The DBR2 was a development of the unused 1955 chassis from the aborted V12 Lagonda matched with the Tadek Marek 3670cc, 6 cylinder engine that was destined to appear in the roadgoing DB4 a year later. Bigger, more powerful and faster than the similarly styled DBR1, DBR2/1 was debuted at the 1957 Le Mans 24 hour but retired after the gearbox failed after 81 laps. Second time out at Spa in August, DBR2/1 crashed in practice and missed the race. During September at Silverstone a pair of DBR2’s were entered together with a pair of DBR1’s. In the hands of Roy Salvadori, DBR2/2 finished 1st with a new sports car lap record of 98.48mph; DBR2/1 finished 3rd.
For the 1958 season, the FIA limited the engine capacity for the World Sportscar Championship to just 3 litres. This effectively ruled out the now 3.9 litre DBR2 from international competition forcing AM to concentrate their efforts back on developing the DBR1. The DBR2 was now effectively relegated to UK events and was raced by the works at Goodwood, Oulton Park, Aintree and Silverstone. The Belgian Sports car Grand Prix of 1958, being a non-championship event with no capacity limit, got both DBR2’s out where they finished 2nd and 3rd behind a Lister-Jaguar.
For the remainder of 1958 and 1959 with enlarged 4.2 litre engines and whilst still owned by AM, both DBR2’s were privately entered in various US sportscar events. The last works entry for a DBR2 was with DBR2/2 in December 1959 when Stirling Moss won the Governors Trophy at Nassau in the Bahamas. This was the last ever works entry of an open cockpit Aston Martin until the AMR-One in 2011.
By 1960, the works had sold both cars and they passed into private hands. This particular car shown here, chassis number DBR2/2, 7BXH, was photographed whilst competing in the 2007 Monterey Historic Races, on display at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August 2007 where it won the MSN Autos People’s Choice Award and again in 2013.
If you have difficulty in telling the DBR1 and DBR2 apart, here is an easy tip; the exhaust of the DBR1 is along the right side of the body (drivers side), on the DBR2 it is on the left (passenger side).