DB3
DB3

DB3

(1951 - 1953)

David Brown knew that 'Racing improves the breed', and soon after buying Aston Martin, he brought in Eberan von Eberhorst of pre-war Auto Union fame to develop a sports racing car using DB2 parts. The result was the DB3 which was first raced in 1951 under the famous Team Manager, John Wyer. Power was provided from a 133bhp 2.6 litre DB2 Vantage tuned unit using triple Weber carburettors; later the 2.9 litre engine was always tried which produced 163bhp. This brought success at Silverstone in 1952 in the Production sports car race with a 2nd (Reg Parnell), 3rd (George Abecassis) and 4th (Lance Macklin) place behind a Jaguar C-type.

DB3

All three Works cars retired from the 1952 Le Mans race but the DB3 recorded an overall win at Goodwood in the 9 hour race driven by Peter Collins and Pat Griffith. But the car, relative to the competition both lacked power and carried too much weight. Thus the decision was taken to go with the plans of ‘Willie’ Watson to develop a smaller, lighter car (DB3S) and sadly von Eberhorst left Aston Martin.

Altogether, 10 DB3’s were built, five as works cars, the remaining five were sold to customers to race privately. Some DB3’s have had fixed head coupe bodywork although many have reverted to open cockpit.

Below is one of the works DB3’s, chassis DB3/4, 151BMH, which was 3rd in the Silverstone race in 1952. This car now lacks the classic DB3 shape as it was rebuilt in 1954 with an early DB3S style body and a 3 litre engine. It is now part of the collection in the Dutch National Motor Museum.

The black car also illustrated below, DB3/5, UPL4, is one of very few Aston Martins to attend both the 2013 Kensington Palace Centenary Celebration  and the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegence.

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