Note : all photos are clickable to see them in a much larger size.
all photos have a
'source' given. Please have a look at my bibliography to decode.
There have been some DB3s with non standard bodies. That's quite
suprising when you consider that only ten DB3s have been made and that
this was a racer and half of them were works racers.
Nevertheless, these cars were produced at a time when you still could
buy a chassis and have a body made to clothe it. Furthermore this was
still something which sprang to mind to those used to buy fine cars.
Ferraris for example (before 250s) were often clothed outside the works.
Chassis numbers are DB3/1 to DB3/10.
I won't tell you about the races they made. You can find this in many
books and also on this link for
Success wasn't really great and for example, Lance Macklin was really
disappointed when he first tested it. He thought the DB2 had good
roadholding and that the DB3 didn't do better. In fact the DB3S was to
bring much more
success, on the track and commercially.
DB3/1 was a works car and had a standard body if such can we written...
But for the Le Mans in 1952 it received a hardtop to gain
aerodynamically. As the DB3 was somewhat underpowered this was not
really a success and top speed was not that better.
Nevertheless it was very beautiful as can be seen :
The right picture is especially nice with those two DHC DB2s at the
A photo from the backspotted on eBay:
DB3/3 is the least well-known DB3.
It was built as a works racer with
'standard' body and was damaged at Monaco in 1952, being involved in a
multi car crash.
The tail was 'bobbed' (i.e. shortened to use a choppers' addict
language) when repaired by famous Chapron 'carrossier' (see
Poor DB3/3 latter caught fire at Goodwood and was rebuilt.
Among other races, it appeared
in the 1953 'Mille Miglia'.
It was then sold to French driver Michel Poberejsky who ran under 'Myke
Sparken' name (note : Myke, not
He had a gorgeous body made by
Vignale. A DB3S engine powered this 'berlinetta' which was registrered
4375 CK 75 (in Paris).
Sparken raced at Casablanca with Salvadori in 1953, at Agadir and Dakar
Sparken began racing with Ferraris and DB3/3 was sold to Mr Cerretti
then Mr Boris (an helicopter maker) who
kept on racing.
In 1956, DB3/3 appeared at Montlhéry with new owner Mr Prodiaz.
It is supposed to have
been involved in a road accident later in the Bois de Boulogne and to
have been scrapped (the engine being sold) because it was thought to be
What a pity when you consider this could well be the most beautiful
1950s Aston Martin wearing Italian clothes...
Photo below : 1953 12 hours of Casablanca : no 7 is the DB3 of the
(that is DB3/10 of course)
and no 8 is DB3/3 used by Roy Salvadori.
Here is the Vignale drawing you can notice the shape of the rear wing.
The side opening (in the front fenders) doesn't appear on the drawing.
More important, this is typically Aston but HERE IT PREDATES THE DB4 BY
5 YEARS !!!
THIS MAY WELL BE THE FIRST ASTON MARTIN WITH THIS SO TYPICAL TRADE
(source Philip Jones via 1996
I have checked the wheelbase. DB3s have a 7'9'' wheelbase hence (7
× 12 + 9) × 25.4 = 2362.2 mm. That fits perfectly !
"Eagle eyed Jacques-Louis" found something VERY nice on a site about Agadir. Indeed in
the forum, a lady put many photos taken during Agadir GPs in the
DB3/3 took part in 1954. Here is the grid:
DB3/3 is the dark 'berlinetta' at right. Here is a zoom:
(I couldn't resist enlarging this photo! Some wallpapers shouldn't
be left alone...)
And now, ladies and gentlemen, a gorgeous photo of a gorgeous car...
By the way, I hadn't noticed the
louvres on the bonnet even if you can clearly see them on the
Roy Salvadori told Jacques-Louis
some years ago that the body of DB3/3 was put on a Ferrari chassis.
This information was later confirmed by 'Myke Sparken'.
Maybe some Ferrari cognoscenti
will show us a Ferrari with that body...
I found my cognoscente!
Fellow Alex sent me the info the same evening of the update!!!
He found some on Ferrari
DB3/3 body was put on a Ferrari 340 America in the late 50s. This car
Here are photos:
They come from this
page. Here is a PDF:
I HADN'T REALISED THAT THE BONNET WAS SO LOOOOOOOOOONG !
Two more photos thanks to friend Alex...
I found in my Ferrari archives (yes, I have some...) that, recently,
0196A was restored to original condition and offered for sale by G.
The body was then put on a 212 Inter, chassis 0205 EL (ex Ghia
convertible shown at Turin in 1952). Here it is:
Thanks Alex for the photos !
Surgery by DK
Engineering (June 2007 photos)
Also some news from by Jacques-Louis about DB3/3...
As new (?), DB3/3 said to be bought
by a Domini Feretti (?) with Poberewjsky [written like that,
note] ; delivered 10 December 1953.
Wrongly "barquette sport" Vignale i.e. "barchetta". engine DP101/7 (of
M.Sparken explained me that the problem was to find foreign currency.
So wealthy buyers asked US officers or people from SHAPE (NATO
commandment) based, I think, at Saint Germain en Laye.
Did Domini Feretti belong to one of those ?
No registration given for this car by "Majestic Automobiles" [French
agent for Aston Martin, note], no red
plate [export, note], nothing
DB3/5 was built as a works racer with the 'standard' body and sold to
Nigel Mann in 1954.
A FHC body was then fixed. The look is somewhat reminiscent of the DB3S
but not as beautiful... See below.
At Hyeres in 1954:
One more photo thanks to Alex
The top was chopped up somewhere in 1955 ! Two fins were
with a headrest.
Note registration UPL 4
(source AM Magazine vol 20 no 80)
The grille was removed. Please note this grille was in three
You can see this when you click on the first photo. Indeed it's clear
when you see the larger photo.
Here are (cut) zooms (which can also be opened as larger photos by
Green arrow added
I have tried
to modify the contrast and gamma on the photo in order to see the side
to see the link
between remaining after
removal of the side grilles. The border of the center hole has been
On the right photo I put green colour where side holes are.
At Hyeres in 1955:
(Source : AMEC)
(Source : AMEC)
Friend Alex sent me the two following photos of DB3/5. They are of the
Hong Kong period of this car (roughly 1958).
They are great
and become really
huge when you click on them ! Source is a Japanese magazine.
DB3/5 was rebuilt with a new body after a crash in 1982. In
1984, it received a
twin-plug engine uprated to DB3S specs.
As seen at Lime Rock in 1983 (below left, thanks Alex):
(Source: Classic and Sportscar
August 1991 Classic and Sportscar article:
It was for sale by Duncan Hamilton in 2005.
This car has had many engines and bodies !
Car was built in 1953 with a 'production' body and registered FHH 534.
The photo above was spotted by
fellow Alex in February 2010
on eBay and is most interesting as it is
DB3/6 before having its new body fitted. You can see that it features
the hard-top from DB3/1 but also some alterations to the body:
- the front has already been modified as can be seen on the first photo
- the wheel arch have been cut à
la DB3S (the front ones were to be opened up further),
- rear wheels have discs. Those are not solid wheels (as Dunlop wheels)
but discs put on wire wheels.
You can guess the FHH 534 registration.
Caption was: BOB DENNIS IN THE EMERYSON MODIFIED ASTON MARTIN DB3 WITH
JAGUAR ENGINE. GOODWOOD 21-8-54.
So it also already had the Jaguar engine.
I previously wrote: In 1954 it received a gull-wing body along with a
Jaguar C-type engine.
It was then re-registered NV 64.
The original engine (DP/101/22) went to LML/50/9 (i.e. VMF 65) which
retained it until 1955.
I was wrong ; the Jaguar engine was already there and the body was
modified and not built from scratch.
Alex strikes back!
He spotted the following photo (Goodwood, April 1955) in Chris HARVEY's
Here is a zoom. Rear wheels cannot
One more photo thanks to Alex
: early registration. A newer body appears and two-tone colour is
already here but lighter hue in centre...
Here are 5 other photos (source : eBay) with a new registration (NV 64).
In fact, the body had conventional
doors on the above photos.
Only later did it receive the gull-wing ones with side alteration and a
third headlamp as can be seen on the two following photos from Alex:
It was also re-registered 778 RPH.
In 1965, the special FHC body and DBR2/1 were swapped.
DB3/6 got engine DP/101/32 from DB3S/4 (in 1956
DB3S/4 had its engine DP/101/32 replaced by DP/101/30).
I am very much indebted to Alex who found me this very rare photo of
DB3/6 so equipped...
A DB3/DB3S/DBR2 special !!! What
In 1975, the FHC body was refitted !
In 1982, the engine DP/101/32 was sold.
In 1989, chassis less engine and body was sold by Christie's for
was later completely rebuilt.
(source Classic & Sportscar
magazine, September 1989)
Also in Thoroughbred & Classic
Cars (October 1989):
Finally in la Vie de
l'Auto (issue 89/29):
In 2003, the gullwing body was sold by Christie's (once more and 14
years after the chassis !). On these photos, it appears much nicer than
it was originally (fewer chrome and single colour do help !)
(source Christie's site)
(source Motor Snippets)
And those from Alex :
It was recently for sale by Autosport Designs Inc :
DB3/7 has been built directly with a FHC body. First owner was Tom
Meyer. In 1954 car was for sale by H.W. Motors (see below) and it was
bought by Angela Brown (David Brown's daughter).
By the way, it is often said (and written...) that DB3/7 is a small car
with a somewhat cramped interior because Angela Brown was petite.
But the car was definitely not built for her !
On the lighter side, Angela Brown was to marry George Abecassis of
Angela Brown had a new bonnet made with oval shape grille. Car was
painted deep green.
She sold it in December 1955.
Those photos clearly show that the front fenders are higher than the
bonnet ! That was not true on the first body style.
DB3/7 was seen in red...(in the 70s it seems) It was later painted
dark green again !
Two photos from Alex (first one found on eBay it seems...) :
I bought recently a copy of German magazine Motor Klassik (December 1989). They
tried DB3/7. Here are some photos.
The bonnet line is well under
flip front affair...
you think you can put in the boot ?
... Nothing ! Inboard
drums already are here...
Here is the full article:
Lastly, three photos I bought some years ago... They were taken during
Mille Miglia Storica.
Aston Martin Scrapbook