1965 Aston Martin DB5
Year of manufacture1965
Number of seats2
1965 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible
Registration no. GUV 30C
Chassis no. DB5/C/2119/R
Engine no. 400/2273
'More and more cars today reach the magical "ton" but those which can do it with the same ease and rapidity of the Aston can be counted on the fingers of one hand. High-speed stability and safety is not cheap to engineer, and with few people to pay the price, production costs are never reduced by the quantity of the work. The DB5 therefore fills a unique corner of the market, a corner at the top end both in the way it performs and the price one pays for the privilege.' Autocar, 18th September 1964.
Introduced in 1963, the DB5 was a development of the preceding DB4 that had represented such a giant step forward in Aston Martin's post-war evolution on its arrival in 1958. Classically proportioned, the Touring-designed body established an instantly recognisable look that would stand the marque in good stead until 1970. The DB4's engine was still an all-alloy twin-overhead-camshaft 'six' but the old W O Bentley-designed 3.0-litre unit had been superseded by a new design by Tadek Marek. Proven in racing before it entered production in the DB4, the new 3,670cc engine featured 'square' bore and stroke dimensions of 92x92mm and developed its maximum power of 240bhp at 5,500rpm. The David Brown gearbox was a new four-speed all-synchromesh unit.
Touring's Superleggera body construction, which employed a lightweight tubular structure to support the aluminium-alloy body panels, was deemed incompatible with the DB2/4-type multi-tubular spaceframe, so engineer Harold Beach drew up an immensely-strong platform-type chassis. Independent front suspension was retained, the DB2/4's trailing links giving way to 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. Five series were built as the model gradually metamorphosed into the DB5. 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. The DB5's 3,995cc engine, first seen in the Lagonda Rapide, produced 282bhp and was mated to a four-speed, overdrive-equipped gearbox, a 'proper' ZF five-speed unit being standardised later. Other improvements included alternator electrics, Girling disc brakes instead of Dunlops, Sundym glass, electric windows and an oil pressure gauge as standard equipment. The DB5 was also offered in convertible form (the 'Volante' name would not be applied to the soft-top Aston until the DB6's arrival) while independent coachbuilder Harold Radford offered a shooting brake conversion. 1,021 DB5s were manufactured between July 1963 and September 1965, a total that included a mere 123 convertibles and 12 shooting brakes.
This Aston Martin DB5 Convertible was purchased from H R Owen by Mr Robert C Taylor of London on 10th November 1965. It was originally delivered with engine number '400/2273' and was finished in Sierra Blue with grey interior and matching Everflex hood. In 1968 the car went back H R Owen in part exchange.
In 1969 the DB5 was sold to Mr Geoff Budge. He was followed by Mr Stanley Cale of Cleckheaton (date unknown) and then Anthony Gorst Howarth, who purchased the car in May 1989. At that time the Aston was in a state of partial restoration, having been of the road, garaged for at least ten years. The car was not running but required no chassis work, though there was some electrolysis to steel parts. The hood fabric had been removed, as had the chrome trim, which waas in boxes. The valve gear was noisy so Mr Howarth replaced the valves and cylinder head gasket himself. Low oil pressure when hot led to Mr Howarth having the engine bottom end rebuilt. The non-standard chrome wire wheels were fitted in 1989 and the car repainted in 1993, a new hood being fitted at the same time.
Mr David Preece acquired the car on 1st May 1996 and it is known to have covered 74,680 miles by 15th October 1999. The current vendor acquired the DB5 on 21st November 2005. Fewer than 3,000 miles have been covered over the course of the last 15 years, and only some 300 between July 2011 and June 2014, when the total stood at 77,518.
In 2005, marque specialists Chris Shenton Engineering completed a comprehensive overhaul of the car. Works undertaken included remaking and fitting chassis sections; replacing the sills; de-denting the bodywork; removing rust from the bumpers; rebuilding the engine; overhauling the carburettors; dismantling and replaced seized brake callipers; re-carpeting the interior; re-plating the brightwork; balancing the wheels; and fitting a new convertible hood.
Finished in California Sage with sand Connolly hide interior, this ultra-rare and highly desirable soft-top Aston Martin is offered with sundry restoration invoices, current MoT certificate and V5C registration document.