The iconic Aston Martin DBR1 was devised by chief designer Ted Cutting in 1956 as a thoroughbred racing car, with the ambition to conquer the world-renowned Le Mans 24-hour race. The elegant and distinctive body was wrapped around a light tubular frame and features front trailing arms, a De Dion axle at the rear, and a torsion suspension bar all round.
In order to comply with Le Mans specifications, the engine was limited to a 2.5-litre capacity, while a light alloy cylinder block with a seven-bearing crankshaft and dry sump lubrication were incorporated. Enhanced by the cylinder head from the DB3S with twin plug ignition, the Aston Martin DBR1 debuted at the Sarthe circuit in 1956, retiring after 20 hours in seventh place.
A more successful 1957 followed, with Tony Brooks victorious at Spa and in a 1,000-kilometre race at the Nurburgring. Stirling Moss steered the DBR1 to victory at the same site in 1958, with a commanding victory of over four minutes. Later the same season, Moss, Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby would place first, second and third in the Tourist Trophy at Goodwood.
Further successes were enjoyed in 1959, with Aston Martin scooping the constructors’ championship and the teams of Shelby/Salvadori and Maurice Trintgnant/Paul Frere victorious at Le Mans. A team of Moss/Jack Fairman would also win the 1,000-kilometre race at Nurburgring, while Moss would claim a final victory for the DBR1 at Goodwood.
More recently DBR1/5 had success at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed, winning its class on the famous hill climb.