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The Aston Martin DBR2 was a sports racing car built in 1957 as a sibling to the Aston Martin DBR1, yet competing in a larger engine capacity group.

Development

The DBR2 was created from a short lived Lagonda project known as DP166 (DP for Development Project), which was a sportscar similar to the DB35 yet housed a Lagonda 4.5L V12 engine. Using the two DP166 chassis, David Brown's racing department modified the cars with bodies similar to those from the DBR1, except larger and more aerodynamic. These cars would be christened DBR2/1 and DBR2/2.

For an engine, the new Tadek Marek designed 3.7L (3670cc) Straight-6 from the newly launched DB4 road car was initially installed. For the 1958 season, the engine was enlarged to 3.9L, then again with a 4.2L engine later in the year.

Racing history

DBR2/1 initially began competition at the 1957 24 Hours of Le Mans, where it unfortunately retired. Its only notable success for 1957 was at the Daily Express Trophy at Silverstone Circuit in the hands of Roy Salvadori.

Due to a 3.0 engine capacity limit introduced for the World Sportscar Championship in 1958, the DBR2 was relegated to non-championship British, European, and American events that permitted the larger capacity cars.

For 1958 the DBR2's program was expanded, including the upgrade to the newer 3.9L engines. DBR2/1 won both the Sussex Trophy at Goodwood and the British Empire Trophy at Oulton Park, driven by Stirling Moss in both wins. After finishing 2nd and 3rd at Spa, Aston Martin decided to concentrate on the DBR1 for Europe, while both DBR2s were upgraded to the 4.2L engines and transferred to America where they could compete easier with larger engine capacities. George Constantine drove DBR2/1 to victories at Lime Rock and Marlborough before the end of the season.

Continuing in the United States in 1959, the cars again took victory in New York and twice in the Bahamas, driven by George Constantine and Stirling Moss. Both cars were then returned to Aston Martin in 1960.

Later life

DBR2/1 was sold to private hands following its return to Britain, changing hands twice before being stripped of its body and having the coupe bodywork from DB3/6 placed on top of it. DBR2/2 was also sold to private owners, being sold various times over the years. Its most recent sale at auction fetched a price of £1,750,000. A restored DBR2 recently won the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance's People's Choice Award.

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Aston Martin vehicles