Aston Martin’s ‘pinnacle achievement’ DP215 up for auction
DP215, Aston’s ultimate racer and the first car to break 300km/h at Le Mans, has been added to RM Sotheby’s historic Monterey line-up
An Aston Martin DP215 – the pinnacle achievement of the marque’s racing programme – is to be offered by RM Sotheby’s in the auction house’s flagship Monterey sale next month.
DP215 was the last of four completely one-off ‘Development Project’ cars, and was developed specifically for the Le Mans 24-hours race. In the hands of three-time Le Mans winner and Formula 1 champion Phil Hill paired with Lucien Bianchi, the car was the first to break the 300km/h barrier at Le Mans, clocking a staggering 198.6mph on the Mulsanne Straight.
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DP215 was developed in just two months prior to Le Mans. It was approved by David Brown in March 1963, ordered directly by John Wyer, designed by chief engineer Ted Cutting and fitted with an engine by Tadek Marek as the final racing car built by the factory in the Brown era. It was ultra lightweight, and had a 4.0-litre version of the DP212 engine set farther back in the chassis as well as cutting-edge wind tunnel-tested aerodynamics.
The car for auction has been expertly restored by Neil and Nigel Corner, and they have also reunited it with the engine that Phil Hill raced at Le Mans.
‘Ted Cutting designed these project cars and has fully blessed DP215’s restoration,’ said Neil Corner. ‘I will always remember when I asked him what his proudest achievement was during his magnificent career with Aston Martin, and he replied that DP215’s design and its recorded speed at Le Mans eclipsed even his pride in winning the World Sports Car Championship in 1959 with the DBR1s.
‘The lines of the car are absolute perfection. You can see where its outstanding maximum speed came from. What’s more, its performance cannot be overemphasised – from a driving point of view, the acceleration in second and third gears always caused the hairs on the back of my hand to stand up. The car feels like a thoroughbred to drive.’
The Aston Martin joins the previously announced 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO and 1966 Ford GT40 in the auction line-up, both representing a golden age of racing. The Monterey sale will also feature several other significant Aston Martins.
RM Sotheby’s is responsible for the top-three all-time most valuable Aston Martins sold at auction, with the 1956 DBR1/1 at Monterey 2017 for $22,550,000 becoming the most valuable British car to go under the hammer.
DP215 is estimated to fetch $20,000,000 to $25,000,000 at the auction, which is set to take place on August 24-25 at the Monterey Conference Centre in California. The sale will be held during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance motoring week.
You can read more information here.
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