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We had quite a discussion on whether Ian Fleming's writing "DB III" meant that Bond's car was an Aston Martin DB3 (a racing car) or an Aston Martin DB Mark III, this road car. There is no definitive answer. Below is a summary of my thoughts on the matter and the reason that I, and others, decided that Bond drove this model:
In the book, the car is called a "DB III", not a "DB3". It's even in a chapter title. I think it is more likely that Fleming would have written "DB3" if he meant the racer.
It's offered to Bond along with a "Jaguar 3.4". That was a fashionable, quick, saloon introduced in 1957, as was the DB Mark III. If he wanted to place Commander Bond in a racer, he would have instead selected a Jaguar D-Type to which the DB3 racer was an archrival.
There is no mention of a back seat (that I saw) but it does specify that Jill locks her bag "in the back" next to Bond's suitcase - this means it has a locking boot. Sounds more like a saloon than a racer.
It also doesn't specify that it's a coupe, though there is not the merest indication that it lacks a roof, as do nearly all DB3 and DB3S cars. There were some enclosed coupes (2 for in-house and 3 for customer racing) but I doubt Fleming knew his Astons this well...
Finally, there's the date. The DB Mark III was a new, hot car on the market when the book was written and set, 1957, as was the Jaguar 3.4. The DB3 was introduced in 1951 and ended production in 1957. The Aston Martin DBR1 was the racing car from the company by 1957, while the DB3S was a has-been. I can't see Fleming placing Bond in an outmoded racer.
So there's no definitive proof. But I feel confident that when Fleming wrote "DB III", he meant "DB Mark III" not "DB3". Note that this is not necessarily an error on Fleming's part. The DB Mark III was the third car in the series of road saloons known as "DB". The first car was called simply the Aston Martin 2-Litre Sports, though it was later called the "DB1". The next was officially the Aston Martin DB2, and was a road car. Introduced at the same time was the Aston Martin DB3 racing car. Three years later came the Aston Martin DB2/4, more commonly known as the "DB2 Mark II" or just "DB Mark II". Then came this car, the "DB Mark III". It is entirely within the bounds of reason that people in 1957 could have been calling this the "DB III", since it was the third DB road car. It also used a front clip similar to the real DB3, perhaps leading people to assume that they are the same car. --SFoskett 01:05, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)