Aston Martin DB5 – The Ultimate Icon

…This is the most famous Aston Martin

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…It’s also one of the most beautiful Aston Martin creations

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The Aston Martin DB5 is probably the single most identifiable model in the brand’s history. The iconic DB5 was built from 1963 until 1965. These luxury grand tourers have a sensuous Italian design and are powered by fast In-line 6-cylinder engines. The DB5 is another Aston Martin classic success story.

Its Superleggera formed architecture makes this series unique. Lightweight, powerful, and beautiful – the Aston Martin DB5 remains a highly collectible pedigree.  Robust beauty and high performance are Aston Martin signatures, the DB5 is the most famous of all Aston Martin automobiles – it was James Bond’s gadget-laden rolling arsenal in the 1964 movie “Gold Finger.” To drive any Aston Martin is to drive an automotive legend…

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Beautiful and fast like all Aston Martin automobiles, the DB5 defined British motoring luxury for the day. Thrilling performance was standard and not an afterthought. The DB5 is powered by a 4.0 litre In-line 6-cylinder 16-valve 243.7 CID alloy engine. Its fuel delivery system uses 2 SU HD8 carburetors. The engine cranked 282 hp @ 5,500 rpm delivering 391 Nm of peak torque @ 3,850 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 6.2 seconds, 0-100 mph in 15 seconds, and 0-120 mph in 24.5 seconds. Its top speed is 146-148 mph. It can do the ¼ mile @ 97 mph in 14.6 seconds.

Vantage

Adequately geared for fierce ‘take no prisoners’ European road rallies, the Aston Martin DB5 Vantage was introduced in 1964. It is a more powerful version substituting 3 Weber 2-bbl carburetors as a ‘full-throttle’ set-up increasing energy to 325 hp @ 5,750 rpm delivering 393 Nm of peak torque @ 4,500 rpm. The Vantage increased the top speed to 155 mph. It could do the ¼ mile @ 101 mph in 14.3 seconds. Longitudinal acceleration for the Vantage is rated as 0-60 mph in 6 seconds, 0-100 mph in 13.9 seconds, and 0-120 mph in 21.6 seconds. Only 65 DB5 Vantage coupes were built.

The engine used a 4-speed manual gear box for the 1963 model year. Model years 1964 and 1965 mate the engine to the ZF 5-speed all synchromesh manual. For those who required automatic shifting a 3-speed Borg-Warner DG (Detroit Gear) was available. It was refined into the Borg-Warner Model 8 shortly before introduction of the new replacement model.

Upgrading the DB4 to DB5 includes a Girling 4-wheel solid disc braking system with twin hydraulic brake servos, 15” wheels, and power windows.

Aston Martin DB5

The Aston Martin DB5 has distinctive hand-crafting. Its body and chassis are made by Superleggera Coachwork. This super light-weight construction is technology developed by Italian designer Felice Bianchi Anderloni of Carrozzeria Touring of Milan.  The Superleggera construction system is relatively simple in theory.

It consists of a structural framework of small diameter tubing conforming to the shape of the bodyshell. The tubing is covered with lightweight aluminium body panels. The bodyshell strengthens the framework. This design offers greater flexibility while in theatre allowing innovative body designs in less time than conventional die casting. Aston Martin was licensed by Carrozzeria Touring for the DB4 and DB5 models built using this patented process.

There are issues to the Superleggera process. First and foremost, it simply cannot meet important impact resistance standards. This type of build cannot accommodate suspension components, therefore a chassis is required. Due to the nature of this build type, galvanic corrosion occurs between the aluminium body panels and the steel of the tubular frame.

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1965-1966 Volante (short chassis) 2

The Aston Martin DB5 was built based upon 2+2 configurations as a two-door coupe, convertible, and Harold Radford Shooting Brake body styles. The most famous Aston Martin DB5 configuration is the lethal Silver Birch rolling arsenal driven by James Bond in the 1964 film “Gold Finger.” A different DB5 was used for “Thunderball” a year later, and then again in the 1995 filming of “Golden Eye.”

There is always more than one Bond car in any single film depending on the stunts involved. Another DB5 version appeared in 2006 in the James Bond film “Casino Royale.” One version of the DB5 was stolen and never recovered. Still another version of the Silver Birch DB5 appeared in Skyfall. These iconic Aston Martin collectibles fetch millions of dollars on the auction block. An Aston Martin is portrayed as invincible as the 007 character that drives it –

James Bond

DB5 Shooting Brake

Shooting Brake coachwork by Harold Radford

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The Aston Martin DB5 sports the minimalist approach to cabin appointments. All pertinent information is displayed directly in front of the driver. The heady aroma of impeccably tailored leather is as important as the grip of its hand-crafted steering wheel. Aston Martin is among the purveyors of grand tourers of the world.

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Aston Martin DB5 is a genuine sports car with no frills…

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Extraordinary automobiles for extraordinary people. Aston Martin has been creating excitement for over 100 years. The DB5 is the most famous of all models. This elegant grand tourer was built from 1963 through 1965 as convertible, hardtop, and Shooting Brake body styles. Exemplary British hand-crafting, the ultimate in high-performance, and one of the world’s most beautiful automotive designs makes the Aston Martin DB5 the quintessential classic sports car for a true enthusiast.

And having James Bond on your resume can’t hurt either…The Superleggera construction makes it as unique as the vehicle itself. Performance is built into an Aston Martin, not just tacked on as a package option. These are raw-power experiences…not just a good power-to-weight ratio. The DB5 is a driver’s car that typifies classic British sports cars from the genre – but then…an Aston Martin is not just a car…now is it?

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DB9 9

Aston Martin DB9

DB9 1

Ask the owner of the Aston Martin DB9…about what part of the legend excites them most. Could it be the 6.0 litre 48-valve naturally aspirated V12 engine that produces 510 hp @ 6,500 rpm with 620 Nm of peak torque @ 5,500 rpm? Or is it due to the fact its longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds, 0-100 mph in 9.3 seconds, 0-120 mph in 13.6 seconds and has a top speed of 193 mph?

Or the fact that it does the ¼ mile @ 115 mph in 12.5 seconds? And lest we forget, the ZF 6HP 6-speed automatic with Touchtronic 2 manual shift mode?  The Aston Martin DB9 is the contemporary grand tourer. The only thing more exciting than an Aston Martin motorcar is another Aston Martin. Engineering, performance, and beauty rank top marks in its class. Aston Martin epitomizes British hand-craftsmanship continuing the proud tradition –

DB9 6

DB9 8

DB9 2

…seize the moment

DB9 3

DB9 4

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Photos courtesy Aston Martin Media Club

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…a matter of choice

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1965-1966 Volante (short chassis) 5

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Aston Martin is the ultimate icon

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Aston Martin DB5 is NotoriousLuxury…

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