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£17.5m Aston Martin sets new world auction record

Published 21 August 2017

A 1956 Aston Martin DBR1/1 sold at auction in Monterey to become the most expensive British car ever sold at auction. Chassis no. 1 sold for $22,550,000 (£17.5m) when it went under the hammer at RM Sotheby’s on Friday, 18 August.

Two bidders competed for the Martin, in a contest that lasted nearly seven minutes, before a private collector bidding by telephone was successful. The historic price comes just a year after the benchmark was established at the equivalent sale in 2016 with the $21,800,000 1955 Jaguar D-type.

The most correct example of what is arguably the most important Aston Martin ever made, DBR1/1 carries a racing history that includes overall victory at the 1959 Nürburgring 1000km as well as being driven by the greatest names in motorsport, including Carroll Shelby, Jack Brabham, Roy Salvadori, and Sir Stirling Moss. The first of just five examples built by the factory between 1956 and 1958, DBR1/1 is the only example ever offered for public sale.

The DBR1 was part of the most significant group of Aston Martin competition cars to appear at auction. Other highlights included the 1959 Aston Martin DB4GT prototype which fetched $6,765,000 (£5.2m) after a contest between three bidders, as well as the highly competitive 2006 Aston Martin DBR9, which soared past its upper estimate of $325,000 to achieve a final $616,000 (£477,511).

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