The Concours of Elegance continues to be the UK’s top concours d’elegance and among the top three in the world.
The Concours of Elegance, presented by A. Lange & Söhne, will host the oldest surviving Aston Martin in its 2021 event at Hampton Court Palace on this September.
Aston Martin ‘A3’ was the third car ever made by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford, and was extensively driven by the founders. This year, it celebrates its centenary.
Given its name, because it is built on chassis no.3 and uses a Type A engine, ‘A3’ produces just 11hp from its four-cylinder side-valve engine. Nonetheless, it was raced in period, and proved capable of setting speed records, achieving an average of over 86mph over 100 miles at the Brooklands circuit.
By 1923, the car’s life as a factory prototype was finished and it was sold to a customer. It changed hands a number of times until history indicates it under the ownership of R.W. Mallabar in 1927. After a con-rod failure, the car returned to Aston Martin for an engine rebuild, at which time the car was re-completed in pale grey (rather than its original black) with red wheels.
The next time ‘A3’ reappears in the history books is 2002 when it was observed at auction as the third Aston Martin ever produced. In 2003 a donation allowed ‘A3’ to be purchased by the Aston Martin Heritage Trust, who entrusted it to Ecurie Bertelli for entire restoration to as close as original specification.
A new body was made and hand-beaten into shape to replace the later green body that had been included at some point in A3’s life, a new ash bodyframe was created, the engine was rebuilt, the radiator was refurbished and the chromium finish removed.
The car is presented today in full working order, with its factory specification black paintwork, preserving an extremely significant part of Aston Martin history.