1958 Aston Martin DB MK III Drophead Coupé Project Coachwork by Tickford Registration no. PUX 700 Chassis no. AM300/3/1430 Engine no. DBA/1068
'The DB Mark III is not a cheap car, but it has built up a reputation for reliability, outstanding road-holding and performance. These latest changes will consolidate its position as one of the world's outstanding sports models.' Autocar, October 1957.
Two years after the introduction of the DB2/4 Mark II came the DB Mark III - the '2/4' suffix being dropped - 551 of which, mainly saloons, were made between March 1957 and July 1959, 55% of which were exported. 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 gave 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 had 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. 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 120mph.
Disc-braked chassis number '1430' is one of only 85 DB Mark III drophead coupés built. The accompanying copy guarantee form lists overdrive transmission as the sole non-standard feature and gives the original colour scheme as Peony with beige Connolly hide interior. Registered 'PUX 700', the Aston was retailed via Cyril Williams and first owned by one F C A Ransford of Lydbury North, Shropshire. Only two other owners are listed, the second being one J C Crowther of Shirley, Surrey while the third is the recently deceased vendor, who is believed to have acquired the car in the early 1970s. The 'Service Work' section lists an engine and gearbox overhaul in February 1967; further engine work, including a new water pump, in April 1968; and regular overhauls of the braking system. The final entry, dated February 1970, is for a 5,000-mile service (carried out at 61,221 miles) after which a further 21,000-or-so miles were covered before the car was taken off the road.
'PUX 700' is believed to have been in storage since the 1970s and there is a letter on file, written by the late owner in May 1993, stating that it had been his intention to restore it; clearly an ambition that was never realised. He also states that the car had been maintained by AM until it went into storage. In need of full restoration and sold strictly as viewed, this rare DB Mark III drophead is offered with an original workshop manual and expired MoT certificate (1970). There is no registration document with this Lot.