1964 Aston Martin DB5
Year of manufacture1964
Number of seats2
1964 Aston Martin DB5 Sports Saloon Project
Registration no. DBP 582B
Chassis no. DB5/1497/R
Engine no. 400/1492
Undoubtedly one of the 'must-have' cars as well as James Bond's iconic vehicle, the DB5 continues to generate immense interest among car collectors, owners and users. Understandably so, as the total production of all DB5s over a two-year period was only a little over 1,000 cars.
Born of the frustration that Harold Beach had encountered with the DB4, which he claimed was rushed into production ahead of proper development, the DB5 remains the pinnacle of his achievements as a designer. Styled by Carrozzeria Touring of Italy, it used their patented Superleggera body construction and an engine reworked by Tadek Marek, which had been increased in capacity to 4.0 litres and now produced 282bhp on triple SU carburettors. Harold Beech had already had some practice for his magnum opus with the DB4GT and Series V DB4s, using faired-in headlamps to further enhance the appearance. The extra engine power attracted attention like never before despite the 'half the price' competition from the E-Type Jaguar. Later cars, this one included, were fitted with a ZF five-speed gearbox. There had not been, and would not be for some years, a car, let alone an Aston, quite as good as the DB5.
Many of the DB5s surviving today have been subject to complete restorations, often two or three; it is hard to believe that the older examples are now in their 51st year. Consequently, it has become harder to find cars with matching numbers and a continuous record of activity; or inactivity, as is the case with 'DB5/1497/R'.
Registered as 'EAF 2', this DB5 was delivered to its first owner on 9th April 1964 via Brooklands of Bond Street. The car is said to have been subject to frontal collision damage in the early 1970s and was bought as a rebuild project. It was almost completely dismantled and the parts dry-stored. Work has been carried out on it since but there is no accurate record of what has been done and when. However, a record of the original purchase and many other documents related to the car come with it, together with a Works Manual, V5 registration document and a series of photographs which may be of early repair work.
There is evidence of repair to the nose and near-side area of the chassis. This and the rest of the frame and floor have been painted in a gloss black finish. The cockpit and boot floors appear sound. The car is rolling, with the suspension and brakes in place front and rear. It is not known if the brakes, suspension and Selectaride mechanisms have been refurbished but the brake pipes appear to have been renewed recently. The four chromed wire wheels appear to be original but are in need of renovation. Tyres appear to be 1970s in origin.
There are two front-end body assemblies. One, for a DB5, appears to be new and made relatively recently. The other, for a DB6, is old with some poor repair work. The rear coachwork and sills have been cut away as an assembly. There is no roof.
A bonnet, said to be from another DB5, is included but has not been measured against the new nose. The boot lid is included together with both doors complete with winder mechanisms, motors, handles and chromed window surrounds. One door is missing its skin but a new repair skin is included. Both fuel filler caps are included, albeit disassembled. Door and quarter-light windows (including quarter-light catches) and what appears to be a new rear screen are included. There is no windscreen or seals.
The correct engine (according to the AMOC Register and the accompanying British Motor Industry Heritage Trust certificate) has been refitted but is said not to have been looked at since the car's acquisition in 1974. The manifolds, starter motor, dynamo, carburettors and other ancillaries have been removed. The ZF gearbox is installed and the prop shaft turns when the car is pushed.
The dashboard is in place and appears complete, while the handbrake lever and control pedals are present also. The original green front seats and rear squab were treated with hide food recently. The rest of the original trim, including door liners, is present together with the original black carpets (marked for use as templates). There is no headlining. There is a box of what are almost certainly new trims and door/window seals - possibly a complete set.
The wiring loom has been replaced with a period-correct item. Headlamps and nacelles appear to be missing; the tail lamps though are present. Several ancillaries remain in place on the bulkhead. Sold strictly as viewed, this is a challenging project but nevertheless one that, once completed, will give immense satisfaction to the car's fortunate new owner.