Most common eras
DD Classics
97 - 101 North Road, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4HJ

Tel:  02080334910
Visit WebsiteCar & Classic Enhanced Trader
LIVE adverts (92)

ASTON MARTIN DB1 EX 1949 LEMANS ENTRANT (RHD) For Sale

This advert viewed 6895 times
  • £475,000 As stated
  • 1949
Message the seller
Price £475,000 As stated
Ad Type For Sale
Category Classic Cars
Make Aston Martin
Model DB1
Year 1949
Country UK
Region London
Telephone 02080 334910
Status Trade
Date 05-Jun-2020
Ref C1083110
1949 Aston Martin DB1 For Sale In London

1949 Le Mans 24 Hours; 4th in Class, 11th Overall
Engine upgraded by Aston Martin in 1953
Extensive history file, including many rare period documents
A highly original ex-Le Mans Aston Martin; never restored


Retrospectively called the ‘DB1’, the 2-Litre Sports was the first car produced by Aston Martin after David Brown’s acquisition of the company. Described in advertising as a ‘true thoroughbred in the very best British tradition’, the DB1 drew passionately on Aston Martin’s decades-long racing history. Only 13 examples were built and nine are known to exist today.

Made to order for pioneering English explorer and gentleman racing driver Robert Lawrie, chassis AMC/49/5 was originally delivered in June 1949 with a host of competition modifications, including a lightweight body and a ‘Spa Replica’ racing engine (SPA/49/3), a specification that would make this Aston Martin unique. Prior to his involvement with Le Mans, Robert Lawrie had been a successful mountaineer but he became extremely well known throughout the exploration world for his boot-making skills; Lawrie provided specialist mountaineering equipment to every British expedition for over 50 years (including the first successful ascent of Everest) and would result in him having a glacier in Antarctica named after him.

Lawrie had long held a keen interest in motorsport and over several visits to Le Mans became friends with members of the ACO. Knowing his desire to compete in the race, the ACO extended an invitation to Lawrie to compete in the 1949 edition despite the fact the he did not even hold a competition licence or have a suitable car. Not letting these small details stop him, Lawrie approached Aston Martin at the London Motor Show to commission a specially built car and asked the Royal Automobile Club for a licence on the basis of the Le Mans entry, a request that surprised them greatly but eventually they agreed. Paired with his friend Dr Richard Parker, also an amateur driver, the two men entered as privateers alongside the Works DBs; in correspondence to Parker, Lawrie explained that his brief to Aston Martin was that he wanted to be charged for every nut and bolt but above all he needed reliability with minimum maintenance. Despite first appearances Lawrie’s approach was anything but amateur with regular visits to Aston Martin and enlisting the help of Bentley Boy Sammy Davis to help prepare for the challenge of Le Mans. Lawrie’s great ambition was to complete the first post-war running of the race so he abandoned hopes of a podium finish and drove conservatively, with Lawrie advising Parker to ‘drive with a frame of mind that you are trying to keep a dinner date rather than running in a Grand Prix’. Thanks to great preparation and a mature attitude, Lawrie and Parker drove an uneventful race with the DB1 finishing 11th overall, a result that would have been 10th had Parker not made a gentlemanly stop as he wanted to give Lawrie the honour of taking the flag. This DB1 was one of only two Aston Martins to complete the gruelling race of 1949, making it the second David Brown Aston Martin to cross the finish line at Le Mans, an association that would culminate in the DBR1. Following the end of the race, Lawrie and Parker were warmly congratulated by the President of France, Vincent Auriol, before taking the long way home, driving the DB1 on an extended tour back to the UK.

Following its success at Le Mans, this DB1 was returned to the Works where it was made ‘as standard’, including the installation of a full windscreen, but still retaining its racing-type pistons and unique centre-folding Le Mans bonnet, before being returned to Lawrie in September 1949. The Aston Martin build sheet notes the second owner as Mr C. Redhead; he is most likely the one who brought the DB1 to Aston Martin in 1953 to upgrade the engine and for a change of colour from Suffolk Green to the current Botticelli Blue. This engine upgrade saw the current engine (VB6B/50/51) installed into the car; this engine is a 2.6-litre straight-six first developed by W.O. Bentley for Lagonda (prompting David Brown to purchase the entire company) before being used for the DB2. By the 1970s, this DB1 was in the hands of Julian Booty and had been repainted Suffolk Green; Booty took the decision to repaint it back to Botticelli Blue and this paint remains on the DB1 today.

In a story that seems straight out of a James Bond novel, AMC/49/3’s recent history is as exciting as its early years. After passing through a series of owners including Robert Edwards, in 1991 the car was acquired by Colin Gordon of New Zealand. In 1994 he believed that he sold the DB1 to a wealthy Japanese buyer; however, once the car was shipped to Japan it was stolen off the wharf and ended up with a Yakuza boss. For over a decade Mr Gordon tried everything to regain possession of his car, including going to Japan and meeting with the thief, to no avail. Finally, in 2007, a court established his right of ownership, and he was able to sell the car on – this time to a more reputable buyer.

This 2-Litre Sports is presented in extremely original condition with its original chassis, body and interior trim and its 1953-upgraded engine; it is also reported to be in good mechanical condition. Additionally, this DB1 is accompanied by an extensive history file with letters from Robert Lawrie to Richard Parker, period ACO Le Mans documents and many historic photos and memorabilia from the race and two drivers’ tour home.

A very significant sport scar from a romantic era when you could drive to Le Mans, compete successfully and take a driving holiday home, this versatile DB1 is eligible for many of the best historic racing events today. Having been out of the public eye for most of its life, this Aston Martin is potentially a great entry for the preservation classes of some of the world’s top concours. AMC/49/5 offers the perfect opportunity to own a highly original and unrestored Le Mans Aston Martin open sports car with a truly fascinating story.

Now available for viewing at the DD Classics Dealership in London, please call the details below for more information.

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the above information but errors may occur. Please check with a salesperson
Car and Classic logo Compare classic car insurance quotes Get a quote
 
Similar Adverts
Get notified about new similar ads

Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante

Anyone wondering why Aston Martin bother to make their own vee-8 when so many big American ones are so cheaply available need take only one look at the performance.....

  • Premium Dealer
  • 17
View advert

Just now some work has just been done, by Official Aston. The work was not wholly necessary as such, as car generally drove quite fine, but as we are to offer an unprecedented Aston Dealership 3 or.....

      We Proudly Present On Behalf Of A Private Client

    Aston Martin DB4 S2 Superleggera (Super Light) Structure
   Purchased In 1960.....

Very Rare 1967 Aston Martin DB6 Volante
Dark metallic Blue with Beige leather, an extremely rare opportunity to purchase a one family owned Volante from new.
Complete with the "Original Bill of.....

La restauration de cette Aston Martin a été effectuée par la carrosserie Lecoq dans les années 90, un dossier de photos et de factures de la restauration est fourni. Equipée d'un allumage électronique,.....

Cette Aston Martin a été livrée neuve en 1967 au garage Wilmslow à Cheshire en Angleterre. Totalement restaurée en 2003 par un spécialiste Aston Martin à Hambourg en Allemagne, la boite de.....

ASM are please to be able to offer an example of our tribute to the Aston Martin DBR cars in the form of the ASM R1 pictured here.
We have a build option at the works in progress at the moment that.....

Beautiful Aston Martin Vanquish 6.0 V12 2+2 Coupe

20,000 miles with 15 Aston Main Dealer Service Stamps, Copies of invoices detailing all works and servicing, Past and Present MOT certificates,.....

SALISBURY BLUE METALLIC WITH MAGNOLIA HIDE
1 of just 37 cars


FACTORY OPTIONS INCLUDE:- TORQUEFLITE AUTOMATIC GEARBOX, LIMITED SLIP DIFFERENTIAL, METALLIC PAINT, CONNOLLY HIDE INTERIOR WITH BUCKET.....

WE ARE TOP BUYERS WORLDWIDE FOR ANY CLASSIC ASTON MARTIN, SO PLEASE LET US KNOW, WHAT YOU HAVE FOR SALE! IMMEDIATE CASH PAYMENT!
Please Deduct 20% VAT, for a Tax Free Qualifying Purchaser, or an.....