Lot 347
Two owners from new,1965 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible Chassis no. DB5C/1906/R Engine no. 400/1909
Sold for £359,000 (US$ 439,237) inc. premium

Lot Details
DB5, DB5, DB5, DB5,
Two owners from new
1965 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible
Registration no. 2 NKN
Chassis no. DB5C/1906/R
Engine no. 400/1909


  • Aston Martin's post-war evolution took a giant step forward with the launch of the DB4 in 1958. Classically proportioned, the Touring-designed body established an instantly recognisable look that would stand the marque in good stead until 1970. The engine was still an all-alloy twin-overhead-camshaft 'six' but the old W O Bentley-designed 3.0-litre unit had been superseded by a new design by Tadek Marek. Proven in racing before it entered production in the DB4, the new 3,670cc engine featured 'square' bore and stroke dimensions of 92x92mm and developed its maximum power of 240bhp at 5,500rpm. The David Brown gearbox was a new four-speed all-synchromesh unit.
    Touring's Superleggera body construction, which employed a lightweight tubular structure to support the aluminium-alloy body panels, was deemed incompatible with the DB2/4-type multi-tubular spaceframe, so engineer Harold Beach drew up an immensely-strong platform-type chassis. Independent front suspension was retained, the DB2/4's trailing links giving way to unequal-length wishbones, while at the rear the DB4 sported a live axle located by a Watts linkage instead of its predecessor's Panhard rod. Five series were built as the model gradually metamorphosed into the DB5 of 1963. The latter's distinctive cowled headlamps had first appeared on the DB4GT, and the newcomer was the same size as the lengthened Series V DB4. The DB5's 3,995cc engine, first seen in the Lagonda Rapide, produced 282bhp and was mated to a four-speed, overdrive-equipped gearbox, a 'proper' ZF five-speed unit being standardised later. Other improvements included alternator electrics, Girling disc brakes instead of Dunlops, Sundym glass, electric windows and an oil pressure gauge as standard equipment. The DB5 was also offered in convertible form (the 'Volante' name would not be applied to the soft-top Aston until the DB6's arrival) while independent coachbuilder Harold Radford offered a shooting brake conversion. 1,021 DB5s were manufactured between July 1963 and September 1965, a total that included 123 convertibles and 12 shooting brakes.
    Reputedly first owned by the actress, Beryl Reid, this rare DB5 convertible has been in the vendors ownership for the last 37 years and was purchased by the present owner when it was eight years old, having already been re-sprayed in the current Midnight Blue livery and fitted with a new grey hood. A manual transmission model, the car was used briefly as a daily driver before being reserved for use purely on high days and holidays avoiding unpleasant and inclement weather. The Aston was originally wax oiled and has been carefully maintained to a very good standard by the enthusiast vendor. We are advised that the engine was rebuilt by an Aston Martin specialist circa 1980 and that approximately 15,000 - 20,000 miles have been covered since then out of a believed-genuine 92,714 from new. The engine was rebuilt with vantage head and cams and maintains excellent oil pressure. More recently (in 2009) the front brake callipers were replaced, the latter with stainless steel pistons.
    Paintwork excepted, '1906/R' remains totally original, with excellent door/bonnet shut lines and very good chassis condition (apart from the passenger side outrigger, which will need renewing). The original grey leather interior is in very good condition, though there is a small split in the lower front panel of the driver's and passenger's seats. Approximately nine years ago the water pump failed and the hot coolant containing antifreeze covered the front of the car, causing the paint to peel off. The pump has since been replaced together with a number of other items. Although regularly started it has not been used on the road for the past nine years, '1906/R' is in running order - starting instantly for the photography session - but requires some minor re-commissioning and a re-spray. In the current ownership for the past 37 years, the car comes complete with tonneau cover and its original tool kit and jack, and is offered with its original logbook, owner's handbook and workshop manual, Swansea V5 registration document and a file of miscellaneous history including expired MoTs. A set of new Weber carburettors, manifolds and air-box (suitable for a Vantage upgrade) and assorted spares are available from the vendor via separate negotiation.

Saleroom notices

  • The car has enjoyed three individual owners from new, not two at catalogued.
Auction information

This sale is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future sales, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this sale, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations


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Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:
A successful bidder at this sale will be required to pay Bonhams 1793 Limited ("Bonhams") a premium calculated as follows:

25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at 20% will be payable on the amount of the premium.

The premium is payable for the services to be provided by Bonhams in the Buyer's Agreement which is contained in the catalog for this Sale and for the opportunity to bid for the Lot at the Sale.

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