THE 1954 ASTON MARTIN DB3S: CAR OF THE SILVER SCREEN RACED BY THE GREAT STIRLING MOSS

A rare Aston Martin Works team car – chassis number DB3S/5 – which was campaigned in period by such legendary racing drivers as Sir Stirling Moss, Peter Collins and Roy Salvadori, and latterly went on to co-star with Terry-Thomas in 1960s movie classic School for Scoundrels, will be offered at Bonhams Aston Martin Works Sale on 21 May 2016. It is estimated at £6,000,000-7,000,000.

This historic Aston Martin began life as the personal road car of David Brown, the multi-millionaire industrialist owner of the Aston Martin marque. Under Brown's reign the legendary post-World War 2 'DB' series of Aston Martin cars were built, including the Atom, the DB2, DB3, DB4, DB5, DB6, DB7, DB9 and the DBS, all named using Brown's initials. 

Aston Martin also built a number of DB3S models for the Works racing team. Following a severe set-back during the 1954 Le Mans 24-hour race, when three of the cars were destroyed in a series of crashes, the Aston Martin Competitions Department commandeered David Brown's personal DB3S - chassis 5 now offered here - to replace one of the wrecked vehicles, changing its use from high-performance road car, to frontline Works Team race car.

The DB3S originally featured experimental glass fiber bodywork, which was the height of cutting-edge technology for the period. However, after Brown handed it over to the Works team, it was given an aluminum body-shell and upgraded to full Works specification. It never returned to David Brown's personal ownership, and instead went on to be raced by some of the most daring drivers of the time, in some of the motor sporting world's most prestigious races.

"Few cars that have appeared in film can also boast an association with so many great names from the heyday of the British racing sports car, but this Aston Martin DB3S does just that," said Tim Schofield, Bonhams UK Head Motoring. "Drivers who raced it include such legends as Peter Collins, Roy Salvadori, and Sir Stirling Moss, competing at world-class level in such grueling races as the Mille Miglia, the Spa Grand Prix and the Nürburgring 1,000kms."

The Aston Martin DB3S later starred in the 1960s British comedy, School for Scoundrels, in which Ian Carmichael battled with caddish (but much loved) Terry-Thomas for the affections of Janette Scott. The movie is a classic tale of one-upmanship, and its plot features several notable vehicles, such as the 'Swiftmobile', which was in reality a 1928 Bentley 4½-Liter Open Tourer in disguise, an ex-Works Austin-Healey 100-Six, and - of course - the car driven by Terry-Thomas, named the 'Bellini', which was none other than this magnificent Aston Martin DB3S.


NOTES FOR EDITORS

Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to https://www.bonhams.com

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