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Aston Martin’s first great endurance racer

3 years ago

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Dan Prosser | Ti co-founder


11 September 2021

Wouldn’t you feel on edge driving a car built in the Fifties when the oldest thing you’d driven before was from the Sixties? And isn’t it normal to feel nervous at the wheel of a car with a value several times greater than anything you’d piloted before? Surely not both at once… You’re offered the driver’s seat of not only the oldest but also far and away the most valuable car you’ve ever been entrusted with. Your stomach should be doing somersaults as your heart pounds like an Ibiza speaker stack.

Mine beats gently away like normal. As I pull open the tiny driver’s side door of the Aston Martin DB3S, I’m calm. So calm, in fact, I worry I’m being complacent. The door feels flimsy enough to fall off its hinges if I slam it too hard. I drop into the tweed-trimmed seat, push my feet beneath the steering wheel and along the bare aluminium floor until they come to rest against the pedals. Taking the polished wooden rim in my fingers, I eye up the same simple white-on-black dials that Salvadori once gazed upon, a Jaeger rev counter the most prominent of them.

I’ve already been told – though I don’t believe it’s true – that the DB3S is no trickier to drive than a Mazda MX-5. But my nerves have been settled most by the car’s astonishingly generous owner, who offered me a go in it as casually as you or I might dole out chewing gum. That’s despite it being utterly irreplaceable, one of only 10 such cars ever produced and probably worth an eight-figure sum.

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