GRR

This incredibly special Aston Martin DB3 is up for sale at Revival

03rd August 2022
Bob Murray

At the Goodwood Revival, our fix of twilight sportscar racing is provided by the Freddie March Memorial Trophy, a wonderful homage to the Goodwood 9 Hours that ran in 1952, 1953 and 1955. There is no better sight than those beautiful '50s cars gliding round the Motor Circuit as the sun goes down.

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This year marks 70 years since the first running of the Goodwood 9 Hours proper and things were quite different back then. The race started at 3pm and finished at midnight. It began with a Le Mans-style sprint for the drivers across the track to a fabulous line up of 30 cars from the likes of Jaguar, Aston Martin, Allard, Ferrari, Frazer Nash and Talbot. Two drivers shared the driving in order to last the distance, and quite a distance it was.

It was the first post-war event of its kind in the UK and its inaugural running in 1952 was Goodwood’s first international endurance race. It was the forerunner of the Goodwood TT races and blueprint for today’s Freddie March Trophy – same idea, and incredibly often the same cars, just a little shorter, with no sleeping bags for spectators needed.

Images courtesy of Motorsport Images
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It’s quite something to consider, therefore, that the winning car from that 1952 race will be back at the Motor Circuit this September. No, not Stirling Moss’s C-type Jag that was the race favourite, but the Aston Martin DB3 of Peter Collins and Pat Griffiths. They took victory in the darkness two laps ahead of a V12 Ferrari 225S.

That actual DB3 has raced at Revival in recent times, but this year it gets to have a year off. It’s trading a spot on the grid for a place on stage as it takes pride in the Bonhams pavilion for this year’s Revival auction on Saturday 17th September. Yep, you could buy it.

The DB3’s aluminium panels may not rival the later DB3S for looks, but the car was built strong, with a hefty welded tubular chassis that made it ideal for endurance events like the Goodwood 9 Hours. The DB3 was the creation of Robert Eberan von Eberhorst, co-designer of Professor Porsche’s D-type Auto Unions.

Image courtesy of Bonhams

Image courtesy of Bonhams

Five works racers were built and the car you see here is chassis number five, a survivor not just of Goodwood but also the Sebring 12 Hours, Le Mans 24 Hours and the Mille Miglia. The 2.6-litre machine first raced at Silverstone in 1952 when Lance Macklin brought it home in third.

Racing over, the old warhorse was road registered and found a new home in Hong Kong. When it was shipped back to the UK in 1990, it embarked on its second life as a historic racer, often returning to the scene of its famous victory in West Sussex.

“This is a very special homecoming,” Bonhams’ Tim Schofield tells us. “The DB3 is in its original 1952-53 livery and is eligible for the world’s greatest motorsport events including the Le Mans Classic, Mille Miglia Storica and of course, Goodwood Revival.”

Main image photography by Jordan Butters.

  • Bonhams

  • Revival

  • Aston Martin

  • DB3

  • Freddie March Memorial Trophy

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