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Aston Martin DB5: Buying guide and review (1963-1965)

Aston Martin DB5: Buying guide and review (1963-1965) Classic and Performance Car
Aston Martin DB5 Aston Martin DB5 Aston Martin DB5 Aston Martin DB5 Aston Martin DB5 Aston Martin DB5 Aston Martin DB5
It’s probably not possible to write about the DB5 without mentioning a certain secret agent, but if it wasn’t for James Bond the svelte Aston simply wouldn’t have the profile that it does. That wouldn’t make it any less desirable though, because here’s a car that’s beautiful, fast, carries one of the most evocative badges and sounds utterly gorgeous the faster you drive it. What’s not to like?
 
Sadly, the DB5’s rarity and collectability also mean you now need incredibly deep pockets to acquire one and because these cars are so valuable, many owners buy them as an investment rather than to use them. However, despite their huge worth, there’s not much chance of the bottom dropping out of the market; DB5 values have enjoyed a spectacular trajectory in recent years, and even if the market softens in the short term (which is unlikely), in the long term you’re always going to come out ahead. 
 
Which one to buy?
 
The DB5’s huge values are a double-edged sword, because while this is a classic that’s now nothing like as attainable as it was, it’s easy to justify a major restoration of one of these very complex machines. Because of the DB5’s complexity, if you’re buying a car that’s already been restored, make sure it comes with a full photographic record of all work done – and make sure it’s been done by a recognised marque specialist.
 
Most DB5s are sold via the major auction houses or through Aston Martin specialists, in which case you should be in good hands. But if you’re buying privately, make use of one of the many Aston experts out there and get them to do a thorough inspection of any potential purchase. In return they’ll want just a fraction of the car’s value, and it might just save you a fortune. By far the majority of DB5s were regular coupes, but there were some Vantage editions too and some dropheads. Unsurprisingly, the latter variant is especially sought after while the Vantage is valued more highly than the SU-equipped DB5. But it’s not hard to convert a DB5 to Vantage specification, so you can buy a standard car and convert it – and if you’re buying a supposedly original Vantage it’s worth establishing that it is the real deal.
 
Performance and specs 
 
Engine 3995cc, in-line 6-cylinder
Power 280bhp @ 5500rpm
Torque 288lb ft @ 3850rpm
Top speed 142mph
0-60mph 8.1sec
Fuel consumption 15mpg
Gearbox Five-speed manual/Three-speed auto
 
Dimensions and weight
 
Wheelbase 2489mm
Length 4572mm
Width 1676mm
Height 1346mm
Kerb weight 1465kg
 
Common problems
 
• It’s easy to be taken in by shiny paintwork, but this can be hiding a catalogue of horrors. The DB5 features an aluminium skin stretched over a steel skeleton. It was built to a high standard though, so cherished cars should be in fine fettle. If the aluminium skin is bubbling, expect far worse underneath as the two metals will have reacted with one another. 
 
• The key areas to check are the sills, which can rot badly. If they both need a complete reconstruction expect much financial pain, If the rust has spread to the chassis, proper repairs will be hugely expensive. 
 
• Also look at the base of the bulkhead, jacking points, trailing arm mounts, bumper supports, door hinge mountings, boot floor and the double-skinned boot lid. 
 
• Although it’s realistically not all too common, crash damage is certainly something that you should look out for. More recent repairs are likely to have been carried out to a high standard, but cars repaired years ago when values were lower could be cause for concern.
 
• If the engine is treated to an oil change every 2500 miles it should just keep going, although the oil will need to be regularly topped up if the straight-six isn’t to run low. It should also have had a fresh timing chain within the last 60,000 miles. If this breaks, the engine will be destroyed. 
 
• An oil cooler having been fitted is a sign of a caring owner; if there isn’t one fitted, bank on installing one sooner rather than later. Expect oil pressure of 80-100psi when cruising; much less suggests that all is not well. 
 
• Overheating engines aren’t unusual, because of blocked up waterways around the cylinder liners – especially at the back of the engine, around the water pump. An electric fan is worthwhile, but if the waterways are clogged up, it’s just a matter of time until things get expensive. 
 
• Gearboxes – whether manual or auto – are very tough. If they’re on the verge of giving up it’ll be obvious (jerky changes on the auto, jumping out of gear on the manual). Rebuilds aren’t costly though, relative to the car’s value. 
 
• The dual-circuit braking system (with Girling discs all round) is conventionally engineered and isn’t prone to problems. The steering is also usually reliable, but worn bushes can lead to it becoming vague; they’re easily and cheaply replaced however. 
 
• The suspension bushes also wear, but of more concern is the spectre of the front suspension arms detaching because of corrosion. The same goes for the rear arms of the lower front wishbones; their sockets can corrode, leading to some interesting dynamic characteristics. 
 
• Most interiors will have undergone at least one re-trim by now, and you will usually find only the best quality leather on the seats. There isn’t much to look out for.
 
Model history
 
1963: The DB5 is introduced, taking over from the DB4. It shares much with the DB4 Series 5 Vantage, but in place of the previous 3670cc straight-six there’s a 3995cc unit. Standard carburation is a trio of SU HD8s, or there’s a triple Weber 45DCOE option in the 314bhp DB5 Vantage. There are also Girling disc brakes at each corner, carried over from the DB4 GT. 
 
1964: The third James Bond film is released, Goldfinger. The Aston Martin DB5 takes a starring role, assuring its place in the Hollywood hall of fame. 
 
1965: Harold Radford reveals its shooting brake conversion on the DB5. Meanwhile, the DB5 is superseded by the DB6. By close of production, 886 DB5 coupes have been built (including 65 with the Vantage engine) along with 123 convertibles and a dozen shooting brakes. 
 
James Bond appearances
 
Since its first appearance in Goldfinger, the Aston Martin DB5 has perhaps been the most readily associated with 007. In total, the DB5 has appeared in a total of seven James Bond movies, although only briefly in Thunderball, Tomorrow Never Dies and most recently Spectre.
 
Goldfinger saw the DB5 utilise the passenger ejector seat, while GoldenEye’s opening sequence saw the classic Aston taking part in a race down a mountain, against a Ferrari F355 Spider. Skyfall was perhaps not great viewing for fans of the car, as it was destroyed by gunfire (thankfully a replica built just for the film), although in Spectre we see a glimpse of the iconic car undergoing a Q branch restoration.
 
Owners clubs, forums and websites
 
www.amoc.org - Aston Martin Owners Club
www.amocna.org - North American Aston Martin Owners Club
www.astonmartindb5hire.com - Hire an Aston Martin DB5 for various events
www.astonmartinlife.com - Aston Martin forum
 
Summary and prices
 
There’s no denying that the DB5 is a true icon, and a fantastic driving experience, so values reflect this. As a general rule, the cheapest viable DB5 project car will cost somewhere around £300,000. It’s interesting that for many, these are the cars that offer the best value, as it allows a healthy budget for a complete restoration. Running cars in better condition, on the market for around £400,000-£500,000, will often need similar levels of money spending if the buyer wants a concours standard car. Top condition BD5 models start from around £750,000. 
 
Spec can affect the values, as genuine Vantages and cars with Vantage upgrades command a premium, while the rare automatic versions are not sought after. Convertibles are by far the most desirable of the DB5 range, and thanks to the limited production run of 123 cars, are also the most expensive. Projects (if you can find one) start from £500,000, with average cars usually falling between £750,000-£900,000. The very best command up to (and beyond) £1.2m. 
 
So, it’s a fairly big step-up from that Corgi model Aston Martin DB5 we all had growing up, but for the lucky few that have the means to drive this beautiful GT, there’s certainly a lot to be said for it! 
 
Words: Richard Dredge
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Last updated: 2nd Mar 2016
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Aston Martin DB5 cars for sale

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  • ASTON MARTIN DB5

    POA POA

    SOLD TO BELGIUM Brand Aston Martin Type DB5 Color Silver Interior Black Year of build 1965 Price Sold This Aston Martin DB5 is sold to a customer in Belgium. Please contact us if you are interested in buying or selling a rare/unique automobile. MORE INFORMATION For more information or an appointment, please contact Rutger Houtkamp by phone :+31 6 25 09 81 50 or send an e-mail to Rutger@Houtkamp.nl . Please feel free to contact us during evening hours or weekends. The Houtkamp Collection is located near Amsterdam, 10 minutes from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Please contact us directly or fill in the form to receive more information on this specific car Your Name (required) Your Email (required) Your phone number Subject Your Message The information provided on this website has been compiled by The Houtkamp Collection with the utmost care. The information contained within this advert is provided ‘as-is’, without warranties as to its accuracy whether expressed or implied and is intended for informational purposes only. The Houtkamp Collection is not liable for any errors or mistakes.

    • Year: 1965
    For sale
    The Houtkamp Collection
  • Aston Martin DB5

    POA POA

    Engine Size 4.2l Mileage 10,700 miles Previous Owners 8 Bodystyle Coupe Seats 4 Transmission Manual Exterior Colour Goodwood Green Interior Trim Tan The DB5 we are delighted to offer is finished in its original colours of Goodwood Green with Tan hides. Built in 1965 the car was sold in 1967 to its second long term owner by London dealers H.R. Owen and kept for 30 years. During this time it was used for special occasions only, prior to the owner becoming unable to use the car. Purchased In 1997 by a London based gentleman, the car was maintained with Aston Martin Agents Ian Mason before Nicholas Mee & Co acquired it in 1998. Since being in our care with the last owners, the car has benefitted from an extensive mechanical restoration, including a rebuild to its original engine to 4.2 litre specifications, suspension upgrades, brakes rebuilt and meticulous maintenance works, while preserving the original standards of this superb car. Never dilapidated and without need of restoration, it is a pleasure to drive and to be seated, in its gently aged cabin. With matching numbers, original colour combination and superb driving condition, this car is a delight in every respect. Whilst satisf

    • Year: 2014
    • Mileage: 10700 mi
    For sale
  • Aston Martin DB5

    £725,000 £725,000

    Variant name:SPORTS COUPE , The DB5 we are delighted to offer is finished in its original colours of Goodwood Green with Tan hides. Built in 1965 the car was sold in 1967 to its second long term owner by London dealers H.R. Owen and kept for 30 years. During this time it was used for special occasions only, prior to the owner becoming unable to use the car. Purchased In 1997 by a London based gentleman, the car was maintained with Aston Martin Agents Ian Mason before Nicholas Mee & Co acquired it in 1998. Since being in our care with the last owners, the car has benefitted from an extensive mechanical restoration, including a rebuild to its original engine to 4.2 litre specifications, suspension upgrades, brakes rebuilt and meticulous maintenance works, while preserving the original standards of this superb car. Never dilapidated and without need of restoration, it is a pleasure to drive and to be seated, in its gently aged cabin. With matching numbers, original colour combination and superb driving condition, this car is a delight in every respect. Whilst satisfying the demands of collectors worldwide, in displaying the charm and character of light patination associated with a genuine classic, often lost on fully restored examples. Presented with an extensive history file including correspondence from its long term owners, extensive invoices for works carried out, build records, AMHT certificate and previous MOTs.

    • Year: 1965
    • Mileage: 10700 mi
    • Engine size: 4.2
    For sale
  • 165 - 1964 Ford Consul Capri GT

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    The Ford Consul Capri was launched in 1961 and was the first European market Ford to bear the Capri name. The Ford Consul Capri is a two-door coupé version of the Classic Consul and was available from 1961 until 1964. In February 1963, the GT version was announced. The new GT engine, developed by Cosworth, featured a raised compression ratio 9:1, a modified head with larger exhaust valves, an aluminium inlet manifold, a four branch exhaust and most noticeably a twin choke Weber carburettor - this being the first use of this make on a British production car, the rarest of all the British Fords with only 39 GT's registered. Overall, the car was very expensive to produce and in the latter part of its production was running alongside the very popular Ford Cortina. Only 2,002 GT models were built and just 1,007 cars were sold in 1964, the last year of production, 412 of them being GT's. Built in the last year of production, this car was first registered on the 7th February, 1964. This stunning Ford has benefitted from being fully restored and kept in a heated facility, never seeing rain or moist weather in 25 years, looks stunning with its two tone paintwork and leather interior which i

    • Year: 2017
    For sale
  • 144 - 1964 Chevrolet Impala Convertible

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    Finished in black with a black interior, this beautiful Impala is not only a great cruiser but also offers substantial power; it has been completely reworked and restored including four wheel power disk-brakes, power steering and a set of chrome American Racing, Torque thrust alloy wheels. This example wants for nothing even offering ice-cold air-conditioning and a brand new electric hood, part of a rare combination of factory extras. The interior is period correct and has not been modified; this is the type of classic car you can drive every day. We are told "it will win car shows" by some of its previous owners. The body lines are straight and the paint is to an extremely high standard with no swirls or pitting. The chrome is in excellent shape throughout and the lamp bezels look new along with the front and rear trim pieces. This Impala is offered with the signature triple tail lights with no wear or cracking to be seen and it has the correct side trim. The interior is described as extremely good and, we are informed, everything works well including the new power hood operating as it should. This example even has a nice retro stereo and speaker box hidden neatly in the boot; it

    • Year: 2017
    For sale
  • 198 - 1964 Austin Mini Cooper S Mk. I

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    The Mini was manufactured by the British Motor Corporation (BMC) and its successors from 1959 until 2001. The original is considered a British icon of the 1960's and its space-saving front-wheel drive layout allowing 80% of the car's floorpan to be used for passengers and luggage, influenced a generation of car makers. In 1999, the Mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th century behind the Ford Model T. Initially, Minis were marketed under the Austin and Morris names until Mini became a marque in its own right in 1969. Introduced in February 1964, the 1275 Mini Cooper S, with its torquey engine, has long been seen as the ultimate 'S' and is currently still the most sought after version for most buyers and owners. Visually the same as the 1071cc 'S', the 1275cc was fitted with hydrolastic suspension along with the rest of the Mini range in late 1964. From early 1966, the extra fuel tank and oil cooler became standard items. The 1275cc 'S' then remained in production pretty much unchanged until September 1967 when the Mk. II version was launched. Originally delivered on 19th July 1964, this Mk. I version was purchased by the previous owner in the late 90's in need

    • Year: 2017
    For sale
  • 178 - 1964 Lotus Elan S2 Roadster

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    Introduced in 1962, the Elan featured a simple but effective steel backbone frame and all-independent wishbone suspension which used a modified Chapman Strut, as developed in Lotus Grand Prix cars, at the rear. Rack-and-pinion steering was sourced from the Triumph Vitesse and there were Girling disc brakes all round. The Elan's engine was a highly modified 1498cc (later 1558cc) Ford Cortina unit incorporating Lotus's own twin-camshaft cylinder head and both the gearbox and differential came, likewise, from Ford. Introduced in November 1964, the S2 featured numerous detail styling changes and improved brakes. As one would expect, given its background and specification, the Elan proved to be a highly capable circuit racer and, capitalising on the numerous successes achieved by privately entered cars, Lotus introduced their own version, the '26R', in 1964. This very early Series 2 Elan (sometimes known as a Series 1½) is one of only 15-20 cars built with the Series 1 rear lights - three round lights on either side and pull up windows with a chrome button. Later, Lotus changed to the Series 2/3 elliptical rear lights with wind up windows making this particular Lotus a very rare car. It

    • Year: 2017
    For sale
  • 104 - 1964 Royal Enfield Crusader

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    The Royal Enfield Continental was the dream bike of every learner rider of the mid-1960s. Seen as the saviour of an ailing Royal Enfield company from the massed hordes of Japanese and Italian lightweight. The bright red fibreglass tank, polychrome-silver frame, grey handlebar grips, hump-backed, two-tone seat and the natty fly-screen was arguably one of the prettiest production motorcycles of its day. After building the prototype, Enfield needed to out-plug the Japanese in the advertising stakes. Honda were running full-page adverts in the motorcycle press, extolling the virtues of their high-tech machines that ran 'like Swiss watches'. The 250cc class was important in the UK as it was the largest engine which a learner could ride without passing a test. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Royal Enfield produced a number of 250cc machines, including a racer, a Scrambler with the biggest-seller being the Crusader, a 248cc pushrod overhead valve single producing 18bhp. This excellent example of the Continental is supplied here as it would have left Royal Enfield in 1964, finished with a black frame and red fuel tank and mud guards; this motorcycle is in good condition with only 67,816

    • Year: 2017
    For sale
  • 1964 ASTON MARTIN DB5 COUPE

    POA POA

    --Silver Birch with Black leather interior and Black carpeting, Fully Restored, 5-speed ZF manual gearbox, LHD, Air conditioning, Matching numbers. This DB5 was delivered on March 6, 1964 to Mr. P. McDonald, Glasgow, Scotland by main agent Callanders Garages Ltd. This DB5 has been kept in long term ownership having compiled very few miles throughout the years (33,763) and until its complete restoration by marque specialists The Aston Workshop in 2008. As per The Aston Workshop records, the body and chassis where completely stripped, the chassis powder coated and rust proofed and all fully rebuilt to as new condition throughout. The body has been refinished to concours standards with all brightwork/chrome being renewed at this time. In the midst of restoration, the DB5 was sold to a German client who requested its conversion from RHD-LHD and for use in its new home in Germany. The interior was refinished to as new, a period Motorola radio fitted as well as an alarm system and finally a bespoke modern air conditioning system was fitted to ensure summer use and enjoyment to modern car standards. The matching engine was rebuilt to 4.2 liter unleaded specifications, the factory original

    • Year: 1964
    • Mileage: 2017 mi
    For sale
  • 342 - 1964 Jaguar E-Type Series I Roadster

    POA POA

    Introduced in 3.8 litre form in 1961, the Jaguar E-Type caused a sensation when it appeared with instantly classic lines and 150mph top speed. While, inevitably, the car's stupendous straight-line performance and gorgeous looks grabbed the headlines, there was a lot more to the E-Type beneath the skin. The newcomer's design owed much to that of the racing D-Type and, indeed, the E-Type would be one of the last great sports cars developed directly from a successful competition ancestor. Just as in the D-Type, a monocoque tub formed the main body/chassis structure while a tubular space frame extended forwards to support the engine. The latter was the same 3.8-litre, triple-carburettor, 'S' unit first offered as an option on the preceding XK150. With a claimed 265 horsepower on tap, the E-Type's performance did not disappoint; firstly, because it weighed around 500lb less than the XK150 and, secondly, because aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer used experience gained with the D-Type to create one of the most elegant and efficient shapes ever to grace a motor car. This exquisite Series I roadster was manufactured on the 28 th April 1964 and dispatched to distributor Peter Lindner in Frankfurt

    • Year: 2016
    For sale
  • 272 - 1964 Apollo 5000 GT

    POA POA

    The Apollo project was the dream of a young California engineer, Milt Brown, who desired to build an American answer to European GTs such as the Aston Martin DB4 and Ferrari coupés. Brown, who was looking for a coachbuilder, met Reisner at the Monaco Grand Prix in 1960. A deal was made and the first Apollos were built by early 1963 by Intermeccanica. Intermeccanica made and trimmed the steel bodies in Turin, Italy and then sent them to Oakland, California, where the drive train was installed. The prototype's design was by Milt Brown's friend, Ron Plescia, but the nose was too long and the rear vision limited, so Reisner commissioned former Bertone stylist Franco Scaglione to revise it. The Apollo's foundation was a straightforward ladder frame. Suspension and drive train components were adopted from the then-new Buick Special, including a 200hp, aluminium V8 and Borg-Warner manual transmission. The final production bodywork was refined by Franco Scaglione, in Italy. A 1963 Car and Driver magazine road test clocked an Apollo from 0-to-60mph in 8.2 seconds and called it 'a purposeful, distinctive, and practical automobile that an enthusiast will enjoy'. From the beginning, the compan

    • Year: 2016
    For sale
  • 206 - 1964 NSU Quickly

    POA POA

    The NSU Quickly was manufactured from 1953 until 1964 with more than one million Quicklys were produced in total. The frame was a pressed-steel single spar unit with a headset at the front of the unit and wheel attachment points at the end of the arms at the rear of the unit. The unit also incorporated a tower in which the seat post was mounted and attachment points for the engine and the petrol tank. The engine was a 49cc two-stroke unit mated to a two-speed transmission, a bicycle pedal assembly to start the engine and assist propulsion up hills. In need of re-commissioning although appearing to be complete, this NSU should not be a difficult project for a DIY mechanic to restore this motorcycle to its former glory. Once a common sight on the roads, these quaint machines are rarely seen these days; supplied with a V5C registration document.

    • Year: 2016
    For sale
  • Aston Martin DB5

    £799,995 £799,995

    This matching numbers UK RHD DB5 is in superb condition throughout, and has benefited from extensive expenditure in recent years. It is a great driving car which has appeared at concours events and shows. Fresh from a body and chassis restoration at an Aston specialist, this lovely example is now attractively finished in Georgian Silver rather than its original colour of Platinum (white). Complete with its original logbook, a copy of the factory build sheet, a very rare original Instruction Book and a Heritage Certificate. The history file also includes extensive ownership and maintenance records, including photographs. Originally supplied in the UK, the car later spent some time in Milan where it was initially repainted red, before being reconditioned, repainted and displayed as part of a James Bond tour of Italy. In 2012 the DB5 was imported back to UK and in 2013 had a full engine rebuild and bare metal respray in Georgian Silver. Further works followed at Aston specialists and most recently the car has had extensive chassis restoration. Following this work this lovely Aston appeared at the 2013 Regent Motor Show London and the AMOC Concours at Hampton Court Palace in 2014.

    For sale
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