1956 Aston Martin DBR1
Various auction houses sold off millions of dollars worth of vintage cars during Monterey Car Week, including a $15 million McLaren F1, but this Aston Martin has smashed a record. With a final sale price of $22.6 million, this 1956 DBR1 Roadster has become the most expensive British car in the world.
What makes this particular Aston Martin so sought after? To start, only five were ever made to compete in the World Sportscar Championship endurance series. In fact, this is chassis number 01 and it also happens to be the same car that won the Nürburgring 1,000 Kilometer race in 1959. Built under David Brown, the initials behind so many of Aston Martin's "DB" series of cars, it would go down in history as one of the most important Aston Martins ever built.
Aston Martin's motorsport icon would go on to place on the podium in numerous races through 1959 before being sold off to Aston Martin Owner's Club President John Dawnay in the 1960s. The car traded hands a few times before its most recent owner—prior to the sale—outfitted it with a reproduction engine to take part of the Goodwood Revival. The original engine block was included with the sale, however, and the entire car remains in extraordinary condition with every period-correct component.
RM Sotheby's had the honor of selling the car at its first public auction. Additionally, it's now the most-expensive car to be auctioned off in 2017 thus far, and it will take another real rarity to climb past $22.6 million.