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Timeless Classics: Aston Martin DB5

You might sigh and roll your eyes heavenwards at the inevitable reference to James Bond, whenever an Aston Martin is mentioned. But in the case of the DB5, well, you can hardly help thinking of 007, can you?

It was, after all, in no small part due to the 1964 James Bond movie Goldfinger that the DB5 became so famous and successful. Since then, it appeared in another four Bond films, and finally in the relatively recent Skyfall… when Bond’s cherished classic met a tragic end. It’s the Bond connection that has led some commentators to call the DB5 “the most famous car in the world”.

The most desirable of the David Brown Aston Martins?

But to Aston aficionados, there are plenty of other reasons why the DB5 is considered the most desirable of the David Brown Aston Martins. While it looked very similar to the final series of the DB4, it was a much-improved animal under the skin. For a start, it had a larger, smoother, more powerful 4.0-litre all-aluminium engine with three SU carburettors and – after the first 89 cars – a new five-speed manual gearbox. What’s more, the brakes were upgraded and an oil-cooler fitted. As for the interior, the DB5’s tinted electric windows were at the cutting edge of automotive fashion in 1963. But if even electric windows sound like too much faff, you could opt for air-conditioning and simply relax in the reclining seats, surrounded by luxurious wool-pile carpeting. This was no Spartan, race-derived sports car.

Object of desire

It’s not just in retrospect that the DB5 became an object of desire. After the model was launched in 1963 – and Goldfinger arrived on the silver screens in 1964 – Aston Martin made a profit for the first time in years. Aston’s service manager Dudley Gersham was quoted as saying, “If we had been able to produce 50 DB5s per week, we would have sold them.”

The pictured car might not be wearing the Bond-preferred Silver Birch paintwork, but is just as stylish in the dark blue it acquired during a full RS Williams restoration in 1984 (replacing the original Dubonnet Red). A rare, left-hand-drive-from-new example, still with its original engine, this 1964 car has factory-fitted air-conditioning and makes a stylish statement thanks to its chrome wheels with Dunlop whitewall tyres. It will be offered for sale by RM Auctions in Paris, on 4 February 2015, carrying an estimate of €550,000 to €700,000.

Photos: RM Auctions

This article is part of the 'Timeless Classics' feature series that is presented and supported by our friends at RM Auctions.