The four Aston Martin Development Project (DP) cars were the final racing iteration of the DB4 and Aston Martin's last pure racers of the David Brown era. Between 1959 and 1963 Aston Martin was locked in a battle to make their cars competitive with the Ferraris. The Astons had the power but were usually at a weight disadvantage. First came the DB4 GT, which was shorter and lighter than the standard DB4 and also had a more powerful twin-plug engine. Then came the DB4 GT Zagato using the same chassis and mechanicals as the DB4 GT but with a still lighter and more streamlined body.
In 1962 DP212 appeared at Le Mans and led easily with Graham Hill at the wheel before engine trouble put the car out. In 1963 the final three DP cars appeared: two DP214s with DB4 GT chassis numbers, and DP 215, which ran as a prototype. To comply with Le Mans regulations the cars were supposed to be modified DB4 GTs, but in fact considerable gamesmanship was involved as the chassis and body of a DP bore no resemblance whatsoever to the original DB4 GT, even if the engine, running gear, suspension, and brakes were basically standard equipment. The weight reduction and streamlined body of the DP214 raised its top speed to nearly 200mph compared to 150mph for the standard DB4 GT.
There are three replica DP214s in existence and this stunning example was five years in the making, so determined was the owner to stay true to the original design and materials used. For the complete story and further historical facts about the original cars, visit Bonhams website who will be offering this truly unique Aston Martin replica at their upcoming Goodwood Members' Meeting auction on the 19th March, the estimated value is between £600,000 – £700,000. For more information on all the vehicles at the sale, click on the link below. Photos courtesy of Bonhams.