1965 Aston Martin DB5

Robert Barnford and Lionel Martin began the Aston Martin Company as a means to build racing cars. They started their business in 1913 and built their vehicles atop a Isotta-Fraschini chassis. The name was derived from the Aston Clinton Hillclimb race and Lionel Martin's surname. Their reputation for fast vehicles quickly grew and soon they were establishing speed records. By 1924, the company was taken over by the first of many ownership changes. Though the management and ownership was seemed to be constantly changing, their goals were to produce cars capable of establishing new records and winning races.

Post World War II production was slow and money was tight. Industrialist David Brown acquired the Aston Martin Company in 1947 and the Lagonda automobile company. David Brown's initial would adorn the vehicles for many years and his contributions to the company were more than just financial, they were legendary. The first of the DB series, the DB1, was introduced in 1948 of which only 14 were built. The DB2 followed in 1950, outfitted with a Lagonda engine and styling by a Lagonda designer. In total, there were more than 400 DB2s created. Only 10 of the DB3's were created, which were more of a race car than they were a street machine.

The DB4 was a very powerful and competitive car and was a strong contender again Ferrari's and Maserati's. Carrozzeria Touring of Italy was responsible for the 'superleggera', meaning superlight, light-weight bodies. The cars continued to evolve in technology, capability, and design. By 1963, Aston Martin introduced their DB5. It was described as an evolution of the DB4, continuing the design established by its predecessor. Under the hood lurked a more powerful and potent engine. It played a staring role with James Bond in the 'Goldfinger' movie.

The DB5 continued in production until 1966 when it was replaced by the slightly larger DB6. With the extra room, the rear passengers gained a little extra legroom.


By Daniel Vaughan | May 2006
Think about some of the best television shows to have gotten their start as plays on Broadway and quickly one name comes to mind—David 'Bill' Manhoff. Fitting then that one of the most iconic of the prestigious Aston Martin line would get its fame from a movie.

David 'Bill' Manhoff would be the creator, originator, of some of the most famous, and funny, plays to ever hit Hollywood and television. Of course, the one that stands out in memory would have to be The Odd Couple, but to remember just that gem would be to short-change Manhoff's legacy.

The Partridge Family, Sanford and Son, Leave it to Beaver, All in the Family, The real McCoys, Petticoat Junction and The Owl and the Pussycat, all would be heavily influenced by, or written by Manhoff's imaginative, and creative, mind.

The Aston Martin DB5 would be introduced in 1963 and would be immediately well-received with its beautiful body styled by Touring and impressive performance. It was a grand tourer Aston Martin could certainly be proud of. However, the car would not be iconic from the moment it was released. Leave that to United Artists and James Bond.

Considered the quintessential James Bond film, Goldfinger would begin filming in late-January of 1964 and Bond needed a car fitting of his reputation as the ultimate secret agent. Thankfully for Bond, Aston Martin had released just such a car the year before.

As a result of its appearance in the film, the DB5 would become the biggest selling toy of the year and forever establish the look and film of what James Bond was all about. In fact, as a result of the car's appearance in that film subsequent installments would feature the DB5 as a near permanent fixture. James Bond and the DB5 were inseparable.

The fact Aston Martin made a convertible version of the DB5 is nearly forgotten to history. In all reality, the convertible version would not be made in the numbers as the coupe. And, in 1965, just a total of 123 convertibles would be produced. Chassis 2112/R is one of those that had been produced in '65.

The DB5 Convertible would be ordered by Manhoff and would serve as the perfect car for the famous screenwriter. James Bond had leaped into life from the pages of Ian Flemings books. The DB5 helped to make Bond iconic. Manhoff had created such incredible, and unforgettable television programs that he too was iconic within Hollywood and television circles. How better to tell the tale than drive the car that made Bond, James Bond the icon he is.


Largely original, the 1965 DB5 Convertible has accumulated just about 29,000 miles in its 60 years since rolling out of the factory. Enjoyed by Manhoff and just three others for six decades, the car comes with its original and well-preserved interior.

Made available through Gooding & Company's 2015 Pebble Beach auction, the car will be made available for public sale for the first time in its 60 year history. Complete with documentation, a number of accessories, tool roll, Continental parts kit and a provenance any collector looks for, the car was certain to attract attention.

Original estimates had the car garnering anywhere between $1,400,000 and $1,800,000 at auction. In the end, the 1965 DB5 Convertible would achieve a sale price of $1,540,000.

By Jeremy McMullen

Vehicle Profiles

Volante Convertible Coupe

Perhaps the best known Aston Martin of all time, due to its starring role in the James Bond film Gold Finger, the DB5 was produced from 1964 to 1965 and a total of 1,021 cars were built. As well as being produced in saloon form, the DB5 was also avai....[continue reading]

Volante Convertible Coupe

Before the launch of the DB6 in 1965, several short DB5 chassis remained unsold at the Aston works. So these 37 short chassis were built as a crossover open car and named Volante, meaning 'flying.' The aluminum body was constructed using the Superleg....[continue reading]

Coupe
Coachwork: Touring

Chassis Num: DB52054L

In the late 1950s, Aston Martin was still a small, highly exclusive car manufacturer that produced less than 250 hand-built cars per year. Their clientele was an exclusive base of discerning connoisseurs of grand touring motor cars, many who were att....[continue reading]

Volante Convertible Coupe

Industrialist Sir David Brown (DB) bought the Aston martin firm in 1947 and began the DB series of Aston martin automobiles. He commissioned a new inline 6-cylinder engine that secured a debut victory in the Spa 24-Hour of 1948. The first production ....[continue reading]

Vantage Convertible

Chassis Num: DB5C/1924/R

Aston Martin produced 1,021 DB5s, including just 123 convertibles, plus a few special-order 'shooting brakes' produced by outside coachbuilders. The high-performance, Vantage-specification DB5 made its first appearance in September 1964. ....[continue reading]

Coupe
Coachwork: Touring

Chassis Num: DB5/2055/L
Engine Num: 400/2083

The DB5 Series, introduced in 1963, continued the great sporting qualities found in the preceding DB-series cars. Engine displacement rose and tripe SU carburetors became standard, brining horsepower to 282 bhp. Dual-servo brakes and the DB5's covere....[continue reading]

Coupe
Coachwork: Touring

Chassis Num: DB5/2207/R

2207/R was built in early July of 1965 as a home-market RHD model and as one of the last DB5s built. The car was equipped with the improved glass-covered headlamps, rather than the earlier Plexiglas units. In the early 1990s, the car was restored, at....[continue reading]

Coupe
Coachwork: Touring

Chassis Num: DB5/2098/R
Engine Num: 400/2204

The Aston Martin DB5 was introduced in September 1963 as the successor to the DB4 Series V. The DB5 was constructed on a strong tube/subframe chassis with a wheelbase that measured 98 inches. The body length was 180 inches and the height measured 53 ....[continue reading]

Coupe
Coachwork: Touring

Chassis Num: DB5/1941/R
Engine Num: 400/1896

This DB5 is finished in a dark hue of metallic grey. It was given a comprehensive refurbishment at a cost of more than $100,000. The car has been converted from right to left hand drive, simply to make it more usable.....[continue reading]

Coupe
Coachwork: Touring

Chassis Num: DB5/1965/R
Engine Num: 400/1951

This Aston Martin DB5 was acquired in the United Kingdom by its current American owner while living in the town of Walton-on-Thames. The day before he returned to the United States, the H.W. Motors dealership notified him that a three-owner, 1965 Ast....[continue reading]

Coupe
Coachwork: Touring

Chassis Num: DB52269L

This Aston Martin DB5 has been part of the current caretaker's family for nearly 50 years. It served as a daily driver for the current owner's father. According to the factory, this is one of the few DB5s fitted with an automatic transmission and a f....[continue reading]

Coupe
Coachwork: Touring

Often billed as the 'most famous car in the world', James Bond's gadget laden Silver Birch DB5 in Goldfinger became many a schoolboy's dream. Regarded by many as the most beautiful Aston Martin produced, the DB5 shares many similar traits to the DB4.....[continue reading]

Coupe
Coachwork: Touring

Chassis Num: DB5/2211/L
Engine Num: 400/2221/V

It is believed that just 65 Vantage-spec Aston Martin DB5s were original produced. Of those, around 40 were right-hand drive cars and only about 25 export models in left-hand drive configuration. This particular LHD Vantage model was factory-finished....[continue reading]

Coupe
Coachwork: Touring

Chassis Num: 2270/L

Designed by Carrozzeria Touring and released in 1963, Aston Martin's replacement for the DB4 used a new all-aluminum engine enlarged from 3.7 to 4.0 liters with triple SU carburetors as well as a new five-speed transmission, as was used in the outgoi....[continue reading]

Coupe
Coachwork: Touring

Chassis Num: DB5/2268/L
Engine Num: 400/2305

This Aston Martin DB5 was originally delivered to Edwin V. Perdue via Aston Martin importers to the United States. It was specified with factory Normalair air conditioning, the engine breather valve scheme, a Bosch Koln TR radio with power antenna, a....[continue reading]

Volante Convertible Coupe
 
Volante Convertible Coupe
 
Coupe by Touring
Chassis #: DB52054L 
Volante Convertible Coupe
 
Vantage Convertible
Chassis #: DB5C/1924/R 
Coupe by Touring
Chassis #: DB5/2055/L 
Coupe by Touring
Chassis #: DB5/2207/R 
Coupe by Touring
Chassis #: DB5/2098/R 
Coupe by Touring
Chassis #: DB5/1941/R 
Coupe by Touring
Chassis #: DB5/1965/R 
Coupe by Touring
Chassis #: DB52269L 
Coupe by Touring
 
Coupe by Touring
Chassis #: DB5/2211/L 
Coupe by Touring
Chassis #: 2270/L 
Coupe by Touring
Chassis #: DB5/2268/L 

History

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 2006
The 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

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