Life-Size 'Airfix'-Style artworks of 1959 Le Mans-winning Aston Martin offered for sale at Bonhams
Replica racer is presented in kit form, exactly as cars would have appeared in the scaled-down versions lovingly built by generations of children.
Racing fans will have the opportunity to acquire a unique work of art that combines a moment in racing history and an iconic feature of childhood at the Bonhams Goodwood Revival Sale, which takes place this year a day later than usual on Saturday 15 September.
The piece, measuring 6.35m wide by 3.3m tall, represents a life-sized model of the Aston Martin DBR1 that won the 1959 Le Mans 24-Hour Endurance Race, broken up into kit form and fixed to a frame in the style of the famous ‘Airfix’ models built by many in childhood.
Hand-made by the Hertfordshire-based Evanta Motor Company as a tribute to that race victory – considered the finest in Aston Martin’s history – the impressive 1:1 scale model is constructed with the finest attention to detail. Individually-labelled ‘race-ready’ components are mounted onto a satin grey frame with tapering sprues, as if they could be twisted off for assembly.
After a poor start to the 1959 World Sportscar Championship season, Aston Martin finished first and second at the 1959 Le Mans 24-Hours, with the DBR1/2 driven by Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori and the DBR1/4 driven by Maurice Trintignant and Paul Frere respectively.
Ant Anstead, Managing Director of the Evanta Motor Company, said: “Aston Martin’s sole Le Mans win of 1959 is a huge part of British motorsport. The loss of drivers Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori, and chief engineer Ted Cutting, this year is saddening. We wanted to offer a tribute to these three great men, and to such a beautiful and iconic car. And what could be a more fun and fitting tribute than every boy’s dream toy: a life-size model.”
The artwork, which splits into two pieces for easy transportation, is estimated to realise between £20,000 and £25,000 at sale.
It comprises a DBR1 body-shell in two parts, finished in Aston Martin Californian Sage Green with race livery, and complete with lights, screens and final detail fitted to the main body parts. Also included are four 16” Aston Martin wire wheels shod in Dunlop race tyres and fitted with Aston Martin three-eared spinners, a “Mota Lita” 15-inch wood-rimmed steering wheel, a pair of race seats upholstered in Aston Martin-style weave material with leather-bound headrest, a machined aluminium gear knob and gear lever, and a full dashboard finished in textured satin black and assembled using Smiths gauges and period switches. It also comes with a replica of the Le Mans trophy and an Aston Martin peaked cap signed by Shelby and Salvadori.
Toby Wilson, Head of the Bonhams Automobilia Department, said: “This piece of artwork is utterly unique, and the attention to detail is fascinating. It would be a fantastic centre piece to the collection of any racing enthusiast, and would undoubtedly be a great talking point among friends for years to come.”