24h Le Mans
22/08/2019 - 11:01

Aston Martin at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (3/5) – Milestones 1928-1982

Aston Martin's 1959 victory at Le Mans 24 Hours is the marque’s only outright victory in the race to date. In the first half of the 20th Century the British carmaker was omnipresent at the French classic, although participation was more episodic in the sixties, seventies and eighties.
Aston Martin at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (3/5) – Milestones 1928-1982

1928 – First Le Mans 24 Hours entry for Aston Martin. Both cars bowed out before the end of the race.
PHOTO (Copyright - ARCHIVES ACO) LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), CIRCUIT DES 24 HEURES, LE MANS 24 HOURS, SATURDAY 16 & SUNDAY 17 JUNE 1928. The first Aston Martins to grace the Le Mans circuit.

PHOTO (Copyright - ARCHIVES ACO) LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), CIRCUIT DES 24 HEURES, LE MANS 24 HOURS, SATURDAY 17 & SUNDAY 18 JUNE 1933. With Pat Driscoll and Clifton Penn-Hughes at the wheel, the Aston Martin took fifth place in the 11th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

1931 –
Gus Bertelli and Maurice Harvey took the marque’s first top five place and first class win at Le Mans. The performance was equalled the two following years.

1935 – Charles EC Martin and Charles Brackenbury took the first podium place (third) with the Aston Martin Ulster. Five other Ulsters crossed the finish line, in 8th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 15th place.

1949 – When the race resumed its annual frequency after a ten-year hiatus during and after World War II, six Aston Martins were on the starting grid. Two finished: Arthur Jones/Nick Haines and Robert Lawrie/Robert Walker were classed 7th and 11th respectively.

PHOTO (Copyright - ARCHIVES ACO) LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), CIRCUIT DES 24 HEURES, LE MANS 24 HOURS, SUNDAY 25 JUNE 1950. Lance Macklin and George Abecassis finished fifth and won their class.

1951 – A year after taking fifth place with George Abecassis, Lance Macklin claimed Aston Martin’s first post-war podium place when he and Eric Thompson finished third. That year, three other DB2s featured in the top 10: George Abecassis-Brian Shaw Taylor (5th), Reg Parnell-David Hampshire (7th) and Nigel Mann-Mortimer Morris Goodall (10th).

PHOTO (Copyright - ARCHIVES ACO) LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), CIRCUIT DES 24 HEURES, LE MANS 24 HOURS, SUNDAY 21 JUNE 1959. The #1 DBR1 made it a one-two for Aston Martin, Paul Frère crossing the line behind winners Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby, with teammate Maurice Trintignant on his shoulders.

1959 – Following three second places in 1955, 1956 and 1958, Aston Martin attained the number one spot on 21 June 1959 a one-two for Roy Salvadori/Carroll Shelby followed by Paul Frère/Maurice Trintignant. The following year, Salvadori finished third, with Formula One World Champion Jim Clark.

PHOTO (Copyright - ARCHIVES ACO) LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), CIRCUIT DES 24 HEURES, LE MANS 24 HOURS, SATURDAY 11 & SUNDAY 12 JUNE 1977. Aston Martin dealer Robin Hamilton was one of the instigators of the marque’s return to Le Mans.

1977 – After a 13-year hiatus, Aston Martin returned to Le Mans: Mike Salmon, David Preece and Robin Hamilton finished 17th.

PHOTO (Copyright - ARCHIVES ACO) LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), CIRCUIT DES 24 HEURES, LE MANS 24 HOURS, SATURDAY 19 & SUNDAY 20 JUNE 1982. The Nimrod-Aston Martins were built on a Lola T71 chassis.

1982 – Two Aston Martin-powered Nimrods competed in the new Group C class. Ray Mallock, Simon Phillips and Mike Salmon took seventh place – a privateer entry.