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Simply stunning: This Aston Martin is regarded as one of the finest cars of all time Picture: SWNS

An Aston Martin regarded as one of the finest cars of all time has been put up for sale for a record-breaking ?20million.

The Aston Martin DBR 1/2 is the company?s most successful race car having dominated motorsport in the late 1950s.

Vroom with a view: The high-rise flats with your Ferrari parked outside ? 100m up!

It thrashed the Ferraris and Jaguars of its day and is the only Aston Martin to ever win Le Mans when it took the chequered flag in 1959.

The 1957 sports car has now come onto the market for the first time in 20 years.

The 1957 sports car has now come onto the market ? for ?20million ? for the first time in 20 years Picture: SW ?

It is being sold by Ascot-based Talacrest for a staggering ?20million ? four times as much as any British car ever sold publicly.

The only cars known to have fetched more than this are the Bugatti Type 57C and Ferrari 250 GTO ? with these changing hands behind closed doors.

And while there were 39 Ferrari 250 GTOs built, the green Aston Martin is one of just four cars to come out of the factory ? and it?s the most successful of all of them.

Built by Ted Cutting, the Aston Martin DBR 1/2 is fitted with a 3-litre engine which developed around 250bhp.

The road-legal sports car triumphed at the 1957 N?rburgring 1,000km race, 1957 Spa Grand Prix and the Goodwood Tourist Trophy in both 1958 and 1959 when Stirling Moss drove to victory.

And at Le Mans in 1959, with Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori behind the wheel, the car averaged 112.5mph over the 24-hour period in its finest moment.

It completed 323 laps of the track, thundering down the Mulsanne Straight at speeds in excess of 160mph.

The three men behind the victory ? Cutting, Shelby and Salvadori ? all passed away this year within ten weeks of each other.

John Collins, from Talacrest, sold the car to its previous owner 20 years ago and despite being a Ferrari specialist can?t contain his excitement at the Aston.

He said: ?This DBR1 is the holy grail of motoring and is the most recognisable and valuable Aston Martin in history.

?I would say it is one of the top five cars in the world and models of this calibre and undisputed provenance are rarely available on the open market.

?I?m mainly a Ferrari man but this has always been one of my favourite cars. It?s simply off the scale.

?It is road registered so you can just jump in it and drive it to the local shops.

?It is also the only car Carroll Shelby won Le Mans in and he has entire museums dedicated to him.

?It is one of the most successful and instantly recognisable historic racing cars in the world today and has undisputed provenance and is ready to race.?

Aston Martin historian Brian Joscelyne described the sports car as a ?revelation? and ?astonishing?.

Mr Joscelyne watched as the car stormed to victory at Le Mans from above the Aston Martin team?s pit lane.

He said: ?It is a joy whenever I see the car because it means so much to me.

?I watched it race in its heyday. It was at the top, top level of motorsport and is the most famous racing Aston Martin with the best record.

?Unfortunately it is still the only Aston Martin to win at Le Man. I was above the Aston Martin pit lane the year it won.

?Sadly Ted, the designer, didn?t witness the win because he was busy working on the Aston Martin Grand Prix car.

Mr Joscelyne, from Braintree, Essex, recalls how far the Aston Martins were ahead of the field at the end of Le Mans that they could have pulled over for a meal and wash and still won.

He added: ?During the race a piece of metal entered the tyre and unbalanced the Aston Martin so it had to come in to be fixed.

?This gave the Ferrari the chance to open up a lead but the Aston caught up with it and they raced all through the Sunday morning until the Ferrari eventually retired.

?The Aston Martins ended up coming first and second and at last, after all their hard work, Aston Martin had finally got there and won Le Mans. It was a very emotional moment for everyone.

?They were so far ahead of the next Ferrari that they could have pulled over, had a wash and a meal and still comfortably beaten won.

?The car has been very well looked after and has had very good owners.

?It handles so well and with the right drivers can slide around corners in spectacular fashion. The road handling and brakes were brilliant.

?Of all the DBR cars, DBR 1/2 seemed to be lucky. It has had a lot more success than the other three factory race cars.

?This is the model to have, it is an astonishing all round car. I am so admiring of the current owner and the way he has maintained the car. It is a joy to see and hear.

?I have the greatest admiration for Ted Cutting and his achievements and this was his piste de resistance. In historic sports cars driving, this car has been a revelation.

?Every time I see and hear it I think of Ted Cutting and I miss him.?

A PROUD HISTORY

The model is called the Aston Martin DBR1. The /2 denotes the second of four factory models. A fifth DBR1 was built for a private individual.

DBR stands for David Brown Racing, with David Brown the businessman who owned Aston Martin

The ?20 million Aston Martin DBR1/2 was a formidable race car during the late 1950s, winning a host of important races.

1957:
Winner ? Spa Sportscar Race ? driven by Tony Brooks Winner ? 1,000km N?rburgring Race ? driven by Brooks and No?l Cunningham-Reid Winner ? Spa Grand Prix ? driven by Brooks

1958:
Winner ? Goodwood Tourist Trophy ? driven by Stirling Moss and Brooks

1959:
Winner ? 24 Hours of Le Mans ? driven by Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby Winner ? Goodwood Tourist Trophy ? driven by Moss, Shelby and Jack Fairman

1960:
The car was sold to Major Ian Baillie ? and as a privateer entrant the following results were achieved:

Winner –  Rouen Grand Prix ? driven by Jack Fairman

Source : Yahoo

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