Having been beautifully restored by Richards of England, this Aston Martin DB5 is in exceptional condition. In 2021, it picked up awards at the AMOC Autumn Concours and the prestigious Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance – held in the shadow of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.
Chassis number 2067/R was built on 10 April 1965 as right-hand-drive, UK-market car and was finished in the colour combination of Platinum with black trim. It was dispatched from the Newport Pagnell factory on 23 April and sold to its first owner via Eton Motor Group, complete with chrome wire wheels and a heated rear screen.
At some point, the DB5 must have found its way to the United States, because decades later it was featured in a list of the ’10 Best Never-Gonna-Happen’ projects by Car and Driver magazine.
The accompanying text stated that: ‘In Los Gatos, California, everyone drives Ferraris, except Pat Ray, who did once drive this Aston Martin DB5, purchased in ’78, to the Monterey Historics. For 20 years, it’s been awaiting restoration.’
The photograph showed it in a garage under a layer of dust and with boxes on it, but years later some initial work was carried out. Eventually – in 2019 – the Aston Martin was acquired by a new owner and brought back to the UK, where Richards of England was commissioned to carry out the ‘never gonna happen’ full restoration.
This involved stripping the car all the way back to bare metal, a ‘body off’ process that included removing the front and rear aluminium ‘clam shells’, plus the aluminium side sills.
The original engine – number 400/2059 – was still with the car and was sent to Aston Engineering in Derby so that it could be rebuilt. New 4.2-litre cylinder liners were fitted, while the original crankshaft and inlet camshaft were found to be unserviceable and were therefore replaced. The ZF five-speed manual gearbox was also overhauled.
The work was painstakingly carried out to the last nut and bolt – with the remit being to return it to original specification – and was finally completed in 2021. Since then, this superbly presented Aston Martin DB5 has still completed only 1200 miles.
Now being offered for sale at the Classic Motor Hub, it retains matching-numbers status and comes with a full leather-bound photographic record of the restoration, plus a workshop manual and instruction book. An optional two-year warranty is also available.
The DB5 was in production for only two years, but for many people it remains the definitive classic Aston Martin. Its immediate predecessor was the DB4, which had been launched in 1958 and featured styling by Touring of Milan. It was built using Touring’s lightweight Superleggera construction method, while beneath the bonnet was a new twin-cam, six-cylinder engine designed by Tadek Marek.
The DB5 was launched at the 1963 Frankfurt Motor Show, and while the new model looked almost indistinguishable from the last DB4s, it featured numerous refinements. Most significantly, the engine had been bored-out from 3670cc to 3995cc, while a five-speed gearbox soon replaced the old four-speeder. A Borg Warner automatic transmission was also offered.
In standard form, the engine featured SU carburettors and produced about 280bhp. From September 1964 onwards, however, a Vantage option was offered. With three Weber carburettors, altered camshaft timing and larger ports, this engine gave in the region of 315bhp.
When Autocar tested a DB5 in the autumn of 1964, it recorded a top speed of 140mph and a 0-60mph time of 8.1 seconds. It also noted how easily and comfortably the DB5 would cruise at speeds in excess of 100mph and concluded that it ‘ranks in the very top bracket of the world’s high-performance cars.’
Motor magazine reached 145mph with its test car, a speed that it had bettered only with the Jaguar E-type and Chevrolet Corvette. In terms of the DB5’s handling, it noted that ‘straight-line stability and cornering both reach the high standards expected from Aston Martin with their illustrious competition record.’
DB5 production totalled 1021 of all types before it was replaced by the longer-wheelbase DB6.