1964 Aston Martin DB5SOLD
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Estimate: 120,000£ - 150,000£
Estimate: €176,000 - €221,000
Estimate: $243,000 - $304,000

Offered Without Reserve
AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of £223.500

282bhp, 3,995cc-litre dual overhead camshaft inline six-cylinder engine, five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, and four-wheel disc brakes.
Wheelbase: 98in. (2,489mm).

By the late 1950s, Aston Martin had established itself as a small, highly exclusive car manufacturer, annually producing less than 250 hand-built cars. Aston’s exclusive client base included some of the most discerning connoisseurs of grand touring motor cars, many of whom were attracted to the marque by its successes in sports car racing. With a price roughly twice that of the exciting new Jaguar E-Type, the exclusivity of Aston Martin was akin to that of Bentley and hardly within reach of the average motorist.

The Aston Martin DB4 was unveiled in 1958 at the Paris Auto Salon, where it received sensational reviews. The car was new in virtually every regard, and its introduction was a significant achievement for a small British manufacturer. It was constructed on a new steel chassis with four-wheel disc brakes and a freshly developed alloy, twin-cam inline six-cylinder engine designed by Tadek Marek. This powerplant was quite similar in its design and construction to the Lagonda engine designed by W. O. Bentley and used in earlier Aston DBs. In its current incarnation, it provided plenty of torque and horsepower for quick acceleration and high-speed touring as well as the now-distinctive Aston Martin exhaust note.

Meanwhile, the gorgeous aluminium bodywork was designed by Touring of Milan and based on the coachworks’ superleggera (super light) construction process.

In its fifth year of development, the DB4 had become slightly longer and taller, evolving into an exciting long-distance tourer. For 1963, Aston Martin introduced the now legendary DB5 model at the Earl’s Court Motor Show in London. While the design was quite similar, the displacement of the six-cylinder engine increased to 4 litres. With three SU carburettors as standard equipment, output increased by 20 per cent to 282 horsepower. The new car also boasted various refinements such as twin fuel fillers, electric windows, and a more highly tuned exhaust system. After the first 50 units were built, the ZF five-speed gearbox became standard equipment; the fifth gear overdrive ratio was a considerable improvement for motorway driving. At a rate of 18 units per week, 886 DB5s were produced between 1963 and 1965, all of which received Touring’s superleggera bodywork.

Of course Aston Martin’s fame and that of the DB5 in particular, were due in no small part to the popularity of Ian Fleming’s Agent 007, James Bond. While Bond originally drove an Aston Martin DB MkIII in the novel Goldfinger, Henry Saltzman and Albert Broccoli were determined to use a DB5 in their big-screen adaptation of Fleming’s spy thriller. The silver DB5 was fitted with an ejection seat, a .30 calibre machine gun, an oil slick generator, and revolving registration plates, among other exciting modifications. Ultimately, as the car’s popularity was rivalled only by that of Sean Connery, it made appearances in four other Bond movies. Regardless of its automotive merits, however, much of the DB5’s status as a pop-culture icon was the result of its association with the debonair British secret agent.

The Aston Martin DB5 offered here carries a particularly interesting provenance. As verified by Chris E. Baker, General Manager of Service Operations at Aston Martin Lagonda, this car was constructed in 1964 and delivered by Brydor Cars on 1 January 1965 to Beatle George Harrison. Painted Platinum with a black Connolly leather interior, the car was fitted with chrome wire wheels and Avon Turbospeed tyres. A heated rear window, Motorola radio with power aerial, Britax safety belts, a detachable passenger’s side headrest, and FIAM horns with a changeover switch were also fitted. The car’s timing chain was modified the same year. Thereafter Harrison’s DB5 found its way into the collection of a museum in Tokyo before its eventual purchase by its current owner in 1997, who imported the car to Germany. It has remained in largely original, unrestored condition ever since.

A full professional inspection was very recently conducted by GKK Gutachtenzentrale in Düsseldorf, Germany, where it was determined that the car was repainted at some point in its history. The quality of the work is generally quite acceptable, although imperfections are evident. Despite evidence of corrosion to the bodywork, the car remains in good original condition. The patina evident on the seats and the effects of ageing visible on the black carpeting would tend to indicate that they are both original, as per factory specifications. The three-spoke wooden steering wheel as well as the instrumentation and gauges are in similarly good overall condition.

The engine bay appears to be largely original and well maintained, although the cosmetic effects of ageing may be noted as well. The undercarriage is in the same unrestored state and is likewise indicative of the car’s 22,000 indicated original miles. A complete mechanical inspection was also conducted recently and, although the car runs and drives, wear and long-term storage has made mechanical recommissioning necessary for the car to pass the safety inspection standards set by the UK Ministry of Transport.

Attractive, exclusive, and sporty, the Aston Martin DB5 continues to be the quintessential gentleman’s grand touring car. This largely unrestored example is particularly appealing, especially in view of its distinguished ownership history.

Reference Number 13131

as of 9/14/2007

Car 1964 Aston Martin DB5
VIN DB5/1896/R 
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