Aston Martin DB3




Aston Martin DB3

Year of production 1951 - 1953

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aston_Martin_DB3

Category: Post-War Racing

 

(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.

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.

Some people often confuse the racing DB3 with the road car DB Mark III which is a totally different animal altogether.

 

Aston Martin DB3

The Aston Martin DB3 and later Aston Martin DB3S were racing cars built in the 1950s. Although they used some Aston Martin DB2 parts, they were quite different, being designed especially for racing. The original modifications were done by ex-Auto Union engineer, Eberan von Eberhorst, though others handled the later Aston Martin DB3S work.

Aston Martin DB3

The DB3 was introduced in 1951 with a 133 hp (99 kW) 2.6 L Lagonda straight-6 engine from the DB2 Vantage. The car was unsuccessful, so a larger 2.9 L engine, producing 163 hp (122 kW), was introduced for 1952. The car went on to place 2nd, 3rd, and 4th at Silverstone that year behind a Jaguar C-Type. The cars were forced out of Le Mans, but did claim the 9-hour race at Goodwood.

Aston Martin DB3S

The Aston Martin DB3S was a lighter version of the car, introduced in 1953. It was somewhat more successful, and was produced until 1956. Two coupe versions were also built.

The Aston Martin DB3S was replaced in 1956 by the famed Aston Martin DBR1, which finally claimed Le Mans in 1959.

Produced sub-models Models


Timeline

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Photo gallery Aston Martin DB3

1952 Aston Martin DB3
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1953 Aston Martin DB3 Fixedhead Coupe
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1953 Aston Martin DB3 Fixedhead Coupe
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1953 Aston Martin DB3 Fixedhead Coupe
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Engines


Year Engine code Fuel [ccm] Cylinders [kW] [Nm] No. of
valves
1951 1953 Fixedhead Coupe 2,6L (133hp) gasoline 2 580 6 / In-Line 99 kW 195 Nm 12
1952 1953 Fixedhead Coupe 2.9 L (165hp) gasoline 2 922 6 / In-Line 123 kW 244 Nm 12

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Timeline

1950
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Aston Martin DB3 Fixedhead Coupe
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1950