James Bond fans and sports car aficionados will be delighted to see Allan Thom’s 1958 Aston Martin DB Mark III on the vintage and sports show field at the 2016 Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance.
Thom of Burr Ridge, Ill., has owned this distinctive car for about 18 months. He’s the fourth owner. The car was originally purchased by a gentleman in Southern California from an Aston Martin dealer in Pasadena, Calif. After it rolled off the production line in Feltham, Middlesex, England, the car was shipped to the U.S. It stayed in California until the owner passed away in 2009. At the time it had slightly more than 45,000 miles on the odometer.
The owner’s family considered restoring the aging car prior to selling it but after consulting with award-winning Aston Martin specialist Kevin Kay, they opted to leave it original. “This car is extraordinarily correct, the template with which any DB2-series Aston should be compared for an authentic restoration,” Kay said. “It’s only original once.”
The car was then acquired by a collector in the Netherlands (2nd owner) and shortly thereafter it was acquired by Rutger Houtkamp, a sports car authority also in the Netherlands. (3rd owner).
How did Thom find the Aston Martin and what prompted him to do so?
Turn the clock back to Thom’s youth. A Wisconsin native—and diehard Packers fan—Thom once worked at Coachhouse Racing in Milwaukee. “I learned how to wrench on cars,” he said. At Coachhouse he was surrounded by Jaguars, Aston Martins, Ferraris, Austin Healeys, MGs and more. “Plus, my mother was English. She steered me toward English sports cars,” he added. “The level of craftsmanship in the Astons was amazing,” he said. He knew some day, when he could afford it, he would own an Aston Martin. Over the years, he continued to follow Aston Martin’s development.
Fast forward to 2015. In his hunt for an Aston via catalogs, magazines and the Internet, “this car popped up,” he noted. Having been built in what is referred to as Aston Martin’s “Feltham era,” Thom knew this car was highly desirable. He first called Kevin Kay and told him he was interested in the car. Kay affirmed the car’s original status after Thom told him it has not been driven much since Kay saw it in 2009. Thom then called Houtkamp did the deal, moving quickly.
Since acquiring the Aston Martin, Thom has driven it for a couple hundred miles. “I’ve never driven a car that feels as this one does. It drives like a grand touring sports car. It’s simply a superb example of Aston Martin.”
About this Aston Martin
Aston Martin built just 551 DB2/4 Mark IIIs. The first DB2/4 was introduced in 1953 as a 1954 model. Thom’s car was number 86 out of the first 100 cars to be built.
Coachbuilder Tickford built the saloon, a four-passenger vehicle.
Powered with an in-line 6 cylinder, 2,992 cc engine, the car has a manual transmission and is left-hand drive as it was built for the U.S.
It is all original including its exterior paint, which the factory called “Broken White,” due to its similarity to the color of eggshells. The interior is black.
The Mark III DB2/4 was the final iteration of the “Feltham Era” cars, and considered by many to be ultimate evolution of Aston Martin’s DB2. It utilized a sophisticated 2.9L twin-cam engine designed by non-other than W.O. Bentley, originally designed for Lagonda. David Brown (that’s the DB in the model name) specifically bought Lagonda to acquire this powerplant for Aston Martin, thus creating one of motoring’s most legendary names—Aston Martin Lagonda. The Mark III version was introduced in 1957 and featured most notably, the reshaped front grill to mimic the shape of the highly successful DB3S race car, thus becoming the shape by which all future Aston Martin cars would emulate.
The James Bond connection
James Bond drives an Aston Martin DB Mark III in Ian Fleming’s novel Goldfinger, though it is referred to as a “DB III” in the book—indeed, the chapter in which he drives to his famous golf-course encounter with the villain is titled ‘Thoughts in a DB III’.
It is the only Bond car in the Ian Fleming novels to have gadgets installed. It included switches to alter the type of color of the front and rear lights, reinforced steel bumpers, a Colt .45 pistol in a trick compartment under the driver’s seat, and a homing device similar to the DB5 in the film. For the film adaptation five years later, the car was updated to the Aston Martin DB5 model and the array of gadgetry was much expanded. It was to become one of the most iconic of classic cars as a result.
See this car at the Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance
See this amazing car, along with nearly 200 other unique examples of automotive and boating history, at the 2016 Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance, Aug. 28, in beautiful Veterans Park along Milwaukee’s lakefront. The judged competition is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Several noteworthy honorary judges will participate, including Donald Osborne, Peter Cunningham and Roger Morrison.
Learn more about the weekend of events here.
Buy tickets in advance or at the gate.
Proceeds benefit Autism Society of SE Wisconsin, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee and Meta House.