1965 Aston Martin DB5 Vantage
Documents: German Fahrzeugbrief
- One of about 40 RHD factory Vantage saloons
- Original matching-numbers engine
- Fully restored, with careful attention paid to originality and authenticity
- Aston Martin’s most iconic model
The DB5 debuted in late 1963 as an elegant update to the DB4 Series V. Amongst the 170 modifications, marked differences include the all-aluminium engine being enlarged to 3.9 litres, a new five-speed manual transmission, and triple Weber carburettors. What truly set the DB5 apart, of course, was the starring role in the 1964 James Bond movie Goldfinger. After obtaining international star status and putting the name of Aston Martin into the mouths of millions, the DB5 quickly became not just another powerful GT car but also “the most famous car in the world”.
By outward appearances, the DB5 was nearly identical to the late-model DB4s. The Harold Beech-designed platform chassis was retained, as was the overhead-cam inline six-cylinder engine, which had been designed by Tadek Marek. Initially, only the David Brown four-speed gearbox or a three-speed automatic was available, but in mid-1964, a synchromesh ZF five-speed manual gearbox became standard on all DB5s.
Buyers could choose between a striking four-seat coupé and an equally beautiful convertible, both bodied by Carrozzeria Touring in their patented superleggera aluminium-alloy construction. Along with an elegant Aston Martin interior, complete with wool-pile carpeting, seats covered in Connolly leather, and a wooden wheel, the DB5 also adopted a few cosmetic changes. Amongst them were tinted glass, reclining front seats, four exhaust silencers, and electric windows.
The luxurious cosmetic additions of the DB5 added an extra 113 kilograms to its overall weight; as such, the DB4 engine needed an upgrade to maintain its top performance. With an engine redesign, coupled with factory-standard triple SU carburettors, this problem was easily fixed. With engine displacement raised from 3.6 litres to 3.9, power increased to 282 and top speeds of 141 mph were reached. Following in the footsteps of the successful DB4GT, the DB5 Vantage-specification engine featured an upgraded high-compression cylinder head, altered cam timing, and triple twin-choke Weber carburettors. Power also rose to 325 brake horsepower, which was a 40-brake horsepower difference from the standard engine. Zero-to-60 times dropped to 6.5 seconds, which was impressive by any standards.
Aston Martin produced only 65 DB5 Vantages, of which approximately 40 were right-hand drive, and the one offered here is a truly authentic example. Chassis DB5/2016/R boasts original parts inside and out, including the steering wheel, gear stick, pedals, and boot lining. The engine bay is highly original, and it has been carefully restored to its original condition and protected from wear. Although the ownership history of this car is largely unknown, correspondence between the German owner who restored the car and Aston Martin Ltd. relates an unusual tale. The original build card from the factory records the engine number as 400/2020, without the Vantage specification. In addition, it also records the carburettors as “Triple SUHD 8”. However, the additional features listed in “Particulars of Non-Standard Equipment & Accessories” clearly states that this chassis included a Vantage engine. Writing to Roger Stowers, a representative of the company, the owner inquired as to whether this could be recorded as incorrect. Stowers certified in writing that DB5/2016/R was one of the original 65 DB5 Vantages produced by the company; this correspondence accompanies the car.
The build card records the original purchaser of the car to be a H. Simmons and Co. Ltd., located in Bristol, who registered the car in February 1965, and it also records an additional owner, a Maurice J Eyles & Co in Gloucestershire. The car was then purchased near the end of the century in Germany, and it continues to present beautifully, as the result of several years of detailed and loving restoration, which was completed in 2002. This stunning Vantage is complete with a copy of the Aston Dorset build sheet, as well as service records detailing the extensive restoration.
Do not miss this opportunity to own one of the rarest and fastest “most famous cars in the world”.