1958 Aston Martin DBR1
Coast through a corner and roll onto the throttle: the whine of the straight-cut gears gives way to a syncopated baritone that has few equals. Many cars are compared to growling or bellowing animals, but the DBR1’s inline six truly sounds like a very large lion clearing its throat — one of the most primal-sounding motors in automotive history. The DBR1 was not only named after Aston Martin owner David Brown, it also fulfilled his decade-long ambition to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959 at the hands of none other than Carroll Shelby and his co-driver Ray Salvadori. The DBR1 also carried Stirling Moss to two of his four victories at the 1000km Nürburgring, run on the notoriously difficult Nürburgring Nordschleife. It did so not with raw power, although the 3-liter motor made 254 horsepower, but a combination of lightweight construction, slippery aerodynamics, and superior driving dynamics. Some of that lightness was due to the extensive use of magnesium alloy in the body, just 0.03 inches thick and quite fragile. Ultimately, the DBR1’s career ended with the win at Le Mans, as Brown had satisfied his ambition to win the championship and turned the company’s focus to single-seater racing. As such, the DBR1 gives drivers the unique experience of driving a beautiful car at the height of its development and success.