1959 Aston Martin DB MkIII Sports Saloon Coachwork by Tickford Registration no. AM300/3/1673 Chassis no. DB/D/1287
'The DB Mark III is not 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.
Although it never featured in a James Bond film, having ceased production years before the franchise commenced, the DB MkIII nevertheless was the Aston Martin driven by '007' in Ian Fleming's novel, 'Goldfinger'. It was also the last Aston Martin produced with the W O Bentley-designed six-cylinder engine. Two years after the introduction of the 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, 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 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. 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.
If that still was not enough, customers could opt for more a powerful DBB and (later) DBD 'Special Series' engine. Introduced as an option at the 1958 London Motor Show, the DBD came with triple (sometimes twin) SU carburettors and produced 180bhp or 195 horsepower with the twin exhausts. This engine was fitted to 47 cars, including that offered here: left-hand drive chassis number '1673'.
Its accompanying copy guarantee form shows that '1673' was sold via BMCD to its first owner Jyrle V Moore of Prineville, Oregon, USA. The listed specification includes the DBD engine, twin SU carburettors, twin exhausts, chromed road wheels and a wood rimmed steering wheel, while the colour scheme is recorded as black with matching interior. The engine is now on triple SUs so presumably was upgraded after delivery. The AMOC Register (published in 2000) records one F Dreier in the USA as the car's owner at that time, while the guarantee form indicates that it was with Aston Martin DB specialists Kevin Kay Restorations of Redding, California in 2002. Purchased relatively recently as a restoration project, the car is offered for sale following a change of the vendor's plans and is sold strictly was viewed.
Should the vehicle remain in the UK, local import taxes of 5% will be applied to the purchase price.