Rare Aston Martin races into Bonhams

A rare Aston Martin Works team car – chassis number DB3S/5 – which was raced by such track legends as Sir Stirling Moss, Peter Collins and Roy Salvadori, and also co-starred with Terry-Thomas in the 1960’s movie classic School for Scoundrels, will be offered at Bonhams‘ Aston Martin Works Sale on 21 May. The car has an estimate of £6,000,000-7,000,000.

Aston Martin Works team car DB3S/5This historic Aston Martin began life as the personal road car of David Brown, the multi-millionaire industrialist owner of the Aston Martin marque. Under Brown’s reign the legendary post-World War 2 ‘DB’ series of Aston Martin cars were built, including the Atom, the DB2, DB3, DB4, DB5, DB6, DB7, DB9 and the DBS, all named using Brown’s initials.

Aston Martin also built a number of DB3S models for the Works racing team. Following a severe set-back during the 1954 Le Mans 24-hour race, when three of the cars were destroyed in a series of crashes, the Aston Martin Competitions Department commandeered David Brown’s personal DB3S – chassis 5 now offered here – to replace one of the wrecked vehicles, changing its use from high-performance road car, to frontline Works Team race car.

The DB3S originally featured experimental glass fibre bodywork, which was the height of cutting-edge technology for the period. However, after Brown handed it over to the Works team, it was given an aluminum body-shell and upgraded to full Works specification. It never returned to David Brown’s personal ownership, and instead went on to be raced by some of the most daring drivers of the time, in some of the motor sporting world’s most prestigious races.

Aston Martin Works team car “Few cars that have appeared in film can also boast an association with so many great names from the heyday of the British racing sports car, but this Aston Martin DB3S does just that,” said Tim Schofield, Bonhams UK Head Motoring. “Drivers who raced it include such legends as Peter Collins, Roy Salvadori, and Sir Stirling Moss, competing at world-class level in such gruelling races as the Mille Miglia, the Spa Grand Prix and the Nürburgring 1,000kms.”

The Aston Martin DB3S later starred in the 1960s British comedy, ‘School for Scoundrels’, in which Ian Carmichael battled with caddish (but much loved) Terry-Thomas for the affections of Janette Scott. The movie is a classic tale of one-upmanship, and its plot features several notable vehicles, such as the ‘Swiftmobile’, which was in reality a 1928 Bentley 4½-Litre Open Tourer in disguise, an ex-Works Austin-Healey 100-Six, and – of course – the car driven by Terry-Thomas, named the ‘Bellini’, which was none other than this magnificent Aston Martin DB3S.

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