Aston Martin DB3

See Aston Martin DB Mark III for the road car often called "DB3"

The Aston Martin DB3 and later DB3S were sports racing cars built in the 1950s. Although they used some DB2 parts, they were quite different, being designed especially for racing. The original modifications were done by ex-Auto Union engineer, Eberan von Eberhorst, though others handled the later DB3S work.

Aston Martin DB3
Aston Martin DBR1
Aston Martin DB3/5, at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2009
CategoryLe Mans Racer Sports car racing
ConstructorAston Martin Lagonda LTD
Designer(s)Robert Eberan von Eberhorst
Technical specifications
ChassisTwin-tubular, aluminium body, open two seater
Suspension (front)Torsion bar and trailing arms
Suspension (rear)Torsion bars, parallel links, panhard rod, De Dion axle
Length13 ft 2½ in (4,026 mm)
Width5 ft 1½ in (1,562 mm)
Height3 ft 4 in (1,016 mm)
Axle track4 ft 3 in (1,295 mm)
Wheelbase7 ft 9 in (2,362 mm)
EngineLagonda 2,580 cc/2.9L Straight 6, Twin OHC, FR Layout, 3 twin-choke Weber 36 DCF5 carburettors
TransmissionDavid Brown S527, 5-speed Manual, later a David Brown S430/63R, 4-speed Manual, 9" single clutch
TyresDunlop 16 x 6
Competition history
Notable entrantsUnited Kingdom David Brown
Notable driversUnited Kingdom Reg Parnell


The DB3 was introduced in 1951 with a 133 hp (99 kW) 2.6 L Lagonda straight-6 engine from the DB2 Vantage. The car was unsuccessful, so a larger 2.9 L engine, producing 163 hp (122 kW), was introduced in June 1952. The car was placed 2nd, 3rd, and 4th at Silverstone May 1952 (in 2.6 L form) that year behind a Jaguar C-Type. The cars were forced out of Le Mans, but did claim the 9-hour race at Goodwood.

In 1953 a DB3 driven by Parnell/Abecassis placed 2nd at the Sebring 12 Hours, the opening race in the World Sports Car Championship, behind a Cunningham CR4 and then at the second round at the Mille Miglia, Reg Parnell drove a DB3 to 5th place, the highest position ever reached by a British sports car in the Italian classic. The car was then replaced as Astons front line car by the DB3S.

Chassis numbersEdit

In total 10 DB3s were made between 1951 and 1953, with chassis numbers from DB3/1 to DB3/10. Cars 1 to 5 being used as works cars and cars 6 to 10 being sold as customer cars.


Aston Martin DB3 Coupe

Several Aston Martin DB3s have received coupé style bodies over the years. Pictured left is Aston Martin DB3/7 Coupé at Silverstone Classic 2008


The DB3S was a lighter version of the car, introduced in 1953. It was somewhat more successful, and was produced until 1956.

Originally two 'works' coupé versions were also built.

In 1956 the DB3S was replaced by the DBR1, which claimed victory in the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans.


  • "Post War Competition Cars". Retrieved 24 June 2005.