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The A3, so called because it was the marque’s third car, is today the only survivor of the original prototypes built by unsung chief mechanic Jack Addis.
It will star in the main concours at the event on 3-5 September 2021 at Hampton Court Palace.
A3 was built on a Rubery-Owen frame and powered by a 1486cc monobloc engine designed by Hamilton Victor Robb – derived from his own Coventry-Simplex 1389cc unit, as used in ‘Coal Scuttle’ – and fuelled by a single sidedraught ‘sloper’ SU via an Autovac from a tank at the rear.
Once its work was done, it was sold on as a production car and its pre-production status was in time forgotten.
In the early 2000s, A3 came to auction and, during inspection, its significance was realised.
Once acquired by the Aston Martin Heritage Trust, marque specialist Ecurie Bertelli was entrusted with the job of restoring it to its original specification.
With its ash frame, pine floor and brakes that operate the rear wheels only, this 1921 Aston Martin certainly shows its age.
But in other ways it is rather sophisticated. Note its electric starting and four-speed gearbox. Although with just 40bhp to call on, it struggles up hills.
Aston Martin A3 will be vying for glory at September’s Concours of Elegance – if you’d like to see it, you can buy tickets here.
Images: Tony Baker