Aston Martin DBR1/2 cufflinks make the perfect gift for the avid fan!

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 16, 2016

If you’re an Aston Martin fan and you like to wear cufflinks then you’d be ecstatic to know that the miniature form of the 1959 Le Mans champ Aston Martin DBR1/2 is featured in a limited edition of cufflinks made from the car’s metal. The cufflinks, designed by TMB Art Metal, were made using metal from a small, damaged body panel section of the original car.

Aston Martin DBR1/2 was victorious in the 1959 24-hour endurance race. The particular body section was removed from the restoration efforts in the 1990s. The detail on the 25-mm, hand-crafted, exclusive cufflinks is meticulously executed -- as seen from the driver to the raised tonneu cover to the lowered wheel arch covers.

Only 50 pairs of the cufflinks were made and will be distributed worldwide. Aside from that, there are no more plans of creating more cufflinks for the sake of exclusivity. Each pair comes with an authentication certificate signed by TMB Art Metal founder Christopher Bennett and American racing icon and one of the vehicle’s drivers, Carroll Shelby.

Shelby drove the DBR1/2 together with Roy Salvadori in 1959, emerging triumphant with élan, the second-placed competitor 25 laps behind. Moreover, the vehicle was also used to compete at the Nurburgring 100 km and at the Spa Grand Prix in 1957. The DBR1/2 won the Goodwood Tourist Trophy in 1958 and in 1959.

Presently, the race car has been reliving its glory days at the Goodwood Revival event. Each cufflink pair is embedded with its limited edition number and is finished in sterling silver and 18-carat gold. It can be availed at £895. TMB Art Metal specializes in mini provenance sculptures and jewelry pieces.

It is known for integrating original materials recovered from notable cars, planes, trains, and other historical items. Since the process actually ruins the original donor object, most components used by TMB Art Metal are those that will likely be thrown away. As a result, the items are renewed and preserved with enough durability and longevity for future generations.

Bennett came up with the idea, leading a team that located a World War II Hawker Hurricane fighter buried underground streets near the Victoria station of London after crashing in 1940. The 2004 excavation had a 13-year long research and planning. The digging, which disrupted London traffic in a reasonable manner, was televised on national TV.

The aircraft crashed after Sgt. Ray Holmes rammed a prowling German bomber to stop it from attacking Buckingham Palace. The excavation led to the discovery of the Hurricane’s Merlin engine. It was after the dig that Bennett thought of creating limited edition sculptures from useless scrap metals of historically significant items such as aircrafts destroyed from crash.

That was when TMB Art Metal came into life. Bennett’s next project was to track down original material from the Jaguar D-type. It was a difficult mission but he eventually came across a dusty box of original engine pistons, wheel spinners, and conrods that led to the first set of TMB Art Metal’s cufflinks.

The rest, as they say, is history. Bennett enjoyed a great career as a photographer, travelling around the world to work on captivating subjects such as planes and cars. He was fortunate to work on one of Concorde’s final flights over London in formation with the Red Arrows, with which he has had about 100 flights.

Bennett also worked on a Ferrari book with Jeremy Clarkson in 2000, covered the jungle conquering Camel Trophy, boarded on US Navy’s ‘TOPGUN’, worked behind the scenes with the famous Benetton Formula One racing team, and took part in many more remarkable projects.

Today, however, Bennett’s focus is solely on TMB Art Metal as it plans to recreate more historical items in the coming years. The company is collaborating with the Royal British Legion to work on exclusive Somme commemorative pins and cufflinks using century-old metal from the battlefield itself.

Press Release

WEAR ASTON MARTIN’S GREATEST EVER LE MANS RACER ON YOUR SLEEVE

The 1959 Le Mans winning Aston Martin DBR1/2 has been immortalised in miniature in the form of a limited range of cufflinks made using metal from the actual car.

The exclusive range of cufflinks have been made by TMB Art Metal, and are crafted using donor metal from a small section of body panel from the original car, which was driven to victory at the legendary 24 hour endurance race in 1959. The panel was a damaged section removed during restoration work in the early 1990s.

Measuring 25mm, the hand sculpted, hand crafted and rare cufflinks recreate DBR1/2 in superb style, with everything from the driver to the raised tonneau cover and lowered wheel arch covers picked out in precise detail.

TMB Art Metal has made just 50 pairs of the cufflinks to be offered worldwide, and there are no plans, nor indeed provenance materials, to craft any more, thereby guaranteeing their exclusivity. Each comes with a certificate of authentication signed by both TMB Art Metal owner and founder Christopher Bennett and, more importantly, one of the car’s 1959 drivers, American racing legend Carroll Shelby.

Shelby drove DBR1/2 alongside Roy Salvadori at Le Mans, winning the iconic race with élan, the second placed competitor a full 25 laps behind. The car also competed at the Nürburgring 1000km and the Spa Grand Prix in 1957, winning the Goodwood Tourist Trophy in 1958 and 1959 and, more recently, has been seen recreating its glory days at the Goodwood Revival event.

Each pair of cufflinks are engraved with their individual limited edition numbers and finished in sterling silver and 18ct gold, available at £895 a pair.

TMB Art Metal specialises in small provenance sculptures and jewellery, incorporating original material recovered from famous planes, cars, trains and other subjects of historical significance. Aware that their upcycling activities in effect destroys the original donor item, the majority of components TMB Art Metal use is material that would otherwise likely be thrown away and lost forever. So, in effect, these items are preserved in perpetuity in a renewed form for future generations to covet and to enjoy.

Christopher Bennett, the man behind TMB Art Metal, came up with the idea having led a team that located and unearthed a World War Two Hawker Hurricane fighter that was buried beneath the streets near London’s Victoria station, having crashed there in 1940. The research and planning behind the 2004 excavation took 13 years, the actual dig itself, seen live on TV, disrupting London traffic in fine style, just as it had 64 years earlier! As well as smaller parts of the historic aircraft, which crashed after its pilot, Sgt Ray Holmes, rammed a marauding German bomber to prevent it attacking Buckingham Palace, the excavation revealed the Hurricane’s Merlin engine.

As an afterthought Christopher decided to create a limited edition of historically significant sculptures from pieces of otherwise useless corroded aluminium from the crash – Hurricane sculptures made of the Hurricane – and TMB Art Metal was born.

Christopher’s next project was to hunt down original material from the rare and valuable Jaguar D-type. Although incredibly hard to come by, he eventually tracked down a dusty box of long forgotten, discarded original engine pistons, conrods and wheel spinners, and the first set of TMB cufflinks followed, leading to a procession of other unique pieces of art and jewellery from similar notable artefacts.

Before founding TMB Art Metal, Christopher enjoyed a varied career, having worked as a photographer, travelling the world to work with aeroplanes, cars and other fascinating subjects.

He was privileged to capture pictures of one of Concorde’s final flights over London in formation with the Red Arrows, with whom he racked up well over 100 flights over the years. Christopher also worked with Jeremy Clarkson on a Ferrari book in 2000, covered events such as the jungle conquering Camel Trophy, flown with the US Navy’s famous ‘TOPGUN’, and went behind the scenes with the Benetton Formula One racing team.

But now, TMB Art Metal is Christopher’s exclusive focus, the company planning many more uniquely historic projects in the coming months and years, including collaborating with the Royal British Legion on special Somme commemorative pins and cufflinks made of century old metal from the famous battlefield itself.

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