1953 Aston Martin DB3S Works
The Aston Martin DB3S is a special car although it may have been overshadowed as years came and went by a certain finned Jaguar and the DBR1/300 that won at La Sarthe for David Brown’s marque. However, its status as a bit of a giant killer and the fact that the boys in Feltham kept using it for four seasons in international competitions puts the DB3S in a unique spot in Jaguar’s racing history. This car, chassis #2, is one of only 11 works cars ever built and it won the Goodwood Nine Hours ahead of the D-Type and Ferrari’s 750 Monza. It is, then, no wonder that RM/Sotheby’s hoped it would sell for anywhere between $8.75 and $10 million when it crossed the block last Thursday during the Monterey Car Week. Well, it didn’t but you can’t deny this is one rare, gorgeous, and expensive product of the ’50s. Need further proof? A copy of the definitive book on this car sold 14 years ago for some $1,500.
When you talk ’50s sports cars, your mind slaloms between William Haynes’ C-Type and D-Type, together amassing five overall 24 Hours of Le Mans wins, the classic 250 Testa Rossa, the dominant but also infamous 300 SLR, and also the Lister Knobbly and Maserati’s 300S. Aston Martin isn’t among the names on the tip of your tongue despite it racking up quite an impressive number of wins between 1953 and 1959 with the DB3S and the DBR1 respectively. That’s because the Aston Martins were always seen as underdogs, always seen as members of the pack, those that’ll play second fiddle to the big fish when, in fact, it wasn’t like that at all. David Brown employed some of the best engineers and drivers at the time and his cars were some of the best. Yes, most often down on power, yes, most often with an Achilles’ heel (cough, the DBR1’s gearbox and ergonomics) but they were good cars. And now we’ll talk about the first one of those, the DB3S, offspring of the DB3 and a car that’s getting a bad rep for being actually friendly on the road.
2019 Aston Martin Vantage GT3
The second-generation Aston Martin Vantage was introduced in 2018 as the company’s latest entry-level model. It replaced the Vantage model that the British firm offered from 2005 through 2017. With a brand-new model on public roads, Aston Martin is now also offering a couple of race-spec versions, one of which is the Vantage GT3.
Developed to replace the Vantage V12 GT3 that Aston Martin has been racing since 2012, the new Vantage GT3 is closely related to its GTE-spec sibling. The British company will use it as a factory race car, but it will also offer it as a customer racer for GT3-spec series around the world, including the Blancpain GT Endurance Cup and the Sprint Cup.
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1963 Aston Martin DP215 Grand Touring Competition Prototype
Originally designed to compete at Le Mans and considered to be “the most significant one-off Works Aston Martin” in existence, the 1963 Aston Martin DP215 Grand Touring Competition Prototype is also one of the most valuable collectible cars in the world. Exuding an almost mythical presence, the history of DP215 is one of heartbreak and accomplishment that marks the end of an era for the British automaker. Lovingly restored over a 40-year period with extensive consultation from the car’s original designer, DP215 now heads to the block later this month at the RM Sotheby’s event in Monterey, where it may very well become the most valuable British car ever sold at public auction.
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2019 Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro
Earlier this year, Aston Martin unveiled the Valkyrie, an insane hybrid hypercar rocking four-digit output figures and the combined go-faster know-how of Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing, among several others. Designed to take on the best of the best in the world of superlative road-going performance, the Valkyrie hasn’t even hit production yet and Aston is already gearing up for a newer, faster version. Dubbed the Valkyrie AMR Pro, it’s a track-only variant of the Valkyrie that eliminates any remaining conciliations for street duty, pumping up the speed potential to ever-greater heights. Created as a collaborative effort between Aston and Red Bull, the Valkyrie AMR Pro once again takes direction from English Formula 1 mastermind Adrian Newey, offering more extreme aero, an all-business interior, more power, and less weight. The result is one serious speed machine, with Aston bragging it’ll have what it takes to challenge modern F1 and LMP1 racers in terms of lap times.
That’s a mighty impressive boast, especially for a platform that traces its roots to something you can drive on the road. Indeed, this is Aston’s idea of “ultimate,” the top of the mountain in the land of fast. This is what you get when you give Aston Martin and Red Bull an extreme performance car plus a blank check for track use. We know you wanna know more about it, so read on for the details.
Updated 03/14/2018: We updated our review with the official details and images released at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.
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2018 Aston Martin Vantage GTE
After no fewer than 12 years on the market, the first-generation Vantage was finally replaced by a brand-new car. Revealed in November 2017, the second-gen Vantage joins the DB11 in Aston Martin’s new lineup of cars that use completely new underpinnings and a fresh design language. Alongside the road-going coupe, Aston Martin also unveiled the Vantage GTE race car, which will compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Built by the same team that developed the outgoing V8 Vantage GTE, the new race car replaces the company’s most successful competition car of all-time, credited with 37 of the team’s 51 international race victories, including two Le Mans 24 Hour class wins. With extensive optimization of the powertrain, chassis, and aerodynamics, Aston Martin hopes that the new Vantage GTE will be at least as successful as its predecessor.
Although it was just revealed, the race car is under development for many months and has already completed more than 8,000 miles of testing, a 30-hour run at the Navarra track in Spain, as well as a rigorous durability program at Sebring in Florida. Aston Martin says it will keep most of the 2017 driver lineup for the new Vantage GTE. This includes Le Mans GTE Pro class winners Darren Turner and Jonny Adam, as well as the Danish duo and 2016 FIA WEC GTE Pro world champions, Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen. In addition, AMR has recruited ex-GP2 race winner and now Formula E racer Alex Lynn.
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2018 Aston Martin Vulcan AMR Pro
After years of struggle and maintaining a lineup consisting mainly of old designs, Aston Martin unveiled the Vulcan in 2015. Although it wasn’t the first limited-edition model to have a unique styling, the Vulcan was the first supercar to wear the British badge. It was powerful, fast, radically different from any other Aston Martin, and built in limited numbers. It was also a track-only vehicle, which made it even more exotic. Two years later and the Vulcan returns, this time with an AMR Pro upgrade that makes it even more aerodynamic.
Launched in early 2017, AMR is the company’s new performance brand that basically brings the technology seen in Aston Martin Racing competition cars to customer vehicles. Essentially a body kit upgrade to the already potent Vulcan, the AMR Pro package makes the supercar more aerodynamic and quicker at the race track. At the same time, it moves Aston Martin closer to the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, and McLaren, companies that have solid customer racing programs and highly customizable products thanks to bespoke high-performance divisions.
Continue reading to learn more about the Aston Martin Vulcan AMR Pro.