In 1960 the car was only rarely used and a year later Whitehead sold the car to an African owner. It was briefly used in South Africa. The current, German owner, campaigns the car regularly in historic events such as the Goodwood Revival.

1959 AND ASTON MARTIN. By 1959, Aston Martin had completed two more chassis, DBR1/4 and DBR1/5 (Shown above). The first car was actually a conversion from a DBR3, while DBR1/5 was a spare chassis sold to privateer Graham Whitehead, the only car to do so. With four chassis, Aston Martin would again concentrate on the World Sportscar Championship. The season started slowly, with a sole DBR1 failing to finish at the 12 Hours of Sebring, then followed by the team not appearing at the Targa Florio. Luck returned again for Aston Martin, as the sole factory entry again won the 1000km Nürburgring, with Stirling Moss and Jack Fairman driving. However, Aston Martin’s success would continue with what is considered their finest motorsports triumph. DBR1/2, driven by Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori, took victory at the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans. DBR1/4, driven by Maurice Trintignant and Paul Frére, managed second. The next closest competitor was a distant 25 laps behind the duo.

With the constructors championship now closely contested by Ferrari and Aston Martin, the team appeared at the final round at Goodwood. Aston Martin entered three DBR1s, as well as privateer Graham Whitehead’s DBR1/5. During the race, DBR1/3 caught fire in the pits, destroying the car and leaving Aston Martin without room to refuel their other cars. To salvage Aston Martin’s hopes of a championship, Graham Whitehead withdrew his entry from the race in order to allow Aston Martin to use his pits stall and finish the race. Able to continue, Stirling Moss, Carroll Shelby and Jack Fairman in DBR1/2 were able to secure victory and the championship over Ferrari, the only World Championship won by Aston Martin.

Author: ibeastie

Interested in Photography, Watches, Style and Cars

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