As­ton Martin DB MKIII

With a restora­tive out­lay of over £87,000, this As­ton DB re­mains in tip-top fet­tle,

Classic Cars (UK) - - Contents - says Ross Alkureishi

First sold to a Mr RH Ja­cobs of Jo­han­nes­burg in 1958, this DB MKIII stayed in South Africa un­til 2000 when it was first UK reg­is­tered by its cur­rent owner.

Dur­ing his time it has had a three-phase restora­tion (ini­tially by Tim Stam­per, Pen­rith and later by cur­rent vendor Trevor Far­ring­ton), which has been fully de­tailed in the his­tory file, in­clud­ing all UK Mots and re­ceipts for parts and work.

Pre-2001 a new brake master cylin­der was fit­ted, along with a stain­less-steel ex­haust and up­rated elec­tric fan. Be­tween 2001 and 2009 the wiring har­ness was re­placed, the ra­di­a­tor re-cored, fresh track-rod ends fit­ted and the brak­ing sys­tem re­built. The Tick­ford-built body re­ceived a bare metal re­paint in 2009 and the in­te­rior a par­tial re­trim, with sus­pen­sion com­po­nents re­fur­bished and dy­namo, starter and dis­trib­u­tor over­hauled be­tween 2011 and 2013. Dur­ing this phase, the engine and gear­box were re­built, and the fuel sys­tem over­hauled.

The body is beau­ti­ful, with per­fectly matched blue paint all round and straight flanks with tight panel shut­lines. Chrome is largely ex­cel­lent, with no marks on ei­ther bumper. Door han­dles and wheel spin­ners have mi­nor pit­ting, but it’s re­ally gen­tle patina. At the restora­tion fin­ish, tyres were re­placed with Avon 185/R16 93s, which are show­ing lots of tread. The painted wire wheels are still in ex­cel­lent nick.

Un­der­bon­net at­ten­tion to de­tail is first class. Braided steel fuel and brake pipes have been fit­ted all round, and the twin SU car­bu­ret­tors and in­let man­i­fold black enam­elled. The chas­sis is sim­i­larly smart with the paint still look­ing fresh. There’s no cor­ro­sion vis­i­ble on the un­der­side, but the un­der­seal is lightly crack­ing and would ben­e­fit from a re­fresh.

The in­te­rior is a pleas­ing com­bi­na­tion of old and new. The leather seats have a lovely patina and re­main well fed, the cream head­lin­ing looks like new, as do car­pets (dark blue, piped dark blue) and the painted dash­board is scratch-free.

On the road the DB MKIII is dis­cre­tion per­son­i­fied, only rais­ing eye­brows with its in­duc­tion snort un­der heavy throt­tle. The whole pack­age is won­der­fully tight and drives ma­jes­ti­cally; there’s no steer­ing slop and the straight-six pulls cleanly through the revs. The gear­box changes crunch-free, al­though non-syn­chro first gear re­quires a dou­ble de-clutch. Brakes are good, as be­fits a to­tally over­hauled sys­tem, and hav­ing cov­ered 18,000 miles since 2000, the car has seen rea­son­able yearly ser­vice and use.

The sus­pen­sion is gen­er­ally with­out is­sue, al­though front dampers are a lit­tle bouncy over road im­per­fec­tions; how­ever, this will be in­ves­ti­gated and rec­ti­fied. On a hot day (29 de­grees), the As­ton didn’t miss a beat with wa­ter tem­per­a­ture a steady 85 de­grees and oil pressure around 35psi.

Com­pared to later vari­ants, the DB2/4 of­fers a more cost-ef­fec­tive route into clas­sic As­ton Martin own­er­ship, and ar­guably it gives a sportier drive. This ap­pears to be a fine ex­am­ple, ready to give decades of ster­ling ser­vice.

Beau­ti­fully restored DB MKIII first found life in South Africa

In­te­rior suc­cess­fully blends old and new in­clud­ing fresh car­pets

Engine per­forms seam­lessly and its fin­ish is first class

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