The incredible rise of Aston Martin, from the depths of World War II to the heights of success at the world’s greatest racing events, is a truly fascinating story. But it is a story that cannot be told without the DB Series. The most sophisticated of all the early DBs, the DB2/4 Mk III was the first Aston Martin to perfect the now-ubiquitous trademark grille, with this iteration most reminiscent of the DB3S sports racers. In the Mk III, that shape was mirrored in the dashboard for the first time, as the instruments were moved directly in front of the driver. With a stiffer block, stronger camshaft, and bigger valves, the three-liter DBA engine was the ultimate development of the original W.O. Bentley design. As a further advancement, it was the first Aston Martin model to offer disc brakes, albeit on the front corners alone, making it a true sporting machine.
As delivered new, the Mk III offered here was even more sporting than most of its brethren. Its build sheet confirms that it received Rumbold safety belts, the factory twin-exhaust system, a Smiths Oil temperature gauge, as well as front disc brakes—all of which would suggest perhaps that the original owner, Air Force Captain Jerome J. Sauber, had intended to drive the car in competition. Documents confirm that this Mk III is one of only 47 to be so equipped, making it a rare and desirable example.
Following Captain Sauber’s ownership, Aston Martin Owners Club registries show that the car passed into the ownership of New Jersey collector Irv Bahrt, who campaigned the car at various competitive racing and concours events before selling it some 20 years later. Passing through the hands of a California-based collector and later a Virginia collector, the car found its way to the consignor in 2014. Prior to current ownership, the original transmission was replaced with a modern Tremec five-speed, affording the DB2/4 with enhanced drivability and improved performance.
While in the ownership of the consignor, extensive mechanical work was completed to bring the car to competitive reliability standards. The engine was rebuilt, with all the internal components being replaced with modern all-forged parts. The previously replaced triple Weber carbs were upgraded to 45 DCOE specification, the rear axle was replaced, the shocks were re-valved, and the brakes were upgraded with Alfin and Wilwood components. The car was then campaigned in the 2015 Colorado Grand and has been sparingly enjoyed since.
Today this rare specification Mk III presents extremely well and will certainly make an ideal companion at any number of historic automobile events, such as the New England 1000 or a potential return to the Colorado Grand.To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/mo19.