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Aston Martin History

1955 Aston Martin DB3S

Chassis number : DB3S/111

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Sold for $5,500,000 at 2014 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach Concours.
In 1959, Aston Martin would finally reach its objective. It had been many years but an Aston Martin had finally triumphed at Le Mans. It had been nearly a decade of effort, of toil and heartache. In 1955, David Brown's effort came close to achieving the zenith. The car that nearly hit the target but that set the foundation for the overall victory a few years later would be the DB3S.

In 1951, David Brown would set the way forward for Aston Martin. It was an ambitious task and one that needed just the right car. He would have it in the DB3S. Benefiting from a new chassis design that was lighter than its predecessor, and a body style that was just as cutting-edge, the DB3S was a clear statement as to Aston Martin's intent.

The DB3S would be the weapon of choice for the works team obviously. However, Aston Martin would build more examples of the DB3S that would be made available for customers. Out of a total 36 DB3S chassis to be built, 16 would be retained by the factory effort for its assault on Le Mans. The remaining 20 would be made available for customers. One of those, chassis DB3S/111, would serve as the poster-child of the series.

Completed around October of 1955, DB3S/111 would seem like just another of the DB3S chassis. Finished in a green livery with a silver grille, DB3S/111 would find its way onto the stand at the 1955 Earls Court show and would be greatly heralded by all those who had the opportunity to see the car.

Following its upholding of family honor at the show, the car would be sold to its very first owner in May of 1956. The proud owner would be Mr. Mackie. Mr. Mackie's ownership would be rather brief, R.s. Wilkins would soon be registered as the car's owner and would be, at that time, fitted with SU carburetors.

Between 1960 and 1964 the car would change hands three times and would be successful raced as part of the English club racing scene. In 1961 the car would earn an overall victory in the VSCC Pomeroy Trophy race and then would score another victory at Silverstone in 1962. Between 1961 and 1963 the car scored no less than two victories and six podium finishes.

The car would soon attract the attention of Ivan Carr. Carr was well known for his biscuit business but had an impressive collection of automobiles as well. Soon, DB3S/111 would join that collection and would remain until 1972 when John Crabtree became its next owner.

The DB3S/111 would be pursued heavily by some very enthusiastic Aston Martin collectors. By 1974, the car would be sold to its pursuer—Roger Forshaw. Forshaw would get the car he wanted and would campaign the car in a number of events and would be the centerpiece of a display at Aston Service Dorset, an Aston Martin Lagonda shop that had been founded back in the early 1930s.

In 1990, the car would be entirely rebuilt, including refinishing inside and out. The whole process would take the most of three years and would include such expert technicians as John Lambers. Lambers would be well known having worked for Team Lotus, All-American Racing, and even John Surtees.

Upon the unfortunate passing of Roger Foreshaw the Aston Martin would be sold to its current owner, a collector from New York known for his own impressive collection of postwar sports cars.

Appearing in period-correct livery and sporting such distinct features and touches as the Aston Martin plaid seats, DB3S/111 is certainly a sight to behold, nearly as famous as the very car that would take the overall victory at Le Mans four years later. Just one look at the 1955 DB3S and it is undeniably clear Aston Martin would prevail in its quest and that day at the Earls Court Motor Show in October of 1955 was merely the prophecy.

Offered at the 2014 Gooding & Company Pebble Beach auction the 1955 DB3S would garner a sale price of $5,500,000.

By Jeremy McMullen

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Provenance *
* Please note, dates are approximate

2014 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach Concours

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $5,000,000-USD $7,000,000 
Sale Price :
USD $5,500,000

1955 Aston Martin DB3S Auction Sales

Recent Sales of the Aston Martin DB3S

(Data based on Model Year 1955 sales)
1955 Aston Martin DB3S
Chassis#: DB3S/102
Sold for USD$3,998,018
  2020 Gooding & Company : Passion of a Lifetime
 
1955 Aston Martin DB3S
Chassis#: DB3S/111
Sold for USD$5,500,000
  2014 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach Concours
1955 Aston Martin DB3S image  1955 Aston Martin DB3S image  
1955 Aston Martin DB3S Sports Racing Car
Chassis#: DB3S/118
Sold for USD$3,685,000
  2012 RM Auctions - Monterey
1955 Aston Martin DB3S image  1955 Aston Martin DB3S image  
1955 Aston Martin DB3S
Chassis#: DB3S104
Sold for USD$1,980,000
  2009 Sports & Classics of Monterey
1955 Aston Martin DB3S image  1955 Aston Martin DB3S image  

Aston Martin DB3Ss That Failed To Sell At Auction

1955 Aston Martin DB3S's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High

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1955 Aston Martin DB3S Profiles

1955 Aston Martin DB3S vehicle information
Roadster
Chassis #: DB3S104
1955 Aston Martin DB3S vehicle information
Roadster
Chassis #: DB3S/118
Engine #: VB6K/118
1955 Aston Martin DB3S vehicle information
Roadster
Chassis #: DB3S/111