Ultra rare Astons celebrate automaker’s iconic 1959 Le Mans victory

Aston Martin is rolling out a pair of special edition models to celebrate the automaker’s historic one-two finish at the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans. Appropriately dubbed the “59 Edition” models, 24 units of the DBS Superleggera and 59 units of the Vantage AMR have been given the special edition treatment.

Both models take their exclusive styling cues from the race-winning DBR1 racer, which roared to victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans back in 1959, beating powerhouse teams from Ferrari and Porsche on its way to victory.

The super rare Astons were commissioned by the automaker’s dealership in Gloucestershire, England. The cost of owning the DBS Superleggera 59 comes up to £325,000 — that converts to around $420,000 — while the Vantage AMR 59 is priced at $209,995. Sadly, all 24 units of the DBS Superleggera 59 are already accounted for, though there might still be available units of the Vantage AMR 59.

Aston Martin’s historic Le Mans victory

Aston Martin entered the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans race as one of the favorites. The automaker was at least due for its first victory in the iconic endurance race after finishing second to Ferrari the previous year. Before its win, Aston Martin had finished second three times in the race and achieved third place status twice since it first started competing in Le Mans in 1928.

The 1959 triumph was — and remains — a big deal.

That’s one of the reasons why Aston celebrated the 40th anniversary of its maiden triumph in Le Mans by rolling out special edition versions of the DBS Superleggera and Vantage AMR under the “59” moniker.

The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera 59

2020 Aston Martin DBS ‘59' and Vantage ‘59' Exterior
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Limited to just 24 units to commemorate each hour of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera 59 was commissioned by Aston Martin Cambridge through Q by Aston Martin, the automaker’s in-house personalization division.

Having Q by Aston Martin develop the DBS 59 meant that the special edition grand tourer would look the part of a true special edition model. It wears the iconic Aston Martin Racing Green paint finish, which should be immediately recognizable the moment you see it. To complement the fancy exterior paint, Q by Aston Martin added a gloss carbon fiber finish on the roof panel and strakes and a bronze ‘Superleggera’ badge on the hood of the special edition DBS.

The front grille also received the bespoke treatment while the set of 21-inch forged Y-spoke satin two-tone wheels pay homage to the bronze switches and dials on the Le Mans-winning Aston Martin DBR1/300 racer. Adding a splash of vanity to the exterior are the bespoke tire wall decal and the individually numbered roundel that’s painted on the fender of the DBS 59.

2020 Aston Martin DBS ‘59' and Vantage ‘59' Exterior
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Q by Aston Martin also went to work on the interior of the DBS 59 Superleggera DBS 59, dressing up the cabin with enough bespoke materials to make your head spin.

The headrest, for example, comes with a ‘DBS 59’ embroidery in Ivory Tread. The seatbacks and door inserts are trim designs inspired by the DBR1 race car. Even things like the passenger airbag cover (60th-anniversary embroidery in Ivory stitching), paddle shifters (painted bronze to match the color on the switches of the DBR1), and trim inlays (painted Aston Martin Racing Green) are all decked in special edition goodness that properly pays tribute to the legendary Le Mans-winning race car.

In typical Q by Aston Martin fashion, the DBS Superleggera 59 also comes with plenty of add-on accessories. From a pair of 1959 race suits to race gloves and googles, those who ended up with the DBS Superleggera 59 also went home with a full DBR1-inspired race gear. A pair of bespoke luggage with matching interior trim is also part of the package, as are two replicas of the 1959 race helmet that are also painted in AM Racing Green.

The Aston Martin Vantage AMR 59

2020 Aston Martin DBS ‘59' and Vantage ‘59' Exterior
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The Aston Martin Vantage AMR 59 isn’t as evocative as the DBS Superleggera 59, but it’s still packed with enough exclusive touches to make the most hardened of hearts blush.

The exterior is dressed in a Stirling Green paint finish. Lime Halo graphics complement the classy shade of green. The latter was used as racing stripes and on the border of the grille to give the special edition Aston a sportier and racier vibe. That’s the extent of the exterior upgrades.

There aren’t as many upgrades to the interior as the DBS Superleggera 59, but Aston Martin did well to dress up the cabin with a fancy shade of leather and Alcantara called “Dark Knight.” The same Lime Halo shade that worked so well as a racing stripe and a grille border color in the exterior also makes an appearance in the cabin as trim accents finished with a signature AMR lime stripe and stitching.

2020 Aston Martin DBS ‘59' and Vantage ‘59' Interior
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If the “standard” special edition upgrades aren’t enough to satisfy your thirst for exclusivity, Aston Martin is offering a few options that might suit your tastes better.

Visually, alternate seat belt colors are available should you want your seatbelts to come in any of the following colors: Flint, Champagne, Spicy Red, Mocha, or Graphite. You can also opt to change the standard inlay and tread plates to twill satin carbon fiber. And, of course, the heavy pile floor mats are also available.

No engine upgrades, but still packs a wallop

2020 Aston Martin DBS ‘59' and Vantage ‘59' Interior
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Neither of the two special-edition Aston Martin models comes with any engine upgrades. Some of you might be disappointed in that, but rest assured, these two Astons are still more than capable of laying the smackdown on hapless fools that get in its way.

The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera 59 is powered by the 5.2-liter twin-turbocharged V-12 engine that produces a whopping 715 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. It remains the most powerful series-production Aston Martin. All that power travels to the two rear wheels courtesy of a revised version of the automaker’s ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission. The whole setup helps the DBS Superleggera to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just three seconds on its way to a top speed of 211 mph.

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera 59 specifications
Engine All-alloy quad overhead cam, 48-valve 5.2-litre bi-turbo, V12 with stop/start cylinder deactivation
Cooling Water-to-air Charge
Drive Front mid-mounted engine, rear-wheel drive
Compression ratio 9.3:1
Maximum power 715 HP @ 6,500 RPM
Maximum torque 663 LB-FT @ 1,800-5,000 RPM
Acceleration 0-62mph (0-100km/h) 3.4 seconds
Maximum speed 211mph
Transmission Rear mid-mounted ZF eight-speed automatic

The Aston Martin Vantage AMR isn’t as powerful as the DBS Superleggera, but it’s still potent in its own right.

The Vantage AMR is available with a 4.7-liter V-8 engine or a 5.5-liter V-12 engine. The former produces 435 horsepower and 346 pound-feet of torque.

It’s mated to a six-speed manual transmission that sends power to the two rear wheels, helping the car accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds before maxing out at 190 mph. Meanwhile, the latter produces a stout 595 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed manual transmission is responsible for sending all that power to the two rear wheels, and when it jumps off the line, it can cover 0 to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds before peaking at 207 mph.

Aston Martin Vantage AMR specifications
Aston Martin Vantage V8 Aston Martin Vantage V12
Engine 4.7-liter V-8 5.5-liter V-12
Horsepower 435 HP 595 HP
Torque 346 LB-FT 457 LB-FT
Transmission six-speed manual seven-speed manual
0 to 60 mph 4.5 seconds 3.6 seconds
Top speed 190 mph 207 mph

Pricing Details

2020 Aston Martin DBS ‘59' and Vantage ‘59' Exterior
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Here’s the thing. All 24 units of the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera 59 are already accounted for. The only way you can buy ones through the second-hand car market, though it’s unclear if any of the 24 units are available.

In any case, the DBS Superleggera 59 carried a sticker price of £325,000. That converts to around $420,000 based on current exchange rates.

The availability of the Aston Martin Vantage AMR 59, on the other hand, is unclear. There might still be units available, but you’ll have to go straight to Aston Martin and make an inquiry.

Supposing that there are still units available, the Vantage AMR 59 starts at $209,995.

Final Thoughts

2020 Aston Martin DBS ‘59' and Vantage ‘59' Exterior
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The two special-edition Aston Martin 59 Edition models make for great commemorative pieces for Aston Martin’s 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans victory. They pay homage to one of the automaker’s greatest — if not greatest — motor racing triumphs. The way both special edition models were designed adds to their appeal, too. The DBS Superleggera 59, for example, is about as stunning a special edition model as anything Aston Martin has released in recent memory.

All the details and the commemorative pieces are incredible and in keeping with the identity of the special edition model. The Vantage AMR 59 accomplishes the same thing in its own way, though not on the level of the DBS Superleggera 59. Still, it stands out on its own as a unique special edition model that looks tasty on the eyes.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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