1963 Aston Martin DB5
Year of manufacture1963
Number of seats2
1963 Aston Martin DB5 Sports Saloon
Registration no. YBY 777
Chassis no. DB5/1336/L
'Racing has played a major part in the development of all Aston Martin engines since Frank Halford designed the original 1.5-litre unit for Bamford & Martin. The 3,995cc 6-cylinder light alloy engine fitted to the DB5 is in all major respects the same as that which powered the 4-litre prototype which ran in the 1962 and 1963 Le Mans 24-Hour races.' Autocar, 21st May 1965.
Aston Martin's post-war evolution had taken a giant step forward in 1958 with the launch of the DB4. Classically proportioned, the Carrozzeria Touring-designed Superleggera body established an instantly recognisable look that would stand the marque in good stead until 1970.
For the new car, engineer Harold Beach drew up an immensely strong platform-type chassis featuring independent front suspension by means of unequal-length wishbones, while at the rear the DB4 sported a live axle located by a Watts linkage instead of its predecessor's Panhard rod. The engine was still an all-alloy, twin-cam six, but the old W O Bentley-supervised 3.0-litre unit had been superseded by a new design by Tadek Marek. This new 3,670cc engine featured 'square' bore and stroke dimensions of 92mm, and developed its maximum power of 240bhp at 5,500rpm. The David Brown gearbox was a new four-speed all-synchromesh unit.
Five series were built as the model gradually metamorphosed into the DB5 of 1963. The latter's distinctive cowled headlamps had first appeared on the DB4GT and the newcomer was the same size as the lengthened Series V DB4. Its 3,995cc engine - first seen in the Lagonda Rapide - was mated to a four-speed overdrive-equipped gearbox; a proper ZF five-speed unit being an option at first and standardised later. Famously featured in the James Bond movie, 'Goldfinger', the DB5 was immensely popular, with demand swiftly outstripping the factory's ability to supply following the film's release in 1964. In total, 1,021 examples were built between 1963 and 1965.
This left-hand drive DB5's chassis number suffix has been typed over on the guarantee form, possibly indicating a change of intended specification between the initial order and the car's completion. One of 42 DB5 saloons originally finished in Fiesta Red, it was the only one with a White Gold interior (recently re-trimmed in black). Its first owner is recorded as one A J R Whiteway of North Common, Chailey, Sussex, who kept the car until 1970 when it passed to one D Blackmore of Esher. '1336/L' was last taxed in the UK in October 1993 and is known to have been in Germany in 2005.
In 2016, the DB5 was sold to a buyer in the Middle East before being acquired by Stratton Motor Company. By this time the car had been fully restored, though, sadly, the history file had been lost. A copy of the guarantee form and service record has been obtained from the factory together with a letter of confirmation, but there is little else in the file apart from a photograph of the DB5 winning a concours in the Middle East. All taxes have been paid, NOVA certification obtained, and a V5C Registration Certificate applied for. Currently undergoing full health check at Stratton Motor Company, the Aston is said to drive very well and will be freshly MoT'd prior to sale. The car comes complete with spare wheel, wheel hammer, warning triangle, and a (non-original) jack.