1951 Aston Martin DB3 3litre (chassis no DB3/5) - This is an important car, not so much for its own racing record which was somewhat mixed, but because it started Aston Martin on its journey to more significant success in sports car racing in the late 1950’s. The DB3 was designed to be Aston Martin’s first serious sports racing car by Eberan von Eberhorst, who had previously penned the Auto Union Type D Grand Prix car and worked for Porsche on the 356. The DB3 was much heavier and underpowered in comparison to its direct rival, the Jaguar C Type, giving away some 50bhp. The car was built for strength - a logical requirement for endurance racing - and has been fêted by its drivers in period and since as being very nimble and exciting to drive with good handling in the wet. In its 6-cylinder Lagonda engine, it drew heritage from WO Bentley, whose team had designed it, though it was developed further for the DB3. Initially it was 2.6 litres in capacity but later increased to just over 2.9 litres. Five cars were first built for works competition use, with a further five cars supplied to privateers. On its delayed debut at the Dundrod Tourist Trophy in Northern Ireland in September 1951, the leading DB3 of three was driven by Lance Macklin who was suffering from a broken toe! At the end of the first hour he was only 20 seconds behind Stirling Moss in the lead C-type. Later in the race the car was forced to retire but it had proven to be quick, second only to Moss in the 3.4-litre C-type and ahead of a 2.6-litre Ferrari 212 Export. The DB3s were developed and raced into 1953, but at that point with its lack of power and heavy weight, the decision was taken to develop a smaller, lighter car, which would be the DB3S.