- 1963 Aston Martin DB5 for sale
- Matching numbers
- Extensive history and original handbook
- Five-speed gearbox
Originally registered on 1 December 1963 – the first year of production – this Aston Martin DB5 has led a full life with its exclusively UK-based owners. Chassis number DB5/1957/R was supplied via Brooklands of Bond Street in the colour combination of Caribbean Pearl with red interior. It was fitted with the five-speed ZF gearbox and it’s thought that its first owner worked for Manger & Henley Ltd of Borough High Street.
In the mid-1980s it was acquired by John Goldsmith, who had set up marque specialist Goldsmith & Young in 1980. Registered 73 GYL, it was the second Aston that Goldsmith had owned – after his GT-engined Series 5 DB4 Vantage – and he later recalled buying it from the father of his friend Tim Bisset. At that time, it was still painted Caribbean Pearl.
Goldsmith was a keen racer and set about using his DB5 in competition, giving it wider arches in order to accommodate different wheels and tyres. He successfully raced it across the UK at circuits such as Oulton Park, and set the lap record around the Indy Circuit at Brands Hatch.
When Goldsmith sold the car in 1991, he retained the numberplate 73 GYL, which was subsequently seen on the DB4 GT Zagato that he raced. The DB5, meanwhile, passed to a Mr Pitkethley – another marque enthusiast who also owned a DB6 – and was registered XMR 936A. In 2000, the engine was rebuilt and enlarged to 4.2 litres with Cosworth pistons. The Aston was also repainted Silver Birch and the interior was retrimmed in black.
During the early 2000s, it made a number of appearances at charity and corporate events as part of the Character Cars fleet and was always fastidiously maintained. Recent work has included a new head gasket at Bell Sport Classic and this matching-numbers Aston Martin DB5 is now offered for sale by The Classic Motor Hub with an extensive history file and its original handbook.
The Aston Martin DB5 remains one of the most instantly recognisable cars ever built thanks to its iconic role in the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger. The company’s service manager, Dudley Gershon, later recalled that, ‘as soon the film was shown, a wave of publicity hit us… all of a sudden every ten-year-old boy knew the name Aston Martin… if we had been able to produce fifty DB5s per week then we could have sold them.’
Backing up that film-star charisma was a blend of Italian styling and British engineering. When the DB4 had been launched in 1958, it marked the beginning of a new era. John Wyer was dissatisfied with the styling of an initial 1956 prototype for the proposed ‘next generation’ of Aston Martin, and insisted that the company should turn to an Italian design house.
A deal was therefore done with Touring of Milan – from which Aston Martin also licensed the Superleggera method of lightweight construction. Touring’s crisp, clean shape was fitted around a new six-cylinder engine that had been designed by Tadek Marek.
Regularly updated throughout its production run, the DB4 was eventually replaced by the DB5 at the 1963 Frankfurt Motor Show. For this latest model, the engine was bored-out from 3670cc to 3995cc, and very early in production a five-speed gearbox replaced the old four-speeder. On the standard triple SU carburettors, power output was 282bhp, with the Vantage model kicking out 314bhp on triple Webers.
When The Motor tested a DB5, it recorded a top speed of 145mph and noted that it was ‘in the very top bracket of high-performance cars… the DB5 cruises to 100mph with absurd ease and quietness [and] can be guided through fast corners with great accuracy.’
This legendary model was replaced by the extended-wheelbase DB6 in 1965 after just over 1000 had been built.