AMR1
AMR1

AMR1

(1988 - 1990)

The successor to the Nimrod was AMR1, a joint venture announced in August 1987 between Aston Martin and Ecurie Ecosse and built to FISA Group C regulations. Following on from the Evolution Nimrod, the AMR1 was constructed by Ray Mallock Ltd. The advanced carbon-fibre/Kevlar monocoque tub was designed my Canadian, Max Boxstrom and clothed in bodywork reminiscent of the 'coke bottle'. The heart was a V8 based on the Virage unit with new four valve cylinder heads by Reeves Callaway; 6.0 litres to begin with (600bhp) and eventually growing to 6.3 litres (740bhp) in version 2 form.

AMR1

The cars were run by a company especially formed called Proteus Technology (Protech) Ltd with Richard Williams as Managing Director/Team Manager. Four complete cars were built and competed widely during 1989 with much success including 11th place in the Le Mans 24 hour race. Unfortunately the whole project was closed in February 1990 as that years Le Mans 24 hour race looked doubtful and the team didn’t have a 3.5 litre engine proposed for the 1991 season.

Below is AMR1/01, the prototype which first raced at the 1989 480km at Dijon where it finished a creditable 17th. Its second and final outing as a works car was at Le Mans the same year when an 11th place was achieved. Nowadays the car is owned by the AMHT and can often be seen at the joint headquarters of the AMOC and AMHT in Oxfordshire. It has also been on display at the British Motor Heritage Museum at Gaydon, Warwickshire.

AMR1/03 displayed in the AMOC marquee at Coys Festival, Silverstone, 1995. Chassis number 3 only had one racing appearance; Le Mans 1989, where in unfortunately retired whilst in 20th place. It has more recently entered a private collection.

AMR1/4  (below) was the first and AMR1 to be offered for sale at auction. Chassis 4 was arguably the most successful example gaining a 4th in the Brands Hatch 480km, 8th in the Nurburgring 480km and 6th in the Donnington 480km. In the Brooks/AML auction, May 2000, the car found a new owner and is now part of a collection of AM race cars in the USA.

AMR1/5 with the 6.3 litre version 2 engine as displayed at the AMOC Donnington Park 40th Anniversary meeting, 1999 and the Silverstone Historic Festival in 2001. This car has subsequently returned to the race track and can be seen in the historic Group C races together with Porsche 962’s and Jaguar XJR’s. And although it’s very quick, it’s easier to photograph as you can hear the V8 rumble long before to car comes into view.

More recently, AMR1/5 competed in the 2008 LM support race for Group C cars but is sadly failed to finish. But since I wasn’t at Le Mans in 1989, it was a real treat to see the AMR1 compete on the famous circuit with contemporary Jaguars, Porches, Lancias and the Sauber Mercedes.

The heart of an AMR1. This engine is a version 2 of the 32 valve V8 engine with it’s capacity enlarged to 6.3 litre. In this form the engine was used in AMR1/5 and was destined for the stillborn AMR2. With an output of 740bhp, this was sufficient to propel AMR1 to 217 mph and would have allowed AMR2 to reach 230mph. This photograph was taken at the workshops of RS Williams, Cobham.