A remarkable Aston Martin prototype which played a huge role in the company’s history is expected to sell for almost £1 MILLION despite being a wreck which hasn’t been driven in decades

The Aston Martin DB2 is a non-starter with damaged panels, a rusty engine and an interior covered in cobwebs.

But 67 years ago it was a stunning prototype sports car which was parked up at Circuit de la Sarthe in France waiting to be driven in the 1949 Le Mans 24-hour race.

The British race car, known by its registration plate UMC 65, ended up finishing seventh in the race, and third in its category, before being driven to fifth a fortnight later at the equally gruelling Spa 24-hour race.

Its unusual history has seen it raced at numerous European circuits, left in a garden for years and then stolen before being the subject of various lawsuits.

The “extremely significant” wreck is now set to be sold for the first time in 50 years when it goes under the hammer later this month.

It will be one of the star cars at Bonhams’ Goodwood Festival of Speed sale on West Sussex.

The auction house has given the Aston a guide price of £600,000 to £900,000 with premiums taking it to the £1 million mark.

It will be sold on June 24 alongside a number of other interesting cars including a unique Bentley with a paintjob by the man behind the Sgt Pepper album cover.

Tim Schofield, from the Bonhams Motor Car Department, said: “The Festival of Speed is the highlight of the UK summer motoring calendar.

“Each year Bonhams continue to offer a wealth of exciting, rare, and often record breaking motor cars, and this year is set to be no exception.”

One of just three team racers produced by the firm in 1949, the Aston Martin Prototype was fitted with a two-litre engine.

Arthur Jones and Nick Haines drove the DB2 at Le Mans in 1949 and had numerous issues during the race, but they were the only Aston Martin factory team car to finish, taking seventh place.

A fortnight later, Haines and Lance Macklin drove the car to fifth place at the Spa 24-Hour race held on the daunting Francorchamps road circuit in Belgium.

The testing was deemed a success and David Brown decided to put DB2 into full production, with more than 400 sold over the next three years.

The prototype raced at Le Mans was later sold to well known racer Bill Whitehouse, who continued to race it.

In 1965, it was bought by BBC broadcast engineer Christopher Angell. The Aston aficionado drove and raced the car for six years but in 1971, following a deterioration of this health, he decided to park the car up.

The Aston, sat in a garden with plants growing around and in 2002 it was stolen, a year before Mr Angell’s death.

Despite its theft, the car was offered at auction in 2002 but later withdrawn with relatives of Mr Angell getting it back following a legal battle.

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