A classic Aston Martin raced by Sir Stirling Moss has become the most expensive British car after it was bought at auction for a whopping £17.5 MILLION.
The 1956 DBR1, labelled the “most important” Aston Martin ever produced, was the headline lot at RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale in California.
With a guide price of “in excess of $20 million” (£15.5m), it drew a huge crowd as two rival collectors battled it out for almost seven minutes to get their hands on the car.
It was eventually sold to an unnamed phone bidder for $22.55 million (£17.5m) -enough to buy 120 brand-new Aston Martin DB11 supercars from a British showroom – setting a world record for any British car sold at auction.
It is also now the seventh most valuable car ever sold publicly – with only five Ferraris and one Mercedes fetching more.
Just five Aston Martin DBR1s were built between 1956 and 1958 – the model sold was chassis number one, a purpose-built model developed by racing design chief Ted Cutting that was built to be raced at Le Mans.
The car debuted at the 1956 race when Tony Brooks and Reg Parnell drove for 22 hours before suffering an engine bearing failure.
It was raced at two more runs at Le Mans in 1957 and 1958, the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1958 and 1959, and three entries at the Nürburgring 1000 KM in 1957, 1958 and 1959 – the latter which saw an overall victory with Sir Stirling Moss and Jack Fairman at the helm.
The car didn’t ever win Le Mans, but another DBR1 did, and it was chassis number one which paved the way for the success and 1959 World Sportscar Championship victory – the first time victory for a British manufacturer.