Aston Martin DBR2
Aston Martin DBR2/2 at Monterey Historics 2004
|Category||Le Mans Racer Sports car racing|
|Constructor||Aston Martin Lagonda LTD|
|Chassis||Multi-tubular, space frame design|
|Suspension (front)||Torsion bar and trailing arms|
|Suspension (rear)||De Dion with longitudinal Torsion bars and Watt linkage|
|Length||13 ft 2.5 in (402.6 cm)|
|Width||5 ft 4 in (163 cm)|
|Height||3 ft 2.5 in (97.8 cm)|
|Axle track||4 ft 5 in (135 cm)|
|Wheelbase||7 ft 9 in (236 cm)|
|Engine||Aston Martin 3,670 cc / 3,910 cc / 4,164 cc, FR Layout|
|Transmission||David Brown 5-speed Manual|
|Weight||approx 1,765 lb (801 kg)|
|Notable entrants||David Brown|
|Notable drivers|| Tony Brooks,
|Debut||1957 24 Hours of Le Mans|
The DBR2 was created from a short lived Lagonda project known as DP166 (DP for Development Project), This was a multi tube, back bone space frame chassis designed by Willy Watson. This was a progression from the DP115 'wide tubed ladder type' chassis which was similar to that used in the DB3S. Both the DP115 and the DP166 chassis were originally fitted with the failed Lagonda 4.5L V12 engine. Using two of the DP166 chassis, the chief race car designer for Aston Martin at that time Ted Cutting was given the job of re-working the chassis so to fit the new prototype DB4 engine.
The all aluminium bodies for the DBR2 were also designed by Ted Cutting. This was a similar design to the one he later used on his Le Man winning Aston Martin DBR1. The DBR2 was slightly 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.
DBR2/1 initially began competition at the 1957 24 Hours of Le Mans, where it unfortunately retired, this was due to a poorly performing carburation system, which in effect was a single carburetor for each cylinder, this problem was resolved for the cars next outing when these were replaced with three twin side draft Webber DCO 50's. DBR2/1 only notable success for 1957 was at the Daily Express Trophy at Silverstone Circuit in the hands of Roy Salvadori. DBR2/1 was entered for the August 1957 Spa Grand Prix. During practice the car was performing well in the hands of Noel Cunningham-Reid, however on his last practice lap, Noel saw what he thought to be one of his team mates up-side-down in a ditch. He was unable to stop and help due to other car traffic, distracted by this, he went off the track and down an embankment when the car turned over. Noel was thrown clear and his car smash into a tree. After an inspection of the recovered car by John Wyer, he deemed the car to badly damaged to continue. Upon return to the factory it was found that the chassis was too badly damaged. All useable parts were used to rebuild the car but the chassis was scrapped.
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.
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 DBR2/1 fetched a price of £9,200,000. A restored DBR2 recently won the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance's People's Choice Award.
Included are a list of notable results for each chassis.
- Aston Martin DBR2/1 - Completed 1957
- 1957 Le Mans 24 Hour- ret
- 1957 B.R.D.C. Silverstone- 3rd
- 1958 B.R.D.C Silverstone- 5th
- 1958 Spa GP- 3rd
- Aston Martin DBR2/2 - Completed 1957
- 1957 B.R.D.C. Silverstone- 1st
- 1958 B.A.R.C. Aintree- 2nd
- 1958 B.R.D.C. Silverstone- 4th
- 1958 Spa GP- 2nd