Aston Martin DB Mark III Drophead Coupe
The landmark DB2, considered by many marque enthusiasts to be the first true 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 and open Drophead Coupe form through July 1959, when it was ultimately succeeded by the all-new DB4, which was initially advertised by its manufacturer as “a companion to the DB Mark III.”
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 the optional twin exhaust system. Front disc brakes supplemented “Alfin” finned aluminum rear drum brakes, with the upgrade optional on the first 100 DB Mark IIIs produced and standard equipment on the ultimate Mark IIIB of 1958-1959.
Styling and body fittings were updated, most notably with a revised grille opening inspired by the famed DB3S sports racer of 1953 to 1956. The new grille of the DB Mark III influenced Aston Martin styling for many years to follow, with this now-iconic basic design cue providing unmistakable 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 of the driver.
Only 551 examples of the DB Mark III were produced during a relatively brief production run spanning 1957 and 1959, including one purpose-built competition model. Of those few cars though, only 84 were the elegant and sporting Drophead Coupe variant.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2010 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona and in August of 2011 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.
178 bhp (SAE), 2,922 cc DBA inline DOHC six-cylinder engine, dual SU carburetors, twin exhaust system, synchronized four-speed manual gearbox, Laycock de Normanville overdrive, 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