Following the success of the Aston Martin DBR1 at Le Mans and the 1959 World Sports Car championship the Aston Martin team refocused it’s attentions on an ill timed Grand Prix effort that folded by the end of 1960, by which time the front engined Aston Martin DBR4 and DBR5 were completely out classed by rear engined cars.
Under pressure from dealers to come up with a new racing program David Brown sanctioned the development of the DP 212 for the 1962 Le Mans 24 hours.
The cars was built using an Aston Martin DB4GT frame with a 345hp 4 litre / 244 cui six cylinder motor and a sensuous slippery long body to suit the potential of 4 mile Mulsanne straight at Le Mans.
Graham Hill and Richie Ginther were engaged to drive the car at Le Mans where it had a brief moment of glory leading the opening lap of the 24 hour endurance race with Graham Hill at the wheel, however from there on the car dropped down the field over the next six hours until it retired from 9th place with piston failure following an oil pipe fracture.
The original bodywork was found to experience stability problems at speed and after aerodynamic tests was replaced with a Kamm tail of the sort that was later used on the back of the Aston Martin DB6.
Subsequently DP212’s only other appearance was at the 1963 Le Mans test weekend where Jo Schlesser, Bruce McLaren, Lucien Bianchi and William Kimberly drove the car which recorded 5th fastest time. By the 1963 Le Mans 24 hour race the DP212 had been replaced by the DP 214 and DP215 models.
DP212 was later converted to a road car with even larger 349 hp motor and driven in a variety of events by Hon.John Dawnay, later Viscount Downe, and Mike Salmon the later winning the 1974 Classic Car Championship with it.
Thanks for joining me on this “Dealer Pressure” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a Le Mans winner from Germany. Don’t forget to come back now !