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Aston Martin DB5 & James Bond’s DB5

 This article is suggested by our top reader Jane Watkins, Uttoxeter, United Kingdon.

Thank you, Jane!



1963-1966 Aston Martin DB5 in the most popular Silver Birch color from James Bond Movie Goldfinger (1964).
1963-1966 Aston Martin DB5 in the most popular Silver Birch color from James Bond Movie Goldfinger (1964) | Image: Aston Martin


FIRST ASSOCIATION WITH THE ASTON MARTIN DB5

One of the most popular cars in the world is the Aston Martin DB5. It’s most known from the James Bond movies. It had happened that the DB5 (1963) and the Goldfinger (1964) are released almost at the same time. We all know the Aston Martin DB5 and maybe most of us associated the car with the movie but the questions are:

 

·        What do we know about the DB5?

·        Does the Aston Martin DB5 is the original car from Ian Fleming's novel Goldfinger (1959)?

·        Obviously – not, but which Aston Martin model is James Bond’s car in the novel?

 

For sure, I’ll write about the gadgets of James Bond’s DB5 and something more. I would like to present the Aston Martin DB5 as a car, as a model. Because it had happened that the DB5 itself plays a role and it’s like living only in the movies. Moreover, there are 25 all-new, fully rebuild Aston Martin DB5 cars. Do they are road-worthy?

 



 

WHAT CAR IS THE ASTON MARTIN DB5?

The Aston Martin DB5 is in production from 1963 to 1965 as for this period only 1,021 units are produced. The car classification of the DB5 is Grand Tourer as the most popular body style is 2-door, 2+2 coupe. Well, there are some 123 units 2-door convertible versions of the Aston Martin DB5 and also special 2-door shooting brake, produced in 13 units only.

 

Rear view of the 1963-1966 Aston Martin DB5
1963-1966 Aston Martin DB5 rear view | Image: Aston Martin

 



 

WHAT’S THE ENGINE OF THE ASTON MARTIN DB5?

The original 2-door coupe Aston Martin DB5 is the new version of the Aston Martin DB4, Series 5 (a.k.a Mark5) which by the way looks almost the same as its successor DB6. However, the DB5 has an all-aluminum 4.0L, in-line 6-cylinder engine with three SU carburetors. The max power is 282 bhp and the max speed is 233 km/h (145 mph). Interestingly, the DB5 has an oil cooler.

 

The 1963 -1966 Aston Martin DB5 4.0L I6 Engine
1963 -1966 Aston Martin DB5 4.0L I6 Engine | Image: Aston Martin


 



 

ALL GEARBOXES AVAILABLE FOR THE ASTON MARTIN DB5

The Aston Martin DB5 uses a fully synchromesh 5-speed ZF transmission, excepting some of the very first units which were equipped with a 4-speed manual gearbox with an overdrive - optionally available. Usually, the overdrive is a separate gearbox operated by a separate shift lever thus the power of the engine is directly transmitted to the rear wheels as back in the years most of the cars are produced with rear-wheel drive as well as the DB5. Later the function of the overdrive gearbox is replaced with the 5th gear of a 5-speed transmission and the last gear of any other gearboxes. However, back to the DB5 gearboxes - there was an optional BorgWarner 3-speed automatic gearbox.

 

1963 - 1966 Aston Martin DB5 gearstick of a 5-speed manual ZF gearbox
1963 - 1966 Aston Martin DB5 gearstick of a 5-speed manual ZF gearbox | Image: Aston Martin

 



 

HOW THE ASTON MARTIN DB5 IS BUILD

The Aston Martin DB5 is designed by the Italian design studio Carrozeria Touring Superleggera. The body is made under the Superleggera patent of the studio as it’s used magnesium-alloy. In Italian, the Superleggera is a term that means Super Light. According to the production capabilities during the 60s, the weight of the Aston Martin DB5 is 1,502 kg (3,311 lb). The Aston Martin DB5 has a live rear axle.

 

The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation Model at the hand-made crafting line
The production of the Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation model | Image: Aston Martin


 

THE ASTON MARTIN DB5 EQUIPMENT

The equipment of the DB5 includes reclining seats, wool pile carpets, electric windows, double fuel tanks, chrome wire wheels. The interior is in full leather.  

 

The 1963 - 1966 Aston Martin DB5 dashboard and the reclining seats (unfocused foreground)
1963 - 1966 Aston Martin DB5 dashboard and the reclining seats (unfocused foreground) | Image: Aston Martin




1963 - 1966 Aston Martin DB5 full leather interior in black color, rear seats
1963 - 1966 Aston Martin DB5 full leather interior, rear seats | Image: Aston Martin





The chrome wire wheels of the 1963 - 1966 Aston Martin DB5
1963 - 1966 Aston Martin DB5 - chrome wire wheels | Image: Aston Martin





THE ASTON MARTIN DB5 VANTAGE

The Aston Martin DB5 Vantage is introduced in 1964. The DB5 Vantage uses 3 Weber carburetors. The camshaft is changed and thus the max power is increased to 330 hp @ 5,500 rpm. Driving a car with 330 hp, no airbags, no ABS, no traction control… phew… There are only 65 units of the Aston Martin DB5 Vantage.

 

The Aston Martin DB5 Vantage
The Aston Martin DB5 Vantage | Image: Ed Callow




 

THE ASTON MARTIN DB5 CONVERTIBLE

The production of the Aston Martin DB5 Convertible is from 1963 to 1965. The DB5 Convertible is produced in only 123 units as only 19 of them are made in left-hand drive. The factory Vantage engine is mounted in some 12 cars as there is a rumor that at least one car is factory equipped with the DB6 Vantage engine. If you are looking for such rare models, there are even more rare options like the factory option steel removable hard top fitted by Works Service before delivery to the client.

 

The Aston Martin DB5 Convertible has some differences like the splied front and rear bumpers compared to the DB5 Volante
The Aston Martin DB5 Convertible has some differences like the whole front and rear bumpers compared to the DB5 Volante where they are split. | Image: Wholived

 



 


The Aston Martin DB5 Volante

The Aston Martin DB5 Volante is a convertible version in production for exactly one year – from October 1965 to October 1966. The DB5 Volante is also called “Short Chassis” but only in comparison with, back then, the newcomer Aston Martin DB6. The Aston Martin DB5 Volante uses some of the DB6 features like the split front and rear bumpers, and as well as the rear lights which are originally for the Triumph TR4. Only these 37 DB5 Volante convertibles produced in that specific period are using the Volante badge. As later, the Volante name is given to other Aston Martin Convertibles but not before October 1965.

 

1965 - 1966 Aston Martin DB5 VOLANTE a.k.a Short Chassis compared only with the Aston Martin DB6.
1965 - 1966 Aston Martin DB5 VOLANTE a.k.a Short Chassis compared only with the Aston Martin DB6. | Image: Aston Martin

                                                                               



 

THE ASTON MARTIN DB5 SHOOTING-BRAKE

The Aston Martin DB5 Shooting-Brake was a custom factory-made model requested by Sir David Brown, who was an English industrialist and at some point owner of the car manufacturers Aston Martin and Lagonda - back then separate car brand and owned by Aston Martin from 1947.

 

Aston Martin DB5 Shooting-Brake produced in only 11 or 12 units.
Aston Martin DB5 Shooting-Brake produced in only 11 or 12 units. | Image: edvvc


 

Anyway, back to the Aston Martin DB5 Shooting-Brake which is produced in only 11 or 12 units, custom modified by independent body-maker Harold Radford for Aston Martin. The DB5 Shooting-Brake model also uses Triumph’s taillight just like the Aston Martin DB5 Volante and the Aston Martin DB6.

 



 

An Aston Martin DB5 Shooting-Brake model is sold for a record US$ 1.765 m / £ 1.456 m in August 2019. Then the DB5 Shooting-Brake become the most valuable model in its class.


 




JAMES BOND’S a.k.a Agent 007 DB5

At the time of writing the Goldfinger novel in January and February 1958, Ian Fleming had chosen the Aston Martin DB Mark III for James Bond. At the time of production of the movie, the Aston Martin DB5 is the upcoming model so from a commercial point of view it was a nice move to advertise the car in the movie. And nowadays, thanks to that James Bond movie the Aston Martin DB5 is the most recognizable model in the world.

 

The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation
The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation model is limited series of 25 hand-made cars. | Image: Aston Martin




 

The James Bond DB5 would be nothing without John Stears. He was the person who modified the Aston Martin DB5 to become James Bond’s car. Now, introducing James Bond’s DB5 as it is in the movie: windscreen – bulletproof as on the side and rear window; revolving number plates – naturally, valid all countries (James Bond number plates "LU 6789", "4711-EA-62", "BMT 216A"); audio-visual dashboard reception of the transmitting device homer, range 150 miles. The defense mechanism controls include several features strictly created for James Bond’s DB5 as follows smoke screen; oil slick, rear bulletproof screen, and left and right front wing machine guns. Another feature of Agent 007’s DB5 is operated from the gear lever by a red button hidden under a cap marked the positions of the gears. That red button releases the passenger section of the roof and engage and fire the passenger ejector seat – phew. Then the passenger is behind the board. Did I miss a feature or features?! – Write me in the comments.

 

Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation - revolving number plates  "LU 6789", "4711-EA-62", "BMT 216A"
The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation - revolving number plates  "LU 6789", "4711-EA-62", "BMT 216A". | Image: Aston Martin




 

We have to pay special attention to the original James Bond’s DB5. The gear stick is marked with 4 gears. This means that Agent 007’s Aston Martin DB5 is one of the very first DB5 models that are equipped with a 4-speed manual gearbox. The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation model goes with 5-speed manual transmission.

 

Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation Gear Stick - We have to pay attention to the details and to mark that in the Goldfinger (1964) that DB5 is with a 4-speed manual transmission.
The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation Gear Stick. We have to pay attention to the details and to mark that in the Goldfinger (1964) that DB5 is with a 4-speed manual transmission. 
                                                            | Image: Aston Martin




 

Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation - Gear Stick Red Button. Another difference between the original DB5 Goldfinger model and the new one is that - the red button. It activates the ejector passenger seat on the very first DB5 and on the new model that button activates the wings machine guns.
The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation - Gear Stick Red Button. Another difference between the original DB5 Goldfinger model and the new one is that - the red button. It activates the ejector passenger seat on the very first DB5 and on the new model that button activates the wings machine guns. | Image: Aston Martin 




The Aston Martin DB5 has four units that are for the Goldfinger (1964). Two of those DB5s are used for creating the movie and the other two cars are used only for promotional purposes.

 

ston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation - dashboard reception of the transmitting device
The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation - the audio-visual dashboard reception of the transmitting device as it's presented in the Goldfinger (1964). Nowadays the DB5 Goldfinger Continuation is equipped with a modern GPS.  Someone may say - A very useful gadget for a not-road-legal car. But! The feelings that something exists and works are the most important details in this DB5 model. | Image: Aston Martin

 



Interestingly, the first filming model Aston Martin DB5 for James Bond movies was in Dubonnet Red color. The Dubonnet is a sort of sweet French red wine – so, what’s the color of the wine that’s the color of the car and never mix them up. That first filming DB5 has chassis number DP/216/1. That DB5 has another role in the film The Cannonball Run (1981). Unfortunately, that particular Aston Martin DB5 is stolen in 1997 from the last owner in Florida and the car is still missing. 

 

The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation - Gadget Controls are placed in the armrest between the front seats
The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation - Gadget Controls are placed in the armrest between the front seats



 

The second filming Aston Martin DB5 has chassis number DB5/1486/R. That DB5 doesn’t have any gadgets and is used only for driving scenes. The gadgets are added later, after the filming and that DB5 model is used for promotions. Both Aston Martin DB5 models DB5/216/1 and DB5/1486/R are displayed at the 1965 New York World’s Fair to promote the Goldfinger (1964) movie.

 

The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation - Smoke Screen
The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation - Smoke Screen | Image: Aston Martin



 

In the 1995 GoldenEye film, another Aston Martin DB5 is used. Its registration plate is BMT 214A. Instead of spy gadgets that DB5 is equipped with a champagne cooler in the armrest and a fax machine. All of that is because this Aston Martin DB5 is presented as the personal James Bond car. А significant scene from the GoldenEye (1995) is the car chasing between James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 versus the Ferrari F355 driven by…. Write me in the comments.

 

The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation - Oil Slick. For safety, instead of oil, that system works with water.
The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation - Oil Slick. For safety, instead of oil, that system works with water. | Image: Aston Martin




 

During the production of the GoldenEye (1995) were used three DB5s. Later, that James Bond’s DB5 has a small role in the next movie Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) and it’s set for an episodic appearance in The World is Not Enough (1999) but most of the scenes are cut in the post-production.

 

The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation - Machine Guns
The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation - Machine Guns. | Image: Aston Martin 





The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation - Rear Bulletproof Screen
The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation - Rear Bulletproof Screen. | Image: Aston Martin




OTHER ROLES OF THE ASTON MARTIN DB5 IN THE JAMES BOND MOVIES

An Aston Martin DB5 with Bahamian number plate 56526 which is a left-hand drive model has a role in Casino Royale (2006). Another silver Aston Martin DB5 with the original BMT 216A number plate is used in the Skyfall (2012) that coincides with the 50th anniversary of the first James Bond movie Dr. No (1962). That DB5 from the Skyfall (2012) movie is destroyed at the climactic finale to be fully rebuilt during the Spectre (2015).

 

   
The Aston Martin DB5 - Bahamian Number Plates;
Bond (Daniel Craig) and Solange in the Aston Martin DB5 in Casino Royale.
| Photo © United Artists, Danjaq LLC; Source: www.jamesbondlifestyle.com




 

EIGHT REPLICA ASTON MARTIN DB5 ARE MADE

For the No Time To Die (2021) movie, eight replicas of Aston Martin DB5 are made and used as stunt cars.

 

THE ASTON MARTIN DB5 GOLDFINGER CONTINUATION

25 new Aston Martin DB5 units are remade. All models include all gadgets that the first-ever James Bond’s DB5 has from the Goldfinger (1964) movie. For the reproduction of the DB5, Aston Martin uses the same manufactures whenever is possible like ZF Friedrichshafen for the gearbox and Connolly Leather supplies the interior.  The new Aston Martin DB5 is handmade – just like in the 60s as well as the color remains the same – Silver Birch finish.

 

The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation - while driving
The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation - a model that could be driven on a race track, for example. | Image: Aston Martin 

 



 

For me is a little bit confusing because I can’t find information about which one is the producer of the 4-speed manual gearbox available for the very first units of the Aston Martin DB5. So, that I’m feeling that the 4-speed gearbox is produced by someone else and later the 5-speed manual produced by ZF is used for the DB5. If you do know more about the Aston Martin DB5 models – write me in the comments.

 

Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation - During Car Manufacturing
The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation - During Car Manufacturing




 

HOW MUCH IS AN ORIGINAL ASTON MARTIN DB5 WORTH? 

At the time of writing this article about the Aston Martin DB5, December 27th, 2021 with a brief preview of listings - the asking prices are above US$ 600,000 and the highest price is ap. US$ 1,416,974  / €1,250,000. That high-priced model is a red 1964 Aston Martin DB5 as it had three different owners and the car needs some restorations to be made. By the way, several listings below US$ 1M look in very good condition.

 

1963 - 1966 Aston Martin DB5
1963 - 1966 Aston Martin DB5 | Image: Aston Martin





As we know that the first Aston Martin DB5 is stolen from its last owner in Florida, in 1997, the second filming DB5, DB5/1486/R with number plates “LU 6789” or “4711-EA-62” or “BMT 216A” is sold to Harry Yeaggy by RM Auctions for US$4.6m in 2010.

 

1963 - 1966 Aston Martin DB5 - Original Central Console
1963 - 1966 Aston Martin DB5 - Original Central Console. | Image: Aston Martin


 

The first publicity Aston Martin DB5, DB5/2017/R belongs to Louwman Museum in The Hague. The second publicity DB5, DB5/2008/R is sold to an unknown buyer by RM Sotherby for US$ 6.4m in August 2019.

 

1963 - 1966 Aston Martin DB5 - Instrument Cluster
1963 - 1966 Aston Martin DB5 - Instrument Cluster. | Image: Aston Martin 




 

The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation is priced at £ 2.75m, plus taxes. As the rebuild of the DB5 Goldfinger is made in the exact way of hand-made producing cars in the early ‘60s and it doesn’t complain any of nowadays standard equipment like ABS, ESP, Airbags, and so on, the Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation models of 25 units are not road legal. It’s a real-size toy. However, you can enjoy the ride of the Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation model on a race track for example. By the way, with the renewal of the DB5 model, you can have some spare parts for the original Aston Martin DB5. If you want to drive a road-legal car the option is to buy one from the ‘60s DB5. With the renewed Aston Martin DB5 model that has more collection value, there are new spare parts for the real old DB5s. Here, it’s an option to buy a real Aston Martin DB5 and to restore yourself or to get one that is completely restored at a higher price. Due to the availability of the new spare parts for the original DB5 model, it’s the price is going to grow more and more.

 

1963 - 1966  Aston Martin DB5 - Side View
1963 - 1966  Aston Martin DB5 - Side View. | Image: Aston Martin



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1963 - 1966  Aston Martin DB5 - Rear View Details - DB5 badge and tail lights
1963 - 1966  Aston Martin DB5 - Rear View Details - DB5 badge and tail lights. | Image: Aston Martin




Read More About the Aston Martin DB5, Links:

1963 – 1965 Aston Martin DB5 – Gallery 

ASTON MARTIN DB5 - SPECIFICATIONS

1965-1966 Aston Martin DB5 VOLANTE Short-Chassis - Gallery

Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Reproduction – Gallery 



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