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Aston Martin celebrates 1959 Le Mans victory with the DBS 59

A limited-edition car based on the DBS Superleggera

The DBS 59 is loose change compared to the DBR1. PHOTO FROM ASTON MARTIN

Remember Q, the crazy special vehicles division of Aston Martin that transforms city cars into Tasmanian devils? It turns out that they can dial down their very creative minds just a bit and still make something that boggles the mind. This time, they’ve paid homage to the legendary DBR1 race car from 1959 by creating the aptly named DBS 59.

It is just a prettified DBS Superleggera, actually. PHOTO FROM ASTON MARTIN

The 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans was rife with very experienced competitors. Big names like Ferrari, Jaguar and Porsche were hungry for blood. Since this was an era before fire-retardant systems and FIA-approved roll cages, the drivers didn’t really have absolute control over their fate. The horror of Mercedes-Benz’s deadly crash of 1955 was still fresh on everyone’s mind.

But the David Brown Racing team wasn’t going to let any of that dampen its spirits. Handed very light and very quick Aston Martin DBR1s, the brave men piloting these machines set about picking the competition one by one. The race took its toll on the fragile cars as only 13 competitors were able to finish 24 grueling hours. At the top two podium positions were DBR1s, with the winning car driven to victory by a certain chicken farmer turned speed junkie by the name of Carroll Shelby.

Enthusiasts would know what the marks mean. PHOTOS FROM ASTON MARTIN

Fellow Aston Martin works driver Stirling Moss was quoted as saying that the DBR1 was “the most important Aston Martin ever built.” Big words considering that the storied British automaker has had several cars throughout its history that have pushed the boundaries of performance on the racetrack. Still, the guys at Q agreed that a fitting tribute to the DBR1 should be made. And boy, did they come up with something truly special.

Classy color scheme right here. Excellent job, Q! PHOTOS FROM ASTON MARTIN

They took 24 units of their very special DBS Superleggera and transformed them into the DBS 59. The limited run represents the number of hours in the famed race. Each handcrafted car is painted in special Aston Martin Racing Green, complemented by carbon-fiber trim pieces in a high-gloss finish. But don’t expect to see this beauty standing still for very long. The DBS Superleggera packs 715hp courtesy of a twin-turbocharged 5.2-liter V12 engine. The sprint to 100km/h is dispatched in 3.6-seconds.

The interior has seat fabric inspired by the DBR1. PHOTO FROM ASTON MARTIN

To create that signature DBR1 feel, the DBS 59’s seat material is made from the same fabric as that of the classic race car’s perches. The interior is trimmed in a combination of luxurious Obsidian Black and Chestnut Tan leather. Discerning customers of Aston’s latest limited-edition masterpiece can even get period-correct blue racing suits and string-backed driving gloves similar to those worn by Shelby. Optional 1959 replica helmets fit snuggly in special helmet pods specific to the DBS 59. Completing the iconic Le Mans racer look are painted exterior roundels with the car’s series number.

The Aston Martin DBR1 is currently the world’s most valuable British car at £17.5 million (P1.2 billion). Even by the standards of the absurdly rich and famous, that’s a pretty pricey toy. But with the DBS 59, you can get the same race-winning pedigree without the silly price tag. Just hurry up though. Q can’t be bothered into making more than 24 of these cars.

Miggi Solidum

Miggi is an editor-at-large at VISOR. Professionally speaking, he is a software engineering dude who happens to like cars a lot. And as an automotive enthusiast, he wants a platform from which he can share his motoring thoughts with fellow petrolheads. He writes the 'G-Force' column.