'XMC 76' - The Ex-Works Lightweight Le Mans, Mille Miglia,1951-53 Aston Martin DB2 Grand Touring Com
Lot 134
'XMC 76' - The Ex-Works Lightweight Le Mans, Mille Miglia,1951-53 Aston Martin DB2 Grand Touring Competition Coupe LML/50/50
Sold for £265,500 (US$ 440,263) inc. premium
Lot Details
'XMC 76' - The Ex-Works Lightweight Le Mans, Mille Miglia
1951-53 Aston Martin DB2 Grand Touring Competition Coupe
Registration no. XMC76
Chassis no. LML/50/50
Engine no. LB6V/50/344
This illustrious works team DB2 is offered here fresh from years in one of the world’s outstanding private collections of Aston Martin cars in which it has been lovingly preserved, maintained and used throughout. It was acquired by the present family to share a garage with, among other car, two other Works DB2s – VMF 63 and VMF 65. The ‘stable’ since appearing in all manner of premium-level prestige Historic racing events including the Goodwood Revival Meeting itself.

As offered here Aston Martin DB2 ‘XMC 76’ has been newly prepared through 2004-2005 by the celebrated marque specialist Chris Woodgate of Rex Woodgate fame. Rex Woodgate himself having been a works team member, mechanic, engineer and occasional driver during the 1950s – and the condition of engine, chassis, bodywork and paintwork is described, in every case, as being “fresh”.

The car was built new at Aston Martin’s Feltham factory in Middlesex, England, as a specially-developed works competition car. Identified externally by what would become its famous registration ‘XMC 76’, its woks team race record developed as follows:

1951 BRDC International Trophy meeting, Silverstone – driven by Reg Parnell, ‘XMC 76’ finished 1st in class and 6th overall, averaging 81.42mph.

1951 Le Mans 24-Hours Grand Prix d’Endurance – driven by Reg Parnell/David Hampshire, ‘XMC 76’ finished 3rd in class and 7th overall, averaging 88.1mph for the entire day-long grind.

1951 RAC Tourist Trophy race, Dundrod, Ulster – driven by Brian Shawe-Taylor) – 2nd in class and 7th overall again, averaging 79.15mph on the desperately challenging, high-cambered country roads of the long temporary circuit.

1951 Shelsley Walsh hill-climb, Worcestershire – driven by Reg Parnell in deference to this event’s long-standing historic stature within the British motor sporting public’s psyche – 5th fastest time in class.

Footnotes

  • 1952 Mille Miglia, Brescia-Pescara-Rome-Florence-Brescia, Italy – driven by Reg Parnell with Serboli as part of the David Brown Aston Martin organisation’s first attempt at what was regarded contemporarily as being the world’s most significant and punishing International road race – 2nd in class, 13th overall in an heroic demonstration of ‘XMC 76’s competitive and reliable pace over 1,000 miles of punishing Italian public roads. Even so, John Wyer would recall , “We didn’t take it very seriously – it was only a reconnaissance after all – and our training consisted of one lap of the circuit I did with Reg, George Abecassis and Pat Griffith in a Lagonda…”. In the race Tom Wisdom won the GT category in a sister car largely thanks to “Reg taking it very easily on the last run-in to Brescia, convinced he must be a long way ahead of Wisdom. In fact he’d been the leading Aston until the very last control and it was only when he eased up that Tommy got ahead of him on time, and Reg was kicking himself afterwards…”!

    1952 Goodwood, England – driven by Eric Thompson to win outright, averaging 76.34mph around the Duke of Richmond & Gordon’s challenging 2.4-mile aerodrome circuit.

    1952 Prix de Berne, Bremgarten circuit, Berne, Switzerland – driven by Reg Parnell in this Grand Touring and sports car event supporting that year’s World Championship-qualifying Swiss Grand Prix – 5th overall on one of the most dauntingly fast, deceptive and unforgiving public road courses on the entire International calendar. For this event the DB2s were prepared by the works mechanics in the premises of Aston Martin’s Swiss distributor. British motorcycle racing Champion won the class in his DB2 there, knowing the course intimately and winning the 500cc Swiss GP there on his Norton that same day.

    1952 Welsh MRC meeting, Fairwood – driven by Pat Griffith to win overall, averaging 67.87mph.

    1953 Mille Miglia – ‘XMC 76’ was employed in its Aston Martin works team swansong as their practice and reconnaissance car, being hard-driven by almost all the team’s fine mixture of professional and gentleman drivers.

    During 1954 this wonderfully evocative veteran of Le Mans, the Mille Miglia and the awesome Bremgarten forest circuit at Berne was campaigned by the prominent and hugely well-respected journalist/driver Tommy Wisdom in the International Alpine Rally, from which he was forced to retire following an accident.

    David Brown was the industrialist owner of Aston Martin Lagonda Limited, hence the ‘DB’ initials used through the contemporary model range, and his daughter Angela became an enthusiastic and proficient driver of cars such as ‘XMC 76’, in which she won a relay race at Silverstone and was placed 2nd in another event.

    In later years ‘XMC 76’ passed into Australian ownership, and was rebuilt there around 1968-1970. Up to 1973 it appeared in races at Warwick Farm, Sydney, and at Oran Park, Mallala in South Australia, Amaroo and at Hume Weir – all with Alan Puckett behind the wheel. John Fitzpatrick ran the car at Adelaide Raceway and Collingrove hill-climb in the mid-1970s and we understand that further restoration work was carried out upon it in 1983 by Charles Williams. Subsequently this icon of British Grand Touring car history returned to the UK where it benefited from the renowned R.S. Williams restoration treatment into the 1990s.

    Bonhams know the car well, having offered and sold XMC 76 twice before, once in 1993 and again in 1997 – to Rowan Atkinson. Mr Atkinson resumed its racing career in 1998 at events such as the Goodwood Revival race meeting. The present faimily acquired the car circa five years ago and continued enthusiastic historic competition in the UK as well as mainland Europe.

    While the former Auto Union Grand Prix team racing engineer Dr Robert Eberan von Eberhorst had been engaged to potent new works team racing cars for David Brown’s Aston Martin company, his DB3 model which was intended to be their frontline works weaponry in 1951 suffered delays in completion. Consequently works manager John Wyer supervised the production of two special lightweight DB2s for Le Mans once it became obvious that the DB3’s debut would be delayed.

    This car ‘XMC 76’ was one of those two special lightweight DB2s – its sister becoming ‘XMC 77’ – and together with the older ‘VMF 64’ they promptly finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the 3-litre class at Le Mans. In all, five Aston Martins started that 1951 24-Hour race, three works entries and two privateers, and all five finished well.

    We offer today a genuine Works Aston Martin with impeccable contemporary race history and latter day provenance. This proven performance car – in period and in historic events - is in race ready condition and eligible for all the events, to include the Mille Miglia retrospective, Monaco sports car race, Tour Auto and Goodwood Revival. Offered with FIA papers, V5 registration document and current MoT certificate.
Auction information

This sale is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future sales, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this sale, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, check with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveler's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.