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World’s Oldest Aston Martin Featuring at Concours of Elegance

Aston Martin A3

The Aston Martin ‘A3’, the earliest surviving automobile from the British marque, will be on show at this year’s 2021 Concours of Elegance.

This September will see the oldest surviving Aston Martin participating at the Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace. The Aston Martin ‘A3’ celebrates its centenary this year. It was the third car that Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford built and was extensively driven by the creators.

The Concours of Elegance was established in 2012 to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen with 60 of the rarest cars in the world arranged in the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle.

Since then, it has become a celebration of craftsmanship, innovation, and design, with the event since 2017 being hosted at Hampton Court Palace.

The Aston Martin ‘A3’ inherited its name from using a Type A engine and beng built on chassis no. 3. Despite the four-cylinder engine of the ‘A3’ producing only 11hp, it was raced in period and held its own with its capability to set speed records . It achieved an average of 86mph in over 100 miles at the Brooklands circuit. 

The A3
The A3. Source: Aston Martin Heritage Trust

In 1923, the ‘A3’ was sold to a customer where therafter it switched hands for a few times before being owned by R.W. Mallabar in 1927.

After experiencing a con-rod failure, the ‘A3’ found itself back at the Aston Martin factory for an engine rebuild, where it received a new pale grey finish (instead of its original black) matched with red wheels. 

For a long time, the ‘A3’ was lost in history and the next reappeared in 2002 when it was officially identified at an auction as the third Aston Martin to be produced.

In 2003, a generous donation to the Aston Martin Heritage Trust allowed them to purchase the ‘A3,’ and they acquired Ecurie Bertelli’s skills to perform a full restoration, bringing the automobile close to its original specification. 

Aston Martin A3

A new body was designed as a replacement to the green body that was later added to the A3. Other major restorations included a new ash bodyframe, an engine rebuild, and refurbishing the radiator that included removing the chromium finish.

The example is in full working order in its original factory specification black finish, preserving a crucially important part of Aston Martin history. 

1921 Aston Martin A3 with the 1922 Aston Martin Race Car
1921 Aston Martin A3 with the 1922 Aston Martin Race Car

The ‘A3’ will constitute part of the Main Concours display at Concours of Elegance 2021. The event will display many rare cars in the world and some of the most exquisite European coachbuilt cars to be made, including a collection of Gulf and Martini-liveried motorsport heroes and the latest bespoke hypercars.  

Concours of Elegance 2021 tickets are now available to purchase with prices starting from £30 for a half-day entry, while full three-course hospitality packages start from £288. Those interested can purchase their tickets at the Concours of Elegance website.

[Source: Concours of Elegance]