Aston Martin DB Mark IIIB Drophead Coupe
The landmark DB2, considered by many marque enthusiasts to be the first “real” postwar Aston Martin model, was introduced in May 1950. The ultimate and most highly-refined variant, the DB Mark III (the “2/4” designation was eventually dropped) was introduced in March 1957 and produced in both Fixed Head Coupe and open Drophead Coupe form through July 1959, when it was ultimately succeeded by the DB4, which was initially advertised as “a companion to the DB Mark 3.”
Famed Polish-born Aston Martin engineer Tadek Marek thoroughly revised the existing six-cylinder W.O. Bentley/Lagonda engine design, with output rising to 162 bhp or 178 bhp with twin exhausts. Front disc brakes supplemented “Alfin” finned aluminum rear drum brakes, with the upgrade optional on the first 100 Mark IIIs produced and standard equipment on the ultimate Mark IIIB of 1958-1959.
Styling and body fittings were also updated, most notably with a revised grille opening inspired by the famed DB3S sports racer. The new grille of the DB Mark III influenced Aston Martin styling for many years to follow, with its iconic basic design cues providing brand continuity and essentially remaining in effect through the V-8 models of the late 1980s. Among the many other updates of the Mark III, a revised instrument panel designed by Frank Feeley echoed the grille’s shape and now relocated the gauges directly in front the driver. Performance was strong for the era and continues to be quite satisfying today, with acceleration from rest to 60 mph in approximately nine seconds, en route to a top speed of 120 mph.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2011 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.
162 bhp (SAE), 2,922 cc DBA inline six-cylinder engine with dual overhead camshafts and dual SU carburetors, fully synchronized four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with trailing link, coil springs and Armstrong lever dampers, live Salisbury rear axle located by trailing links and transverse Panhard rod, and hydraulic front disc, “Alfin” rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 99"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel