Sometimes a race car just perfectly suits a specific track, and in the case of this stunning works 1952 Aston Martin DB3 two-seater, that track is Goodwood Motor Circuit. The same year it was constructed, it was entered into the Goodwood 9-Hours endurance race with Peter Collins and Pat Griffith sharing the driver’s seat. It proved to be a mightily effective combination, with this athletic Aston taking home first place.
This car, chassis DB3/5, would continue to prove itself as a force to be reckoned with on the racetrack, taking 2nd place at the 1953 Sebring 12-Hours with George Abecassis and Reg Parnell driving. Another contributing factor was this Aston’s excellent aerodynamics. With it’s distinctive ‘portcullis’ nose intake grille and under tray panelling, which was unusual for the time, this DB3 proved to be extremely slippery when it was wind-tunnel tested by the Vickers aircraft company.
Seasoned Aston specialists Hall & Hall have looked after this stunning DB3 for the past 15 years. Initially powered by a twin-overhead camshaft 2580cc 6-cylinder Aston Martin Lagonda engine, Aston later upgraded this DB3 with an enlarged 2922cc version, taking power up from 138bhp to a healthy 163bhp. However, Hall & Hall have fitted the car with a new engine built around an original spare block, using a lighter crank and pistons. At that time, they also rebuilt the original engine, which will accompany the car.
As for how it drives today, who better to comment than Rob Hall himself, "It's a nice historic race car with very neutral handling. With our stiffer front and softer rear set-up, the turn-in is good through fast corners and you can control it nicely on the throttle. The steering is heavy, but I prefer it that way because it gives more feel. The car seems to suit Goodwood." If this sleek DB3 has caught your eye, be sure to check out Bonhams’ Goodwood Revival auction on September 17th.