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.