HomeThe MarketAston Martin celebrates 1959 Le Mans victory with 24 special-edition cars

Aston Martin celebrates 1959 Le Mans victory with 24 special-edition cars


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In 1959, a pair of Aston Martin DBR1 race cars finished 1-2 in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race — the winning car co-driven by a Texas chicken farmer by the name of Carroll Shelby. To mark 60th anniversary of the accomplishment, the British automaker has announced a production run of 24 “DBS 59” special-edition vehicles.

That’s 24 as in one representing each hour of the round-the-clock race, Aston Martin Lagonda said.

“Inspired by Aston Martin’s historic 1-2 finish in the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans with its iconic DBR1, Aston Martin Cambridge has commissioned a collection of 24 very special DBS Superleggeras — one for every hour of the legendary endurance race,” Aston Martin Lagonda said. 

Aston Martin, Aston Martin celebrates 1959 Le Mans victory with 24 special-edition cars, ClassicCars.com Journal
A DBS 59 posed next to a DBR1

“Called the ‘DBS 59,’, each is identified by bespoke design features, hand-crafted interiors and graphic elements drawing directly from the DBR1 and the race it so famously conquered.”

Q by Aston Martin is the company’s specialist build group and is responsible for the production of the vehicles, which will be based on the DBS Superleggera, the fastest Aston Martin production vehicle, capable of 211 mph thanks to its 715-horsepower engine.

“Aston Martin’s outright victory in the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans is the stuff of motorsport legend,” the company noted. “Facing stern opposition from works Ferrari and Porsche entries, plus a team of Ecurie Ecosse Jaguars, the David Brown Racing Aston Martin DBR1s fought valiantly to score a famous 1-2 finish in a masterful display of pace, reliability and teamwork.

“Since described by Sir Stirling Moss — who helped Aston Martin win the 1959 World Sportscar Championship — as ‘the most important Aston Martin ever produced,’ the DBR1 has deservedly attained iconic status. Just five were built between 1956 and 1959, making it one of the rarest Aston Martins ever, and when one last went to auction (at Monterey in 2017) it set a new world record as the most valuable British-made car ever with a sale price of £17.5 million ($22.5 million).”

Aston Martin, Aston Martin celebrates 1959 Le Mans victory with 24 special-edition cars, ClassicCars.com Journal

Aston Martin first entered Le Mans in 1928 and ran every year between 1931 and its first victory in 1959. It has returned to racing, its V8 Vantage GTE winning its class at Le Mans in 2017.

The DBS 59 will wear Aston Martin Racing Green paint, feature gloss-finish carbon fiber on its roof and on the louvers on its hood. Each car will have a small white roundel on its side, bearing its number from 1 to 24.

Obsidian Black and Chestnut Tan leather will be used in the interior with bronze trim inside and out. 

Further, cars will have saddle-leather “helmet pods” for storage of 1959-style helmets, special blue racing overalls, and string-backed racing gloves modeled after those worn by Shelby. Each car also comes with two pieces of luggage that match the interior colors and trim.

“The DBR1’s proud genetic legacy is very much evident in the 2018 DBS Superleggera,” the company said. “The fastest and most powerful series production model in Aston Martin’s multi-award winning range, this 211 mph, 715 bhp Super GT is an inspired combination of imperious performance and impeccable style. 

“Having received the attention of Q by Aston Martin: Commission it is a truly covetable car; one aimed at those who appreciate the lasting significance of DBR1’s historic victory and world-beating contemporary performance and handling of the DBS Superleggera.”

Sales of the 24 cars are being handled by Aston Martin Cambridge, which is part of the Jardine Motors Group, one of the UK’s largest automotive retailers.

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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