- 1964 Aston Martin DB5
- Extensive history file
- Restored during the 1990s by Bodylines
- Triple-Weber Vantage conversion
This 1964 Aston Martin DB5 has a comprehensive history file in which its early years are documented in exhaustive detail. First registered on 15 May 1964, chassis number DB5/1548/R was sold to London-based Nicholas Embiricos via Brooklands of Bond Street. It was originally finished in Sierra Blue with Fawn interior, and featured optional extras such as chrome wire wheels, Marchal foglamps and a heated rear screen.
The extensive service record then gives information on all the work that was carried out on the car during Embiricos’ ownership. Details include the fact that one of the seats was apparently damaged on delivery and was repaired on 12 August 1964, and that the DB5 went back to Aston Martin Lagonda at Newport Pagnell on 4 June 1965 for a service to be carried out. It was noted that the car had covered 9554 miles by then, and the total cost to Embiricos was the princely sum of £52.
Embiricos parted with the Aston Martin in 1971, and the logbook records its subsequent owners throughout the 1970s. By December 1996, it was in need of a complete restoration, which was carried out by renowned Buckinghamshire specialist Bodylines. It’s thought that it was during this restoration that the DB5 was converted to Vantage specification, with triple Weber carburettors for the 4-litre straight-six rather than the standard triple SUs.
The Aston Martin was sold via RS Williams in 2006, and its MoT records show that it was used sparingly between 2014 and 2017. Now presented in the iconic colour combination of Silver Birch with dark blue interior – and still wearing its original registration of BGJ 777B – it is proudly being offered for sale by The Classic Motor Hub. This 1964 Aston Martin DB5 performs strongly thanks to the Vantage conversion and is in first-class condition throughout – testament to the care and attention that it has received throughout its life.
When the Aston Martin DB4 was launched in 1958, it marked the beginning of a new era for the British marque. 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.
After brief overtures to Pinin Farina, a deal was 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. The twin-cam unit featured an aluminium block for the sole reason that Aston Martin’s favoured iron foundry had no capacity for 18 months, but one of its related companies – Birmingham Aluminium – could start straight away.
When it was launched, the DB4 cost the same as two Jaguar XK 150s but offered near-140mph performance and fabulous looks. It was regularly updated throughout its production run until being 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 an Aston Martin 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.’
The vast majority of DB5s were coupés, with only 125 convertibles being built, and Harold Radford produced a tiny quantity of ‘shooting brakes’. The model was replaced by the extended-wheelbase DB6 in 1965, meaning that it was in production for only two years, but it remains one of the most instantly recognisable cars ever built thanks to its iconic role in the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger.
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.’
Even at a distance of almost 60 years, that magical blend of Italian styling, British engineering, and film-star charisma is as alluring as ever.