Aston Martin's long and illustrious motorsport history will be celebrated at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend, with the brand the focus of the central feature sculpture - 60 years after it sealed a 1-2 victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours and 70 years since Aston first raced at the Goodwood Motor Circuit. More than that, though, Aston Martin is going to release 60 special-edition cars painted in some of its most famous racing liveries as a celebratory move.
Gerry Judah has designed the 30-metre-high central feature for this year's Festival, which features the Le Mans-winning 1959 DBR1 racing towards the sky on what is described as a never-ending racetrack. To complement this, Q by Aston Martin - the brand's personalisation service - has created six unique Vantages, each honouring a famous race car's livery from the company's competition history.
Aston Martin will only make 60 of the Vantage Heritage Racing Editions, with customers able to choose one of the six liveries. Each example also gains a new aero kit, which adds 194kg of downforce at the giddy speed of 306km/h; this is made up of a carbon-fibre rear wing, dive planes and an extended front splitter, while all Vantage Heritage Racing Editions feature lightweight wheels, the Sports Plus pack and carbon-fibre interior details to further reduce weight.
The oldest livery honoured by the Heritage Racing Editions is Razor Blade, the Aston Martin that set two class records in the 1,500cc light car class at Brooklands in 1923. The Record Breaker, as the car was known, was finished in green and this shade has been colour-matched by Q to replicate the look, while contrasting silver acknowledges the aluminium streamlined body of the 1920s car - a body that was built by aircraft manufacturer De Havilland.
The Italian Progettista pays homage to the brand's most iconic pre-war racing model, known as the Ulster. One of these finished third overall at Le Mans in 1935, winning its class and placing fourth in the RAC Tourist Trophy Race. The new Heritage Racing Edition is finished in red for the original team colour scheme, while it wears 'Aston Martin' lettering on the side gills, which is a nod to the script hand-painted on the bonnets of the team cars back in the day.
What's that coming over the hill...?
The DB3S inspired the next livery, the David Brown Era Vantage Heritage Racing Edition. Different colours were applied to individual race cars during this period in history to help with identification during racing, and the yellow and green DB3S was one of the most iconic liveries used by Aston as a result. Then there's the Heritage Racing Edition that celebrates the AMR1 'Group C Monster' of 1989. This had a Kevlar and carbon-fibre monocoque chassis, with its bodywork all clothed in a red, white and blue livery.
Gulf of class
Moving onto the fifth livery, the Le Mans Winner Vantage Heritage Racing Edition is finished in the same stunning Gulf livery - powder blue and orange - as the DBR9 that took back-to-back class victories in the GT category at Le Mans in 2007 and 2008. The Next Generation Heritage Racing Edition, which rounds out the collection, honours the current Vantage GTE, and is hence in the Lime Essence and Stirling Green colour comb displayed on Aston's official race car competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Racing improves the breed
Each of the Vantage Heritage Racing Edition liveries will be displayed under the central feature at the Goodwood Festival of Spee and Andy Palmer, Aston Martin's president and CEO, said: "It is a great honour to be celebrated at Goodwood Festival of Speed this year. Racing is a crucial component in Aston Martin's DNA, and it is something that we have pursued since the inception of the company more than 100 years ago. We have raced all around the world but the core passion and commitment that we've displayed has remained the same since our first race on Aston Hill."