You may not know this, but the 1957 Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk III is a Bond car. True, this particular Aston Martin never made it onto the big screen, but it did appear in Ian Fleming’s novel Goldfinger. By the time the book was made into the movie, the current Aston Martin was the DB5, and that model was used. The Mk III was the only Bond car in Fleming’s novels to have gadgets installed.
The Mk III was sold from 1957 to 1959 and came to market with a new version of the W.O. Bentley-designed Lagonda 2.9L straight-6 engine, which had been redesigned by Tadek Marek. That engine used twin SU carburetors and produced 162 horsepower, but buyers could also opt for an optional dual-exhaust system that raised horsepower to 178. The Mk III could hit 60 miles per hour from 0 in 9.3 seconds, and had a top speed of 12 miles per hour.
The Mk III is especially noteworthy as it featured changes to the front grille that would become the shape of all future Aston Martin models. Aston Martin also adding in a new instrument panel and Girling disc brakes. An automatic transmission was available, but the standard offering was a hydraulically operated clutch, which was new to Aston Martin. The clutch also came with an optional Lacock-de Normanville overdrive attached to the STD 4-speed gearbox. Like the Mk II, the Mk III used worm-and-sector steering and a live axle rear end.
RM Sotheby’s has a Mk III on the block, and it’s a prime example of why Fleming chose the car for his character to drive. This particular Mk II has Rumbold safety belts and a Smiths Oil temperature gauge in addition to the twin-exhaust system and front disc brakes, which leads Sotheby’s to believe that the car was being set up for racing by the original owner, Air Force Captain Jerome J. Sauber. Either that, or Sauber was prepping the car for a few secret missions. All he needed was Q’s help to finish outfitting the Mk III.