In the Winter of 1952-3, the decision was made to develop a replacement for the heavy and underpowered DB3. The 'Willie' Watson designed DB3S brought more power from the 2.9 litre straight six engine (initially 182bhp in the works cars, but eventually upto 240bhp) with less weight (down by 75Kg). The car was then clothed in the fabulous Frank Freely designed body. There were three distinct body styles of the DB3S, the first of which is very similar to that of DB3/4 with a large 'egg crate' style grille. The second body style features a more DB Mark 3 like grille and is sometimes referred to as the 'gothic arch' style body. And the third style is featured a new oval nose with faired in headlamps and the fitting of front disc brakes which requires the characteristic offset wheel rims.
In total, 30 cars were built, 10 were works cars, the remainder were sold to customers who wished to go racing. Although 1956 also saw the introduction of the DBR1, the DB3S still also represented Aston Martin in major competitions.
The DB3S works cars were entered for races 35 times. The results speak for themselves - 15 first places, 13 second places and 7 third places. But an outright victory at Le Mans eluded AML owner, David Brown.