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  Aston Martin DP212

  Article Image gallery (61) DP212/1 Specifications User Comments (1)  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:1962
Numbers built:One-Off
Successor:Aston Martin DP215
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:December 11, 2013
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Click here to download printer friendly versionIn a controversial move, the sports' governing body decided to run the World Sports Car Championship for production-based GT cars in 1962. This rendered the existing purpose-built sports cars obsolete and also left Le Mans organiser, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), none too pleased. They feared the lack of 'proper' sports cars would lessen the race's appeal and introduced a special class for experimental cars with a displacement of up to four litres.

At the same time, the French Aston Martin representative pleaded with company supremo David Brown to field a works effort, for the first time since the victorious 1959 outing, in order to boost sales. The new experimental class offered Aston Martin the opportunity to do just that without interfering with the privateer efforts of their customers in the GT class. In addition to Aston Martin, rivals of old Ferrari and Maserati also set about preparing an 'experimental' car specifically for that year's 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Dubbed Project 212 or DP212, the new Aston Martin sports racer was loosely based on the existing DB4 GT. The box-section chassis was similar but lightened where possible by using aluminium floor panels for example. The double-wishbone front suspension was carried over directly from the DB4 GT, while the rear-end consisted of the DeDion axle previously used on a stillborn Lagonda saloon. Girling sourced disc brakes were used on all four corners.

The all-alloy straight six engine was also derived from the DB4 GT, bored out from 92 mm to 96 mm in order to bring it up to the four-litre displacement limit. It was equipped with twin-plug ignition and three Weber DCO 50 carburettors. It was claimed to produce 345 bhp but it was later revealed that the power output was closer to 327 bhp. The new four-litre engine was bolted to a David Brown produced gearbox with a synchromesh on all four forward gears.

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  Article Image gallery (61) DP212/1 Specifications User Comments (1)