Aston Martin celebrates 100 years with the CC100 speedster

Alex Lloyd

One hundred years ago, Aston Martin was born. Founded by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford, this classic British sports car company built a reputation for providing ultimate luxury meshed with a successful on-track pedigree. In celebration of Aston's birthday, the team developed a special concept showcasing the brand's past, present, and future curves, while taking specific inspiration from the storied DBR1 speedster from 1959. The result? The Aston Martin CC100.

The DBR1 remains the most successful race car Aston Martin ever created. Making its debut at the 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans, the car became synonymous with victory. Built as a thoroughbred race machine, only five examples of the DBR1 were made. In 1959, the beautiful speedster won Le Mans and the 1000km of Nürburgring in the same season, with British superstar, Sir Stirling Moss, at the helm.

The resemblance between Aston's DBR1 and the new CC100 remains evident. The sultry side-on curves, blending with sleek yet sharp headrests, display 21st century passion rarely witnessed amidst the modern era. The rear of the CC100 looks contrastingly menacing and mean, although it exudes a definite Lotus-esque stance. From almost every conceivable angle, the CC100 stuns. It's almost perfect, but the modern Aston Martin grille looks odd adorned to a windshield-less speedster. It resembles a gaping catfish vacuuming a school of minnows. And once you imagine said catfish, it's hard to relinquish that image.

Under the lengthy hood sits Aston Martin's naturally aspirated V-12, sporting unique engine mounts to lower the motor within the chassis. 0-62 mph will reportedly occur in a little over four seconds, while top speed remains limited to 180 mph. The transmission utilized is a six-speed sequential manual, hydraulically actuated, and controlled via paddle shifters. The body and interior are crafted from lightweight carbon-fiber, ensuring the CC100 remains as svelte and nimble as its predecessor.

Fittingly revealed at the 2013 24 Hours of Nürburgring, the CC100 took to the legendary Nordschleife with Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez behind the wheel. Sir Stirling Moss piloted the 1959 DBR1 alongside, in what turned out to be a beautiful celebration of Aston Martin's century, prior to its hybrid hydrogen Rapide S race car taking to the track to compete in this year's grueling 24-hour marathon.

While the CC100 looks more catfish than Bond, it pays fitting homage to, arguably, the glory days of automotive design; a time when designers imagined a car's stance rather than following a computer's interpretation. Despite the corporate grille, the CC100 blends retro styling, shaken and stirred with a modern twist. And while it remains purely a concept, it reminds us that Aston Martin still swims strong.

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