The A3 prototype was built by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford.
Here in the US--at least before Covid--we had two big concours to look forward to: Pebble Beach in August and Amelia Island in May. But these luxurious, car-centric events aren't only for Americans. Since 2017 some of the rarest cars in the world have been brought first to the Concours of Elegance at Windsor Castle, and now to Hampton Palace Court (the former home of Henry VIII). This year in September, the world's oldest surviving Aston Martin is going on display.
The 1921 Aston Martin A3 was the third car ever built by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford and was driven extensively by them. It features a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 11 hp that amazingly allowed the A3 to average more than 86 mph over 100 miles at Brooklands. The A3 celebrates its 100th year on the planet in 2021 and will be traveling to various events.
This car is now owned by the Aston Martin Heritage Trust and has undergone a full rebuild to bring it back to 1921 specs. The A3 began life as a prototype before being sold to a private customer in 1923. It changed hands multiple times before being shown by R.W. Mallabar in 1927. It had a connecting rod failure and was returned to Aston for an engine rebuild and was then finished in Pale Gray rather than its original black.
The vehicle then disappeared until 2002, when it was identified as the A3. The next year it was put in the collection of the Aston Martin Trust, who let Ecurie Bertelli complete the full restoration. A new body had to be designed and hand-beaten into shape to replace the later body that was installed at some point between 1927 and 2002. The engine was rebuilt again, the radiator was refurbished and the chrome finish was removed.
The Aston Martin A3 will be on display on the Main Concours display at the Concours of Elegance 2021 in September. The event was established in 2017 to mark The Queen's Diamond Jubilee and as we said, has since moved to Hampton Court Palace. This year's event will feature European coachbuilt cars, a collection of Gulf- and Martini-liveried race cars, and bespoke hypercars. It will also celebrate The Queen's 95th birthday with a British car from each year of her life. It would also be a perfect opportunity to show off the new F1-inspired Aston Martin Vantage (pictured below).
Get your vaccination and get your tickets. They're 30 pounds ($41.50) for a half day, with full three-course hospitality packages starting at 288 pounds ($398.43).