Aston Martin is celebrating the centenary of its oldest surviving car – ‘A3’ – by building a modern day tribute based on one of its most dynamic and exhilarating series production sports cars, the new Vantage Roadster.
It is 100 years since chassis No.3, now commonly known as ‘A3’, rolled gracefully out of the marque’s then production facility at Abingdon Road in Kensington, London. The third of five Aston Martin prototype cars constructed before series production started, the car was used extensively by co-founder of the business Lionel Martin.
Fitted with a 1.5 litre, 11 hp four cylinder side valve engine, ‘A3’ was often seen with a streamlined racing body and in its heyday took several light-car speed records including first place at the Essex Motor Club Kop Hill Climb in 1922, as well as lapping the famous Brooklands circuit at 84.5mph in 1923 and where it was recently photographed.
One hundred years on from its construction, ‘A3’ is the pride of the Aston Martin Heritage Trust’s (AMHT) collection, which acquired it courtesy of a generous donation at an auction in 2002. After its acquisition by the Trust, ‘A3’ was restored to be as close as possible to its original factory specification by Ecurie Bertelli, the pre-war Aston Martin specialist.
To commemorate the historic car’s major milestone, and in collaboration with their friends at the AMHT, Aston Martin HWM commissioned the bespoke division of the great British luxury car maker – Q by Aston Martin – to capture the spirit of ‘A3’ in the new Vantage Roadster and just three examples will be built.
This exceptional commission is being shown publicly for the first time later this month at an A3 centenary celebration event organised by the AMHT, with support from the Aston Martin Owners’ Club.