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This Aston Martin prototype is the genesis of the legendary DB models

More often than not, prototypes are quickly assembled, somewhat incomplete rolling models of what could be. Remarkable, then, that this Aston Martin prototype not only acted as the company owner’s personal steed but also a factory-development mule and race car…

A taste of (good) things to come

This 1949 Aston Martin DB Mk II, to be offered by Gooding & Company at its Amelia Island sale, was the personal car of Aston Martin Lagonda founder David Brown. Ahead of the 1949 24 Hours of Le Mans, Brown began development of three new Astons to take part in the race, as well as an additional car for his own personal use. Unlike the Almond Green paintwork with sparse green canvas interiors of the racers, Brown’s own car was finished in deep maroon with an opulent beige interior, befitting of the owner’s status. From Brown’s time at the wheel and factory testing, this car contributed greatly to the development of the production DB2 and is the very genesis of the legendary DB models.

After an eventful life with Brown, including demonstration laps at Silverstone in 1949 and a 1,000-mile Continental road test in 1950, the car was then sold to Works driver Lance Macklin. Macklin promptly took the car to the Weber factory, had three 35 DCO carburetors fitted, and went racing. This marked a new chapter in the car’s life, competing in the Coppa Inter-Europa, Targa Florio, and even a somewhat unconventional turn in the Mille Miglia. After passing through the hands of a few devoted caretakers, the car was fully restored to exacting original specification and has since been displayed at Villa d’Este, Pebble Beach, and Windsor Castle, as well as completed the Mille Miglia Storica. With an extensive history file documenting its incredible life, the car will cross the block on 10 March with a pre-sale estimate of 1.5–2.25m dollars — a landmark sum for a landmark car.

Photos: Gooding & Company © 2017

You can find the entire catalogue for Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island sale, taking place on 10 March 2017, listed in the Classic Driver Market.