1956 Aston Martin DB3S


  1. First in Class
  2. Phil Hill Cup. Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, California, 2007.
  3. Best of Show. Louis Vuitton Concours d’Elegance, London, England, 1991.

1956 Le Mans 24 Hour Race Record

  • 2nd overall, Le Mans 24 hour race. Drivers; Stirling Moss & Peter Collins
  • 1st in 3 litre class, Le Mans 24 hour. Drivers; Stirling Moss & Peter Collins

Specific History of This Car

One of the “works” team cars, in June 1956 this DB3S finished second overall at Le Mans, with Stirling Moss and Peter Collins behind the wheel. It was later owned and raced by Australian David McKay.

After lying derelict in Australia for many years, the car found a new owner who sent it to Auto Restorations in 1987 for a full restoration. It was in remarkably original condition, although dilapidated and partly dismantled.

The completed restoration went on to win “Best of Show” at the London Louis Vuitton Concours d’Elegance in 1991, and two further awards at the Pebble Beach Concours in 2007.

Model History

Having minimal success with the DB3, Aston Martin had designer A.G. Watson engineer a new car. In May of 1953 a new prototype appeared at Charterhill. The car was largely based on the DB3 and featured a lighter chassis with a reduced wheelbase.

Through the years of 1953 to 1957, the DB3S raced and evolved greatly. The first version featured the engine specification above, with the final version having a 240 HP supercharged Inline-6.

The DB3S introduced many welcome changes over the DB3. Most importantly, the Salisbury hypoid-bevel final drive was replaced with a David Brown spiral-bevel verison. It was the hypoid spiral drive which caused the retirement of two DB3s at the 1952 Le Mans. Other changes included a new body, chassis and rear suspension geometry.

DB3Ss helped Aston Martin establish many international victories. During its debut at Charterhill, a DB3S driven by Reg Parnell beat out an Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar C-Type for overall victory. Shortly after, three DB3Ss raced at Le Mans with little success. During the Tourist Trophy, Goodwood Nine Hours and British Empire Trophy, Aston Martin took overall victories against British competition. With some newly found victories. Aston Martin looked to secure more international success.

In the tragic 1955 Le Mans, Peter Collins and Paul Frere drove a DB3S to second overall behind the winning D-type Jaguar and Collins repeated the result in 1956 in another DB3S, this time partnered by Stirling Moss.