“As befits a car with such a famous name, handling is in the best race-nurtured tradition. It is absolutely effortless to drive and, although it must be classified as a sporting machine, such is the standard of luxury that one feels that even ‘grand touring’ is a somewhat inadequate term to describe this new breed of high-performance car.” Gregor Grant, Editor of Autosport on the new DB5.
Yes, it was the car made famous in the James Bond film Goldfinger, but the DB5 should also be remembered as one that set a standard to which all subsequent Astons have been measured. It was only produced from July 1963 until September 1965, with just 1021 built, of these 123 as Convertibles.
In essence, the DB5 was an evolution of the faired-in-headlight DB4 Series 5, this time with the 3,995cc engine of the Lagonda saloon. Early DB5s had the David Brown four-speed gearbox (all with overdrive) but this was soon replaced by a tough five-speed from German manufacturer ZF. Most cars carry the five-speed gearbox and a triple-SU carburettor engine.
It was an elegant GT, still referred to as a ‘Saloon’, and almost a four-seater, yet capable of nigh-on 150mph. The boot was roomy and the twin fuel tanks took some filling, endowing a DB5 travelling two-up with serious cross-country legs.
Caught in the perfect storm of never-waning interest in Bond and a worldwide collectors’ boom, the DB5 is one of the company’s most sought-after models, and values of DB5s have increased over 30-fold since 1994. It is the star performer of the K500 index.
The DB5 is the finest ‘David Brown Aston Martin’ and worthy of comparison with the best GTs of the period from Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini. Truly, a Gentleman’s Carriage.