Driving Aston Martin DB3S/10 Through The English Countryside
Photography by Ted Gushue
On a recent meeting of the Tyre Kicker Club, a private group gathering of like minded individuals in and around the Daylesford area about 2 hours West of London I met a man driving a car that I had only ever seen in video games. It was of course one of three that were there that day, which has to be an exceptional reunion for the legendary Works racing DB3S cars that Aston Martin built and raced extensively in the 1950’s. The young man goes by the name PK as we’ll leave it for now, and after a spirited drive through the English Countryside I tossed on my recorder and asked him about this gorgeous machine.
Ted Gushue: So PK, tell me a bit about your 1958 Aston Martin DB3S/10
PK: So this is the 10th of the factory race cars. Interestingly on numbers nine and ten, both these cars have disc brakes and coil over suspension. That’s what differentiates those two from the other cars. Number nine and ten were both owned by the same guy and as soon as he bought number nine, he offered this for sale to my dad. Number nine has a fantastic racing history, with Sterling Moss winning the 1,000 kilometers of Nurburgring. This doesn’t have any particularly amazing history like that, although Sir Stirling did drive it. It’s still just a wonderful car to drive.
TG: So I’ve just driven with you, and being a passenger in it is one of the most incredible experiences of my life. How would you describe the drive?
PK: It’s a bit challenging because the gear box on this car is a little slow especially when you compare it to a Jaguar D type or a Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, which these would have competed against in period. You definitely have to pause going through neutral, between any gear change, because of a very early synchromesh. I’m sure you’ll agree that the ride was pretty compliant. The turn in is fantastic and there’s very little weight being a straight six so you’ve got these fantastic disc brakes not having to work so hard. It’s really well balanced as well.
TG: And so there’s how many factory Aston’s?
PK: There’s 10 of these factory team cars and for me, it’s really amazing when you compare them again to those other cars they raced against. How everyone tackled getting around the race track as fast as you could. Because here you’ve got light, nimble, quick through the corners, where you have a brute force with the Ferrari’s huge power, and you have the Jaguar kind of being a middle ground. It’s interesting to think what it would have been like in an Ulster versus a Blower Bentley or a Speed Six.
TG: And this is no garage queen by any means.
PK: Oh no. This gets used. I try and get it sideways if it’s raining. It’s very easy to get it sideways. It’s fun to get it all the way up to redline and it really sings. The straight six really sings in this car. And unfortunately, we don’t race it but the good part is we road rally it and use it quite a bit. It is a privilege to be able to drive and take care of this car today. It always makes people smile and I receive endless thumbs up and smiles from other motorists. Lastly, the really special thing about sports racing cars of this period is that they are so useable on today’s roads. Fast, but not too fast, while giving the driver and passenger a completely immersive experience.