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Lot 220: Aston Martin DB MkIII Sports Saloon

The Monaco Sale, Bonhams (11 May 2012)

With the introduction of the '2+2' DB2/4 in October 1953, Aston Martin extended the DB2's appeal to the hitherto untapped yet increasingly important market comprised of 'sports car enthusiasts with a family.' By modifying the rear of the chassis and reducing fuel tank capacity from 19 to 17 gallons, sufficient space was found within the existing DB2 design for two child-sized occasional rear seats. Alternatively, the rear seat backs could be folded down, thus creating a load-carrying platform that more than doubled the luggage space. Two years after the introduction of the mildly restyled DB2/4 MkII came the DB MkIII - the '2/4' suffix being dropped - 551 of which, mainly saloons, were made between March 1957 and July 1959. Externally the most obvious change was the adoption of a DB3S-style grille, establishing the 'hallmark' look of subsequent Aston Martins, which had been drawn up by Tickford designer, Bert Thickpenny. This restyled nose give the car a more imposing look while the interior boasted a redesigned dashboard with instruments grouped in a cowled panel ahead of the driver. The 3.0-litre engine benefited from an extensive redesign by Tadek Marek (newly arrived from Austin) and featured, among other improvements, a stiffer block, stronger crankshaft and a new cylinder head with bigger valves. A power output of 162bhp was available with the single-pipe exhaust system, 178bhp with the optional twin-pipe version. Elsewhere there were improvements to both clutch and gearbox; Laycock overdrive became available and front disc brakes were standard rather than optional after the first 100 cars had been built, commencing at chassis '1401'. Despite the inevitable weight increase, the MkIII was faster than any of its predecessors with a top speed of 200km/h. Sold new via Aston Martin's French importer Garage Mirabeau, chassis number '1341' is the 25th of 62 original left-hand drive DB MkIIIs delivered to France and comes with its original Carte Grise issued on 27/07/57 to Mr Bernard Malle. The odometer reading is a believed-correct 68,900 kilometres, which is supported by the condition of the beautiful original interior. The car was repainted some years ago in dark green, its original colour being thought to be black or very dark blue. Its present owner, who has driven similar cars, says the engine is noticeably more powerful than standard, suggesting that it may have been rebuilt with improved components.

Lot Details
Auction The Monaco Sale
Bonhams, Monaco
Lot Number220
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating
Registration number
Chassis numberAM300/3/1341
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2