Aston Martin DB5

Total Production: 37

Aston Martin DB5
Aston Martin DB5
Aston Martin DB5

Total Production: 1,021
The DB5's were built from 1964 through 1965 during which 1021 examples were produced. They followed the success of the DB4's and featured similar body work as the 2 door, 4 seater Saloon. The DB name was derived from David Brown, an individual who had purchased the Aston Martin Company. The six cylinder engine was still standard. However, this Tadek Mereck designed straight six was now displacing 3995 cc and was capable of producing 282 horsepower. The Vantage option increased the output rating to 314 bhp. Most of the DB5s featured a new ZF five-speed transmission.
Unlike the DB4's, the DB5's were equipped with Electric windows and Selectaride type Armstrong Dampers. These were luxuries, but they also increased the weight of the vehicle and decreasing the overall performance. The zero-to-sixty time was 8.1 seconds with the top speed being in the neighborhood of 143 mph.

Just like the DB4's, the DB5's were available in convertible form. Twelve vehicles were built by Coachbuilder Harold Radford and designated the DB5 Shooting Brake.

The DB5 series will be remembered in history as having a staring role in the James Bond Film 'Gold Finger'.
By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2006The DB series was named after the head of Aston Martin from 1947 until 1972, David Brown. Debuted in 1963, the Aston Martin DB5 was the spicy replacement of the earlier DB4 model. The DB5 was available as a convertible or a sports saloon and was slightly heavier and longer than the DB4. Standard equipment on the DB5 included pile carpets, recling seats, a fire extinguisher and electric windows. All DB5 models had four seats and two doors and the sports saloon had a UK list price of £4,248 including purchase tax and the convertible was £4,562.

The Aston Martin DB5 weighted 3,310lb and could achieve 0-60mph in 7.1 seconds. Unfortunately the weight disadvantage was offset by the 4-liter version of the double overhead engine that produced 282 bhp. Early vehicles were fitted with a four speed gearbox, but came with the option of three-speed automatic, or even a five speed ZF manual unit. Eventually the five speed gearbox became standard equipment on all DB5 cars. Producing 282 bhp, the three SU carbs aided the car to reach to 145 mph.

A Vantage model was a higher performance variant of theDB5 that featured power output of 325bhp that eventually became the standard Aston Martin power unit with the launch in September of 1963. Only 65 DB5 Vantage coupes were ever produced. The DB5 was a low-slung coupe that looked sleek and glamorous enough to appear in movies. Compared to the previous model, the DB5 featured numerous improved that included an alternator instead of dynamo, electric windows as standard, and an improved exhaust system. Air conditioning was also available as an option.

One year after the car debuted, Sean Connery in his role of James Bond used the DB5 in the film Goldfinger. Transforming it into possibly the best known of all Aston Martin models, the DB5 definitely found its fame in the James Bond flick, but went on to also appear in Thunderball, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies and Casino Royale. Ian Fleming had originally placed Bond in a DB Mar III in the book, but the DV5 was the company's newest model when the film was being made. The vehicle in the film was the original DB5 prototype and another standard car used for stunts. After the film's release, two more modified vehicles were constructed for publicity tours. One of the vehicles was auctioned in Arizona in January of 2006 for $2,090,000.

Only 123 DB5 Vantage convertibles were produced though they never utilized the standard 'Volante' name. Only 19 out of the 123 DB5 convertible were left-hand drive and the convertible was only offered from 1963 through 1965.

Another very unique variant of the DB5 lineup was the shooting brake estate vehicle. Custom produced by the factory for David Brown, 12 more coupes were custom modified for Aston Martin by independent coachbuilder, Harold Radford. Unfortunately the station wagon featured no change to the rear suspension and drivers would find this out when the load in the rear shifted at high speed in a corner with ‘a resultant loss of control'.

Unfortunately the DB5 was replaced in 1965 by the DB6, the first four-seater produced by the Aston Martin family, after just over 1,000 cars were produced.

By Jessica Donaldson

Related Articles and History