Amelia Island

12 March 2011

Previous Next

Lot 167

1959 Aston Martin DB MKIII Saloon

  • Chassis no. AM300/3/1497

Sold for $148,500

Est. 195 bhp, 2,922 cc DOHC six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual gearbox with overdrive, independent front suspension with coil springs and solid beam rear axle, factory disc brakes. Wheelbase: 99"

- Original California LHD example, in current ownership since 1969

- Fresh, body-off, comprehensive restoration to concours standards

- Engine uprated to DBD specification, including DB3S camshafts

As the first Aston Martin model equipped with the W.O. Bentley-designed twin-cam, 2.6-liter six-cylinder Lagonda engine, the DB2 made quite an impression at international auto shows and in competition, finishing first, second and third in class at the 1951 Le Mans 24 Hours and third overall against the likes of Jaguar’s C-Type.

In 1953, this gentleman’s sports car grew into a four-place saloon, the DB2/4, followed by Drophead Coupe and Notchback variants. By 1954, a new 3.0-liter engine producing 140 horsepower was introduced, and in 1955, the revised MK II was introduced at the London Motor Show and was distinguished by a redesigned bonnet and rear-end treatment.

The MK II continued through early 1957, when the MK III supplanted it, with the upgraded DBA-specification engine providing up to 178 horsepower with optional dual exhaust outlets. Detail refinements enhanced the exterior, and a redesigned instrument panel placed all gauges directly in front of the driver. Girling front disc brakes were available, and transmission options included Laycock de Normanville electric overdrive and a Borg-Warner automatic gearbox. Next, the MK IIIB of 1958 and 1959 represented the ultimate expression of the basic DB 2/4 concept. Front discs were now standard, and engine choices now included the more-powerful DBB unit, while the even more-powerful DBD utilized three SU carburetors and offered 195 horsepower.

The name was refined, and the 2/4 designation was dropped for the 1958 and 1959 cars, which were simply known as DB MK IIIs. Nomenclature aside, the result was what many see as the ultimate early postwar Aston Martin. Fitted with the best of everything, they were both more powerful and agile than any other road-going English sports car of the era.

This left-hand drive 1959 DB MKIII is an original California car and has been in its current ownership since 1969. Finished in eye-catching medium British Racing Green, the MKIII underwent an extensive long-term restoration by its talented engineer owner. Every nut and bolt was removed and renewed or replaced to correct specification. It should also be noted that during disassembly all body sections and ancillary parts were verified to have the same Tickford body number (#303). No stone went unturned as every part of this car was taken apart and inspected to be either rebuilt or replaced if necessary.

The fresh drive train features a rebuilt engine enhanced with special pistons, balanced crankshaft, triple dual-throat side-draft Weber 40DCOE carburetors, to DBD engine specification, and includes camshafts from DB3S/104. Fitted with the best of everything, including factory-fitted disc brakes, this 1959 DB MKIII is both more powerful and more agile than any other English sports car of the day.

As with the exterior and engine bay, the interior of DB MKIII is simply stunning. Inside, the driver finds himself surrounded by yards of supple tan camel-skin leather. The carpeting was also replaced with new tan Wilton style carpet. The finishing touch is a period aluminum and cherry wood Nardi steering wheel. All extras are present, including factory tools, jack and handle, tire gauge and grease gun. An original leather-bound owners handbook, parts book and reproduction service manual complete the package.

As quoted by Road & Track magazine in 1959, the DB MKII is “a car for connoisseurs.” In the case of this particular example, we couldn’t agree more.


Please note this car does not have overdrive, as stated in catalog. Contrary to the catalogue description this cars restoration is not to concourse standards.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

Cameron Smyth

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Cameron Smyth joined RM Sotheby’s as a Car Specialist in 2015, working out of our corporate office and providing assistance on c... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more