Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bonhams Auction: 1964 Aston Martin DB5 Sports Saloon

Continuing on the Feb 5 Bonhams auction, here is a 2003 restoration of a DB5 on offer. The workmanship looks very good, but some of the fit comments are troubling especially, "the rear bumper needs to adjusted to clear the boot lock". Now, this might not be that big of a deal, but it would be good to inspect the alignment to ensure there is no damage hiding. Otherwise, the full rebuild restoration should bring in good value.

It is strange what people find appealing or not appealing in cars. For example, I think this is a beautiful car, but for the DB5 logo. In all cases, the logo looks too big and too dated. The remainder of the design is timeless, but the font of the logo roots the car in the 1960's, and not in a good way. They are estimating 225k Euro for this RHD example, probably a good estimate.

That logo:

'Like all classic GT cars, it combines enormous speed with comfort and the more you put into your driving, the more the car returns for your entertainment. And the DB5 really is entertaining to anyone who can exploit its outstanding performance, handling and brakes. It will also carry four people (just) and a fair amount of luggage so the merits of family transport (if need be) have not been entirely sacrificed to speed and elegant looks.' – Motor.

Introduced in July 1963, the Aston Martin DB5 represented a further evolution of the preceding DB4 series rather than the beginning of an entirely new model line. The major change was the adoption of a 4.0-litre version of the (previously) 3.7-litre six-cylinder engine, this enlarged unit having been seen first in the Lagonda Rapide of 1961. Equipped with three SU carburettors the '400' engine produced 282bhp at 5,500rpm and was mated to a four-speed/overdrive gearbox, a 'proper' ZF five-speed unit being standardised later. Outwardly there was little to distinguish the DB5 from the final Series 5 DB4 apart from twin fuel filler caps, though these had already appeared on some cars. Beneath the skin however, there were numerous improvements including alternator electrics, Girling disc brakes instead of Dunlops, Sundym glass, electric windows and an oil pressure gauge as standard equipment. The DB5's superb performance – 0-60mph in 7.1 seconds and a top speed of 148mph – ranked it amongst the world's fastest cars, while even more urge was available from the Vantage version.

The Aston Martin Owners Club's 'Register of Members Cars' (published 2001) lists the car offered here – chassis number 'DB5/1538/R' with engine number '400/1561' – as belonging at that time to a Mrs S M Harris and registered 'JRE 600B' in the UK.

During the period 2003-2004 the Aston was treated to a thorough restoration at the hands of respected marque specialist Ricky Cann (all invoices on file). Works undertaken at that time include stripping and fully rebuilding the engine; completely overhauling the braking system (including servo and master cylinder); rewiring the electrical system; installing a vehicle tracker and alarm; and re-plating the front bumper. New parts fitted include the front suspension, stainless-steel exhaust system, rear bumper and Turrino wire wheels shod with 205HR/15 radial tyres. Subsequent works (carried out in 2005) include repairs to the door, wheelarches and sills; repainting the body; and an interior re-trim in black leather.

The car is described by the vendor as rust free, starting and driving perfectly, and with everything in proper working order: gauges, indicators, electrics, etc. We are advised that nevertheless it would benefit from a few relatively minor improvements: the windscreen's rubber seal needs to be renewed; the rear bumper needs to adjusted to clear the boot lock; and two small scratches on body require attention. Finished in the silver-grey livery forever associated with James Bond's Aston Martin DB5, the car is offered with a full file of documentation (ownership, restoration photographs, invoices, etc) and Aston Martin certification confirming matching chassis/engine numbers. A very superior example from private ownership which deserves close inspection.

Estimate: €225,000 - 275,000

Contact the Specialist to discuss this lot or selling in a future sale
Email: Philip Kantor
Tel: +32 476 879 471

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