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Motor Mouth articles 2012

Life-size model a unique tribute

The Airfix-style Aston Martin could fetch £25,000

DO you remember those Airfix model kits with which you made replica cars, planes or ships and then spent a week getting the glue off your fingers, clothes, kitchen table and dog?

Well, the ultimate challenge for any model-maker who never really left childhood behind has just been produced – a life-size Airfix-style kit of a classic Aston Martin racing car.

It has been produced by a British company called Evanta, which specialises in creating modern-day versions of classic cars, and it comes with a jaw-dropping level of detail.

The model has been produced as a tribute to three men who were key to Aston Martin’s famous 1959 Le Mans victory. Drivers Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori, and chief engineer Ted Cutting, have all died in the last year.

Evanta boss Ant Anstead said: “Aston Martin’s sole Le Mans win is a huge part of British motorsport. We wanted to do a tribute to these three great men and such a beautiful and iconic car. What could be a more fun and fitting tribute than every boy’s dream toy: a life-size model?”

The 21ft-long model collapses into two pieces for ease of transport, but it will still be a trifle large for the display cabinet in the front room. It has been built in the traditional style of an Airfix model in the correct ‘satin grey’ and featuring components with tags, as if they could be twisted off for assembly.

The replica DBR1 bodyshell is made of glass-reinforced plastic and finished in Aston Martin Californian sage green with proper race livery and racing spots just like those of the Le Mans winner. Lights, screens and other details are fitted.

Also included are four 16-inch Aston Martin wire wheels shod in Dunlop race tyres and fitted with three-eared spinners, a 15-inch wood-rimmed steering wheel, a pair of race seats upholstered in Aston Martin-style weave material with leather-bound headrest, a machined aluminium gear knob and lever, and a full dashboard finished in textured satin black and assembled using Smiths gauges and period switches.

It also comes with a replica of the Le Mans trophy and even an Aston Martin peaked cap signed by Shelby and Salvadori.

After a poor start to the 1959 World Sports Car Championship season, Aston Martin finished first and second at Le Mans, with the DBR1/2 driven by Shelby and Salvadori followed by the DBR1/4 driven by Maurice Trintignant and Paul Frere. It was Aston Martin’s greatest triumph.

The model is a magnificent one-off that will be displayed at the Goodwood Revival event from 14th to 16th September and then auctioned off by Bonhams that same weekend, with a guide price of £25,000.

Toby Wilson, head of the automobilia department at the auction house, said: “This piece of artwork is utterly unique, and the attention to detail is fascinating. It would be a fantastic centrepiece to the collection of any racing enthusiast.”

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