Le Mans Aston Martin prototype to line up at Goodwood sale

An Aston Martin prototype with a Le Mans pedigree could sell for more than $1m at Bonhams.

The 1949 Aston Martin DB Team Car is one of the star lots of Bonhams' Goodwood Festival of Speed sale, which takes place at the world-famous British race course on June 24.

1949 Aston Martin
The car was stolen in 2001 but quickly recovered

The rare car was one of three lightweight examples developed in 1949 by the Aston Martin works team, fitted with the Claude Hill-designed two-litre, four-cylinder engine.

They were built to compete in that year's Le Mans 24 Hours race, but it was only chassis 'UMC 65' that finished the race, achieving a highly respectable finish of third in class and seventh overall.

A few weeks later it was back on the track, this time at the Spa 24-Hour race in Belgium, finishing fifth overall and third in class.

According to reports, the car was later acquired in 1965 by the BBC broadcast engineer Christopher Angell, who raced it privately until 1971, when he parked it up for good.

The historic car sat rusting in a garden for 30 years before being stolen in 2001, but it was swiftly recovered, and will now be sold for the first time in half a century with an estimate of $870,000-$1.3m.

Further highlights from the sale will include a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB which is expected to sell for up to $2.7m, a 1981 BMW M1 Coupe valued at more than $400,000, and a 1961 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 Roadster estimated at up to $360,000.

The auction will also feature a selection of pre-war classics, led by a stylish 1936 Bentley 4¼-litre Vanden Plas-style tourer. It comes with an estimate of $260,000-$350,000.

"The Festival of Speed is the highlight of the UK summer motoring calendar," said Tim Schofield, Bonhams UK's head of motoring. "Each year Bonhams continue to offer a wealth of exciting, rare, and often record breaking motor cars, and this year is set to be no exception."

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