Lot details Registration No: RSL 435 Chassis No: AM300/3/1529 Mot Expiry: Feb 2007
The first Aston Martin to be driven by James Bond in an Ian Fleming novel, the DB MKIII was unveiled at the Geneva Salon in March 1957. Sporting a new radiator grille that echoed the styling of its illustrious DB3S racing sibling, it retained the same basic structure as its DB2 and DB2/4 predecessors. Thus, its aluminium bodywork clothed an advanced square-section tubular spaceframe equipped with independent front suspension (a sophisticated trailing link, coil sprung set-up tempered by an anti-roll bar) and a coil-sprung 'live' rear axle (located via Panhard rod assisted radius arms). Redesigned by the brilliant Tadek Marek, its 2922cc dohc straight-six cylinder engine gained a new block assembly, crankshaft, camshafts and manifolds. Reputed to develop some 162bhp and 180lbft of torque, it was mated to a four-speed manual gearbox as standard. Available in saloon or drophead coupe guises (plus a few bespoke notchback fixed head coupes) total DB MKIII production is put at just 550 units. Initially an option, Girling front disc brakes were soon standardised across the range - a wise decision given that Autocar found the model capable of 119 mph and 0-60 mph in 9.3 seconds.
Finished in maroon with grey leather upholstery, this particular fixed-head example is described by the vendor as being in good (bodywork) to very good (four-speed plus overdrive gearbox, electrical equipment, interior trim, chassis, paintwork, wire wheels) condition. Listed on its accompanying V5 registration document as an "imported vehicle" which "was registered / used overseas" and "declared manufactured 1958", it received the numberplate 'RSL 435' on December 7th 2001. To right-hand drive specification it was reportedly treated to a "ground-up restoration" including "bare metal respray" and "engine rebuild" by a previous keeper. Forming part of a museum collection during the current ownership (December 2002 to date), it has nevertheless been "used regularly for pleasure and local rallies" covering approximately 2,000 miles in the process (a distance sufficient for its straight-six to now be considered "just run in"). Benefiting from a fresh set of tyres and recent tune-up, this handsome Aston is said to "run very well" and to have proved "100% reliable". Believed but not warranted to have covered 40,500 miles from new, it is only being offered for sale because of a new bias in the collection towards 1920s / 1930s cars. An assuredly elegant car, it comes with MOT certificate valid until February 6th 2007 and historic class (free) road tax until November 30th 2006.