The Aston Martin DB5 is a British grand tourer (GT) produced by Aston Martin and designed by Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera.[4] Originally produced from 1963 to 1965, the DB5 was an evolution of the final series of DB4. The "DB" designation is from the initials of David Brown who built up the company from 1947 onwards.

Aston Martin DB5
ManufacturerAston Martin
Production1963–1965 (1,059 units), 2020- (25 units)[1]
DesignerFederico Formenti[2] at Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera
Body and chassis
ClassGrand tourer
Body style2-door 2+2 coupé
2-door convertible (123)
2-door shooting brake (13)[3]
LayoutFront-engine, rear-wheel-drive
EngineDOHC Straight-6, 4.0 L (3,995 cc)
Power output282–325 bhp (210–242 kW) @ 5500 rpm
280–288 lb⋅ft (380–390 N⋅m) @ 4500 rpm
Transmission5-speed ZF box or optional BorgWarner 3-speed automatic
Wheelbase2,489 mm (98.0 in)
Length4,570 mm (179.9 in)
Width1,680 mm (66.1 in)
Kerb weight1,502 kg (3,311 lb)
PredecessorAston Martin DB4
SuccessorAston Martin DB6

The DB5 is best-known for its role in the James Bond films. It was first driven by the fictional spy in the film Goldfinger (1964).[5] In 2013, the car featured on a "British Auto Legends" postage stamp issued by the Royal Mail.[6]

Design edit

Aston Martin DB5.

The principal differences between the DB4 Series V and the DB5 are the all-aluminium engine, enlarged from 3.7 litres to 4.0 litres; a new ZF five-speed transmission which was more robust than the earlier David Brown unit (except for some of the very first DB5s);[7] and three SU carburettors. This engine, producing 282 bhp (210 kW), which propelled the car to 145 mph (233 km/h), was available in the Vantage (high powered) version of the DB4 from March 1962. It became the standard Aston Martin power unit with the launch in September 1963 of the DB5.[8]

Standard equipment on the DB5 included reclining seats, wool pile carpets, electric windows, twin fuel tanks, chrome wire wheels, oil cooler, magnesium-alloy body built to Superleggera patent technique, full leather trim in the cabin and a fire extinguisher. All models had two doors and 2+2 seating configuration. The boot lids differed slightly between the DB4 mark 5 and the DB5.

Like the DB4, the DB5 had a live rear axle.[9] At the beginning, the original four-speed manual gearbox (with optional overdrive) was standard fitment, but it was soon dropped in favour of the ZF five-speed box.[7] A three-speed Borg-Warner DG automatic transmission was also available.[10] The automatic option was changed to the Borg-Warner Model 8 shortly before the DB6 replaced the DB5.[8]

Specifications edit

An Aston Martin DB5 engine.

Standard coupé:

  • Engine: 4.0 L (3,995 cc) inline-six
  • Bore x stroke: 96 mm × 92 mm (3.78 in × 3.62 in)
  • Fuel feed: 3 SU carburettors
  • Power: 282 bhp (286 PS; 210 kW) at 5,500 rpm, 210 bhp (213 PS; 157 kW) Net
  • Torque: 288 lb⋅ft (390 N⋅m) at 3,850 rpm
  • Weight: 1,502 kg (3,311 lb)
  • Top Speed: 145 mph (233 km/h)[11]
  • 0–60 mph (97 km/h) acceleration: 8 seconds.[11][12]

Variants edit

DB5 Vantage edit

Aston Martin DB5 Vantage.

The high-performance DB5 Vantage was introduced in 1964. It featured three Weber carburettors and revised camshaft profiles.[13] This engine produced 325 bhp (330 PS; 242 kW) at 5,500 rpm.[12] 65 DB5 Vantage coupés were built.

DB5 convertible edit

1965 DB5 Vantage convertible.

123 convertible DB5s were produced (also with bodies by Touring), though they did not use the 'Volante' name until 1965.[7] The convertible model was offered from 1963 to 1965. Originally only 19 of the 123 DB5 Convertibles made were left-hand drive. 12 cars were originally fitted with a factory Vantage engine, and at least one further convertible was subsequently factory-fitted with a DB6 specification Vantage engine. A rare factory option (fitted by Works Service prior to customer delivery) was a steel removable hard top.

From October 1965 to October 1966, Aston Martin used the last 37 of the Aston Martin DB5 chassis to make another convertible model. These 37 cars were known as "Short Chassis" Volantes and were the first Aston Martins to carry the 'Volante' name. The "short" came from comparison with the subsequent DB6 which had a longer chassis, although when compared to the DB5 it was the same size. These cars differed from the DB5 convertible models in featuring DB6 split front and rear bumpers and Triumph TR4 rear lights, as also used on the DB6.

DB5 shooting-brake edit

DB5 shooting-brake.

A prototype DB5 shooting-brake was custom-built by the factory for David Brown, an avid hunter and dog owner, and a further 11 or 12 coupés were custom-modified for Aston Martin by independent coachbuilder Harold Radford.[14][15] The tail lights used were Triumph units, and these were also adopted for the succeeding DB6. In August 2019 a DB5 sold for a record $1.765m (£1.456m),[16] making it the most valuable Shooting Brake-bodied car of any marque sold at auction.

James Bond's DB5 edit

Two Aston Martin DB5s were supplied to EON Productions, one of which had no gadgets.

The Aston Martin DB5 became widely known after special effects expert John Stears modified a DB5 for use by James Bond in the 1964 film Goldfinger. Author Ian Fleming had placed Bond in a DB Mark III in the novel, but Stears persuaded the company to make its DB5 prototype available.[17]

There were a total of four Goldfinger DB5s. Two of these were used in filming and two were used only for promotional purposes. The first filming car, DP/2161/1, was fitted with gadgets.[18] This DB5 was the original prototype and was painted Dubonnet Red. Before it appeared in Goldfinger, it was used in episode 2.17, "The Noble Sportsman," of The Saint. This car, chassis number DP/216/1, was later stripped of its weaponry and gadgetry by Aston Martin and resold. It was then retrofitted by subsequent owners with non-original weaponry. It later appeared in the film The Cannonball Run (1981), in which it was driven by Roger Moore. Chassis DP/216/1 DB5 was stolen in 1997 from its last owner in Florida and was reported to be still missing in 2021.[19][20] The second filming car, DB5/1486/R, was used for driving scenes and had no gadgets. After filming, gadgets were added and the car was used for promotion. It featured the pop-out gun barrels behind the front indicators, the bullet shield behind the rear window and a three-way revolving front number plate showing "LU 6789" or "4711-EA-62" or "BMT 216A." In 2010 RM Auctions sold this car for $4.6 million to Harry Yeaggy.[21][22] The first publicity car, DB5/2017/R, was acquired by the Louwman Museum in The Hague.[23] The second publicity car, DB5/2008/R, was auctioned by RM Sotheby's in August 2019 for $6.4 million to an unknown buyer.[24] These two cars were displayed at the 1964 New York World's Fair to promote the film. The DB5 was described as "the most famous car in the world"[25] and sales of the car subsequently increased.[26]

After Goldfinger, the Aston Martin DB5 became closely associated with the James Bond franchise. The same car (registration BMT 216A) was used again in the next film, Thunderball, a year later. The DB5 is considered to be the quintessential vehicle associated with the character and it has reappeared in subsequent Bond films.

Aston Martin DB5 used for the film GoldenEye

A different DB5 (registration BMT 214A) was used in the 1995 Bond film GoldenEye, in which the car was Bond's personal vehicle and had no gadgets - although it did come equipped with a champagne cooler in the arm rest and a fax machine. Three different DB5s were used for filming. This same car briefly reappeared in the next film, Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). It was set to make a cameo appearance in the Scotland-set scenes in The World Is Not Enough (1999), but most of these scenes were cut in the final edit. Another DB5 (registration 56526) appeared in Casino Royale (2006), this time owned by the villain, Alex Dimitrios. This car had Bahamian number plates and left-hand drive (where the previous British versions had been right-hand drive). In the film, Bond wins the car from Dimitrios after beating him in a card game.

The Goldeneye DB5 was put on display at the London Film Museum in Covent Garden. Of the three cars used in the production, one car, DB5/2187/R, was filmed for the static ocean side shot. A second car, DB5/1885/R, was driven in the chase scene against a Ferrari in Monte Carlo. This car was sold at a Christie's auction in 2001 and entered the Guinness Book of Records that year after receiving the highest price paid for an item of Bond memorabilia. It appeared in the Bond exhibition at Beaulieu before moving to its new home in the London Film Museum. The third car, chassis number DB5/1484/R, was retained by the movie production company, Eon Productions, and appeared in later Bond movies.

Another silver-birch DB5 with the original registration BMT 216A was used in the 23rd James Bond film, Skyfall, at the time of the 50th anniversary of the release of the first Bond film, Dr. No, in 1962.[27] The car is destroyed in the film's climactic finale. Two cars were used during filming: DB5/1484/R (first seen in GoldenEye) and a second car DB5/2007/R.[28] It is seen again in Spectre (2015), firstly in Q's underground workshop in various stages of rebuild, and at the film's ending, fully rebuilt, with Bond driving it away.

In 2019, Aston Martin confirmed that the car would be featured in the next Bond film, No Time to Die, to be released in October 2021.[29] The plan was to build replicas and not use existing vehicles. Eight replica DB5 stunt cars were built for the movie.[30][31] The DB5 seen in a high-speed chase at the start of the film was sold for £2.92 million at a charity auction in London in 2022.[32]

Remade edit

In 2020, as the next phase of the Continuation programme which had started in 2017 with the reborn DB4GT,[33] Aston Martin began construction of 25 new DB5 Goldfinger-themed cars at the factory in Newport Pagnell, north Buckinghamshire, where the first DB5s were built.[33] The cars were authentic reproductions of Bond's Goldfinger DB5 and were fitted with most of the spy gadgets seen in the film. Several of the gadgets were designed to be functional, including smoke screen, simulated oil slick delivery system, revolving number plates, and rear bullet shield.[34]

Wherever possible, Aston Martin used the same manufacturers as were used in the original 1963-65 production run. ZF Friedrichshafen, for example, supplied the transmission and Connolly Leather supplied the interiors. As in the 1960s, the aluminium body panels were hand-made and fitted by hand to a steel chassis.[33] The engine was a 290bhp 4.0 litre inline six-cylinder with three SU carburettors, mated to a five-speed ZF manual transmission,[33] and the cars were finished in the same Silver Birch colour scheme as the original.[35] The Goldfinger DB5s were created in association with the producers of the James Bond films, EON Productions.[33] It was intended that they would sell for about £2.75 million each.[36] The first of the new cars rolled off the production line at the beginning of July 2020.[37]

Promotional items edit

1964 Aston Martin DB5, produced by Corgi Toys, as a tie-in to the film.

With Goldfinger, Corgi Toys began its decades-long relationship with the Bond franchise. They produced a model of the car which became the biggest selling toy of 1964.[38] A detailed 1:24 scale plastic kit of the James Bond DB5 was produced by Airfix between 1966 and 1970.[39]

A highly detailed, 1:24 scale die-cast DB5 model with many working features was produced by the Danbury Mint in 2006 as a limited edition for Casino Royale. In January 2011, a 1/8 scale model was released by part work magazine publisher GE Fabbri in the UK. Over 85 weekly parts, the model built into one of the biggest 007 scale models, with working gadgets and lights.[40] In 2015 Hotwheels Elite released their Cult Classics Goldfinger Aston Martin DB5 in 1/18 and 1/43 scale, the 1/18 model featuring many of the gadgets from the original film.

In July 2018, LEGO unveiled a 1:8 scale 1,290-piece DB5 construction set with front machine guns, hidden telephone, ejector seat, bullet shield, tyre shredders and the homing screen in the cockpit.[41][42][43] In June 2022, The Lego Group announced that a construction set of James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 would be released in August 2022 as part of the Lego Speed Champions range.[44][45][46]

Two-thirds scale replicas edit

In partnership with Aston Martin Lagonda, The Little Car Company in Bicester, UK, created 'Junior Edition', two-thirds scale, electric-powered replicas of the DB5 convertible, the DB5 Vantage and the No Time to Die DB5, which were priced between £35,000 and £90,000. The cars were built using 3D scans of the original.[47]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Ikonisk filmbil återskapas!". Klassiker. 30 May 2020. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
  2. ^ Barlow, Jason (27 September 2021). "The Best Bond Cars Ever, Part 1: The Aston Martin DB5". Top Gear. Retrieved 7 May 2023.
  3. ^ Cottingham, Tim (9 July 2008). "Aston Martin DB5 Shooting Brake by Harold Radford (1965–1967)". Aston Archived from the original on 15 June 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  4. ^ Eveleigh, Ian (16 December 2008). "Birth of an icon: 1963: Aston Martin DB5". Evo. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Aston Martin DB5". MI6: The Home of James Bond 007. Archived from the original on 8 January 2009. Retrieved 27 January 2011.
  6. ^ "New Royal Mail stamps celebrate classic British cars". The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 September 2022.
  7. ^ a b c Flammang, James M. (1994). Standard Catalog of Imported Cars, 1946-1990. Iola, WI: Krause Publications. p. 57. ISBN 0-87341-158-7.
  8. ^ a b "Used car test: 1964 Aston Martin DB5". Autocar. Vol. 129, no. 3777. 4 July 1968. pp. 46–47.
  9. ^ "Style Icon – Aston Martin DB5". The Mitchelli. 3 April 2011. Archived from the original on 26 June 2015. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  10. ^ Lawrence, Mike (1991). A to Z of Sports Cars. Bideford, Devon: Bay View Books. p. 36. ISBN 1-870979-81-8.
  11. ^ a b "Road Test #1992: Aston Martin DB5" (PDF). Autocar. 18 September 1964. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 October 2006 – via Works Torque, April 2006, p. 14.
  12. ^ a b "1964 Aston Martin DB5 Vantage". Carfolio. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  13. ^ "Aston Martin DB5". Aston Retrieved 20 January 2021.
  14. ^ Hingston, Peter (2008). The Enthusiasts' Guide to Buying a Classic British Sports Car. ISBN 978-0-906555-25-5.
  15. ^ Dowsey, David (2007). Aston Martin: Power, Beauty and Soul. Images Publishing. p. 101. ISBN 978-0-9578759-5-1.
  16. ^ McLaren, Marc (16 August 2019). "Bond DB5 sets new world record at Monterey sale". Classic & Sports Car. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  17. ^ Vallance, Tom (19 July 1999). "Obituary: John Stears". The Independent. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  18. ^ "DB5 for James Bond (Goldfinger/Thunderball)". Archived from the original on 8 December 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  19. ^ "Classic Feature: 1965 Aston Martin DB5". Motor Trend. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  20. ^ German, Ken. "Stolen James Bond Aston Martin DB5 remains a mystery, 25 years after it disappeared." The Telegraph, 22 February 2021.
  21. ^ "Specially Equipped Silver Aston Martin First Driven by Sean Connery Sells for $4.1M in London". 28 October 2010. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  22. ^ Hardiman, Paul (1 February 2011). "1964 Aston Martin DB5 James Bond". Sports Car Market. Archived from the original on 3 February 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  23. ^ "Aston Martin DB5 James Bond". Louwman Museum. 10 February 2021. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  24. ^ "1965 Aston Martin DB5". RM Sotheby's. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  25. ^ Pfeiffer & Worrall (1998), p. 33.
  26. ^ Bouzereau (2006), pp. 110–111.
  27. ^ "Image: DB5 in Skyfall". Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  28. ^ "DB5 for 007 James Bond (Skyfall) « Aston".
  29. ^ Chin, Chris (8 June 2019). "Aston Martin V8 Vantage Series II spotted during 'Bond 25' filming". Autoblog. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  30. ^ "Aston Martin built a M3-powered DB5 stunt car for No Time to die".
  31. ^ Rix, Jack (4 November 2020). "Eight things you need to know about Bond's DB5 stunt car". Top Gear. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  32. ^ "Aston Martin stunt car raises £2.9 million at Sixty Years of James Bond charity auction". Aston Martin Lagonda. Retrieved 29 September 2022.
  33. ^ a b c d e "Aston Martin DB5 production resumes after 55 years". Aston Martin Lagonda. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  34. ^ Woodard, Collin (15 May 2019). "The 7 Coolest Spy Gadgets on the Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Tribute Car". Motor Trend. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  35. ^ "Aston Martin has re-made the DB5 from 'Goldfinger'". Esquire Middle East. Retrieved 6 December 2021.
  36. ^ Gitlan, Jonathan (20 August 2018). "Aston Martin will build 25 new Goldfinger cars—with gadgets". Ars Technica. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  37. ^ "First new DB5 in 55 years rolls off the line". Aston Martin Lagonda. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  38. ^ Pfeiffer & Worrall (1998), p. 43.
  39. ^ Olins, Jay (31 December 2001). "Danbury Mint 1:24 1964 Aston Martin DB5 Saloon – James Bond, 007 Version (Discontinued)". Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  40. ^ "James Bond 007 Aston Martin DB5 - Build up 1:8 Aston Martin DB5 Replica". Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  41. ^ Lego Group (18 July 2018). "Uncover the secrets of 007's most famous vehicle with the LEGO® Creator Expert James Bond™ Aston Martin DB5". (Press release). Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  42. ^ "James Bond™ Aston Martin DB5 10262". Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  43. ^ Wren, Wesley (18 July 2018). "Lego goes 'Goldfinger' with Bond's Aston Martin DB5". Autoweek. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  44. ^ "LEGO Speed Champions 007 and Fast & Furious models revealed by retailer". Brick Fanatics. 14 June 2022.
  45. ^ "LEGO Speed Champions 007 set includes multiple licence plates". Brick Fanatics. 16 June 2022.
  46. ^ "First look at LEGO Speed Champions 007 and Fast & Furious sets". Brick Fanatics. 25 June 2022.
  47. ^ "Aston Martin DB5 Junior". Retrieved 26 August 2022.

Sources edit

External links edit

  • Official DB5 & DB5 Convertible on