The Aston Martin DBR1 race car is considered one of the most important Astons ever. Built under David Brown (the "DB" in so many Aston model names) to win Le Mans in the 1950s, only five examples were ever made. That's why this one—DBR1 number one—just sold for over US$22 million.
DBR1/1 was built in 1956, and featured a host of upgrades over its DB3S predecessor. A lightweight tube-frame chassis, a more powerful 3.0-liter straight-six, a five-speed transaxle, and disc brakes made it a serious contender on the circuit.
Though this particular car never won Le Mans, one of its sister cars did in 1959. The DBR1/1 you see here did compete in several legendary races in period, including Le Mans, the 12 Hours of Sebring, and the Nurburgring 1000KM, the latter of which it won in 1959.
Famous drivers such as Carroll Shelby, Roy Salvadori, Stirling Moss, and Jack Brabham sat behind the wheel of DBR1/1 before it was sold to Aston Martin Owner's Club President John Dawnay in the 1960s. The car saw vintage racing success throughout the years, passing through collectors' garages before eventually ending up for sale. Currently, the car is fitted with a reproduction engine, but includes the original block.According to RM Sotheby's, this is the first time ever a DBR1 has been auctioned publicly.
DBR1/1 sold for $22,550,000 at RM Sotheby's 2017 Monterey auction, making it the most expensive car sold during the weekend, and the most expensive car sold at public auction in 2017 thus far. The sale price also makes DBR1/1 the most expensive British car ever sold.