Amelia Island

10-11 March 2017

A Gentleman's Collection: The Pride & Passion of Orin Smith

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Lot 109

1958 Aston Martin DB Mark III by Tickford

  • Chassis no. AM/300/3/1359
  • Engine no. DBA 1001

Sold for $302,500

178 bhp, 2,922 cc DOHC inline six-cylinder engine with twin SU carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, live axle rear suspension with coil springs and radius rods, and hydraulically assisted front disc and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 99 in.

  • The ultimate variant of the original “DB”; one of only 551 built
  • An original U.S.-delivery example, supplied via Peter Satori Motors
  • Equipped with its original, numbers-matching engine
  • Documented by a copy of the original Aston Dorset build sheet

Like all British car manufacturers, Aston Martin was left to pick up the ashes at the end of World War II and try their best to get back on their feet. Luckily, the company was rescued from liquidation by an industrialist by the name of David Brown. While the first post-war Aston, the 2-Litre Sports, only found 14 buyers, the car that followed would be a resounding success, with its W.O. Bentley-designed six-cylinder engine appropriated from Lagonda, which Brown acquired in parallel with Aston Martin.

The DB2 was introduced in 1949 in prototype form, and it incorporated everything that anyone could ever want from a sports car at the time; in addition to the pedigreed twin-cam six, it featured gorgeous aluminum bodywork that could be acquired in either coupe or drophead body styles. The next model was named the DB2/4, in reference to the occasional rear seating found below a folding panel. By 1957, 1,175 DB2s and DB2/4s had been sold, as the company was still a boutique operation. Then, the final and most sophisticated version of the line, ultimately marketed as simply the “DB Mark III,” added 551 units to the total by 1959.

This final DB2-series iteration is central to Aston Martin’s heritage, as it is the first production Aston Martin to feature the marque’s now trademark grille, which appeared first on versions of the legendary sports-racer, the DB3S. Inside the cabin, the grille’s shape was mirrored by the car’s dash binnacle, and designers chose to place the instruments directly in front of the driver. The updated “DBA” engine benefitted from a stiffer block, stronger crankshaft, high-lift camshafts, and bigger valves, and it would be the final evolution of the W.O. Bentley-derived powerplant. Perhaps the biggest improvement to the Mk III over the early DB2/4s was the eventual addition of front disc brakes, a first for any road-going Aston Martin and offered well ahead of most of its larger competitors.

The Mk III offered here is identified by its original build sheet, a copy of which is on file, as having been delivered to famed Los Angeles dealer Peter Satori on 16 September 1957. The same build sheet notes that the car was equipped with engine number DBA/1001, which it retains under the hood to this day, and equipped with the 3.77:1 rear axle ratio, Smiths speedometer, and Avon Speed tires.

A later owner of the Mk III was Jimmy Dale, a longtime Aston Martin enthusiast in Florida, who completed its exacting restoration to its present condition and appearance. Finished in a sparkling metallic silver with dark grey Connolly leather upholstery, it presents extremely well, with excellent body panels and shut lines, very good paintwork, and unmarked brightwork, all of which appears to have been freshly done throughout. The interior shows light stretching from driving enjoyment, common to the sports cars within the Smith Collection, as their owner did, in fact, insist that each car in the collection be ready for one of his frequent runs. Recent detailing is shown off to good effect, as the car is scrupulously clean underneath and under the hood, where a correct set of road tools remains present. The odometer recorded 68,517 miles at the time of cataloguing and is one of but a set of clear and attractive instruments within the well-restored dashboard. Accompanying the car is a reproduction spiral-bound instruction manual for the Mk III.

A lovely DB Mk III, to drive or show with equal pride, this car looks the part of a well-finished, properly maintained “gentleman’s express.”

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

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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

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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