Tony Matthews Cutaway: Aston Martin DB3S

Our latest amazing Tony Matthews cutaway painting features one of Britain’s most beloved sports racing cars: the sleek Aston Martin DB3S of 1953-1956. 



Introduced in 1953, the Aston Martin DB3S proved to be more speedy, and thus more popular, than its somewhat overweight predecessor, the DB3. Accordingly, some 31 examples were produced over the next three years: 11 factory team racers and 20 customer cars, and they remain highly coveted today. Every bit the proper British sports racer of the era, the DB3S features a lusty twin-cam six, classic wire wheels with knockoffs, and a De Dion rear axle. And as usual, the Tony Matthews cutaway captures all the fascinating details. Grab a beverage and take some time to study the exquisite painting in full size—you will be rewarded. Here’s Tony.  -MCG 


Aston Martin DB3S
by Tony Matthews

One cool aspect of commissions of historic car cutaways was that the illustrations were inevitably destined for more than just magazine use. Nothing wrong with magazines, I used to buy a great number of them, but storage is a problem and inevitably there comes a time, either distressing or cathartic, self-imposed or demanded by a spouse, when a ton or more of paper and memories has to be disposed of. Books, however, have a longer life and are more gratifying to be involved in.



In 1984 I had a call from author Chris Nixon to say that he had been commissioned to write a comprehensive book on the Aston Martin DB3S, a two-volume edition to be published by Palawan Press, a company owned by Simon Draper. Simon is not only a publisher but also a collector of Aston Martins, and my job was to produce a cutaway of his DB3S, a particularly nice example of the type, finished in typical pale metallic green with sky blue trim and oxblood leather seats.



As there were two DB3Ss in California, and Chris was also preparing a book on the Ferrari versus Aston Martin battle of the 1957-1959 seasons, which I was also to illustrate, a trip was arranged. Chris Nixon, photographer Richard Newton, and I set off for California, saw both DB3Ss and concluded our one week tour at Laguna Seca, where I photographed Pete Lovely’s Ferrari TR250, Brandon Wang’s Testa Rossa, and the Aston Martin DBR1.

Simon Draper’s DB3S was kept at his beautiful home in the South of England, housed with the rest of his comprehensive collection, and that is where I went to photograph the complete car, and later, before I started the illustration, to a restoration business inside the grounds of the Silverstone GP Circuit. The DB3S is a car that I was aware of but hadn’t really paid much attention to until this point, and I very quickly came to appreciate it, an elegant but purposeful car and I am sure it must as nice to drive as it is to look at.


The cutaway image below is extremely high resolution. Left-click to open and then left-click the “view full size” message at lower right to enjoy the painting in full size. 

The text and images images here are copyright Tony Matthews, all rights reserved. Used strictly by permission. Be sure to see Tony’s other great cutaways at Mac’s Motor City Garage — link here. 

3 thoughts on “Tony Matthews Cutaway: Aston Martin DB3S

    • And please excuse my general lack of knowledge on engines. Are the trumpets on the near side the carb intakes? If so, why does the covering over them look so restrictive? Is that covering itself a cutaway?

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