Aston martin's DB3S, a beautiful and successful racer
Here's a record to be proud of. Over a four-year period, the Aston Martin DB3S was entered into a total of 35 races. It's record was: won, 15; second, 13; third, seven.
It was also one of the best looking cars ever to grace the racetrack at a time when competition in the looks department was intense.
Following their racetrack success with the DB2 Aston Martin decided to produce a pure sports racing car, the DB3, and this was designed by senior Austrian engineer Eberan von Eberhorst. This was moderately successful but simply couldn't compete with the Jaguar C Type.
Enter onto the scene John Wyers, Eberhorst's assistant, who had some fresh ideas of his own. He felt that much of the problem with the DB3 lay with it's weight; so he redesigned the chassis, gave it a shorter wheelbase, narrowed both the front and rear tracks and widened the engine bore out slightly to 2.9 litres. His paring shaved 160 pounds off the weight of the car.
The bodywork was also redesigned to make it more rigid and aerodynamic by their staff designer, Frank Feeley. His gorgeous creation looked as though it was doing 100 mph even when it was stationary. The design incorporated, to the front and rear wings, Gothic arch shapes; in other words two parts of the circle, forming a point at the top rather than being completely circular; which assisted in strength and rigidity as well as appearance.
This design was adopted, and named the DB3S.
The car was designed not only to racing, but also as a two seater open sports car. There was an absolute minimum of instrumentation in the cabin, though, and little else in the form of creature comforts.
Two works coupes were built, because it was believed that they could be more aerodynamically efficient than the open top version, but these proved unstable at high speed. A crosswind lifted the rear ends and and both of them crashed during the 1954 Le Mans race. Both cars were repaired and rebuilt as open top cars but three more coupes were sold to private buyers. It is believed that two of these still survive but the third was converted to open top.
Altogether 31 of these beautiful creations were made; 11 were retained by the company and 20 sold to private buyers.