Comprehensively Restored and Upgraded to 4.2L by Aston Martin Experts Desmond J. Smail Restorations, UK. Discreetly Fitted with A/C and Adjustable P/S. Exceptional Presentation and Performance.
1965 Aston Martin DB5
s/n DB5/2193/R, Engine no. 400/2096
Silver Birch with Black Leather
Aston Martin has long been associated with top performance cars built for racing or road use. Driven by charismatic leadership and inspired by sporting elegance, this combination of ‘shaken not stirred’ sophistication has been at the heart of the Aston Martin brand throughout their motorsports and sportscar history. Competing against formidable challengers with far greater resources, Aston Martin delivered on their promise of performance and elegance, packaging a unique motoring experience that captured the hearts of sporting enthusiasts in search of something different. Much like many post-war car companies, Aston Martin experienced stiff competition yet continually delivered innovation and individuality – key characteristics that would lead to their success. Further daring and flair ensued when David Brown took the helm, intent on going head-to-head against the prodigious juggernaut Jaguar. To launch this brigade, Brown immediately arranged for the purchase of Lagonda, specifically for the use of their sophisticated 2.6 liter twin-cam inline six-cylinder engine designed by none other than W.O. Bentley.
As success surrounded the growing company, Aston Martin smartly retained the services of the finest Italian coachbuilders to design and build both production and show cars. The resultant improvements in the line were immediately evident through the seminal DB series cars, but it would be the launch of the DB5 that would set the stage for one of the most iconic sports cars of the era. Using the patented Touring Superleggera (Super Light Weight) construction, hand formed aluminum bodies were mounted over steel sub-structure. The stunning coachwork was not only brilliantly conceived, it was light, offered beautiful interior appointments, and delivered with top-tier performance. The DB5 signified that Aston Martin was a force to be reckoned with. Upon its debut in 1963, the DB5 arrived with a 4 liter evolution of the earlier twin-cam engine, sporting triple SU carburetors, five-speed gearbox, independent front suspension, and four wheel Girling disc brakes.
Period tests proved these capable cars were not only beautifully designed but they were also among the world’s fastest production cars. And while motoring press accolades would have been more than enough to secure the DB5 in the pantheon of sports car excellence, ultimately it would be Aston Martin’s chance assignment as the mount for agent 007, James Bond, in the 1964 classic movie ‘Goldfinger’ that would cement the DB5 as a cultural icon of dashing valor, tuxedo flair, and victorious cliff-hanging chase scenes.
According to information shared via previous ownership and the 2008 Bonhams auction catalog description, this particular DB5 was purchased in 1978 by Jess Line, an employee of Aston Martin who worked in a range of company positions from 1975 – 2003, retiring as Chief Engineer in charge of Aston Martin Engineering at Newport Pagnell. Line became aware of the car when it arrived at their service department in need of a tune up, subsequently purchasing it. Determined to restore the car as a passion project, Line took his time enjoying the process. Throughout the lengthy restoration, Line contracted with many Aston Martin employees to perform chassis, body, and engine work. Because of his position, Line took full advantage of unlimited access to genuine Aston Martin parts and components which could be readily purchased during his daily work hours. Finished in Claret red, with ivory interior, the car remained with Line until sold at a 2008 Bonhams auction where it began the next chapter in its life.
The current and consigning owner of the car delivered the DB5 to recognized premier Aston Martin restoration shop Desmond J. Smail Restorations, UK. Staffed by former Aston Martin factory mechanics and craftsmen. Smail Restorations restored the car to a very high standard, completing it in 2014 with a restoration plate affixed to the door sill threshold proudly bearing their name. Upon completion, the entire front of the car from the cowl forward and the rocker panels was professionally wrapped by “AutoPro” using clear protective film to preserve the finish.
The restoration work performed by Smail and their selected vendors included a bare metal respray with all exterior trim removed, hood and trunk removed, and the doors stripped as well to bare units. At this time the interior was completely removed, and a new interior installed with Connelly leather and hand cut Wilton Wool carpets using correct Aston Martin patterns. During the interior restoration new wood pieces were also selected and installed, new headliner was fitted, sound and heatproofing installed in the rear floor and seating areas, and the Pirelli front seat webbing replaced with new webbing and clips. While the windscreen was out of the car, the dash was removed and also restored with new material, new electrical wiring and connections, the glovebox was rebuilt, and internal features such as heater ducting were properly addressed. A comprehensive engine rebuild was also performed, outlined in detailed service invoices, with the engine upgraded to 4.2 liters, including all new cylinder liners, new pistons, new connecting rods, a fresh crankshaft regrind, new bearing shells, bushings, and seals fitted throughout. During the rebuild, the cylinder head was overhauled and rebuilt to unleaded fuel specifications including all new valve guides and resurfacing. New timing chains, sprockets, a new clutch assembly, and all ancillary items were also addressed during reassembly.
The triple SU carburetors were professionally rebuilt by Advanced Racing Concepts, itself invoiced at over $8,000.00, and dialed in to match the final engine specifications. The intricate carburetor linkage and accessory hardware was polished or re-chromed per appropriate original specifications. The list of restoration work is further detailed including preparing new handbrake mounting brackets, fitting and wiring for the heated rear windscreen, replacing all front suspension, steering rack fasteners, and front disc brake mounting bolts with new stainless-steel fasteners, and replacing all four rear radius arms with new units. The gearbox was also removed, and a new input shaft oil seal and mounting plate O ring was installed.
During the rebuild, the engine was fitted with a '123 Ignition’ electronic distributor to allow for easy starts and smooth operation using modern unleaded fuel. Finishing the engine rebuild, the exhaust manifolds were Zircotech ceramic coated, and a temperature controlled electric fan (with manual override switch) was installed to mitigate high engine temperatures in warmer climate conditions. Further warm climate considerations included the installation of a concealed contemporary air-conditioning system mounted to the lower portion of the engine compartment, with cabin climate controls discretely located on the driver’s side of the center console. A modern and welcomed EPAC power steering system was also installed being mindful to carefully engineer mounting brackets so as to conceal the upgrade while maintaining an authentic engine compartment. This system can be switched on or off from the dash or regulated using a control knob also conveniently located on the A/C control panel. These two upgraded features are fantastic for modern driving and truly enhance the experience of ownership, particularly for enthusiasts who enjoy driving their cars in warmer weather.
Today this beautifully restored Aston Martin elegantly displays all the traits of a wonderfully composed and poised sports car. The alloy Touring coachwork conveys liquid smooth reflections with just the right amount of metal flake mixed into the iconic Silver Birch finish. The panel gaps are very well done with crisp closure on all strike surfaces and properly detailed inner surfaces. To protect the paint when driving, the professionally applied clear film discretely wraps the front of the car and the lower rocker panels, protecting the paint from potential stone chips. The exterior trim is exemplary with particular attention to the fine metal work in the distinctive grille and expertly plated front and rear bumpers. The headlights themselves have been updated with High Intensity Discharge (HID) bulbs which deliver modern day illumination for night driving. The sweeping roofline and rear glass are very sophisticated, perfectly accented by the chrome wire wheels and Q-worthy triple-ear knockoffs. The glass is in excellent condition, along with near perfect exterior emblems, lighting, exterior lenses, and indicators. The clean trunk line brilliantly tapers off flanked by the triple light cluster trimmed rear fenders, finished off by angled twin chrome-tipped tail pipes.
Attention to detail, quality materials, and thoughtful stewardship continue throughout the interior of the car. The supple black leather seats were trimmed using iconic Connolly hides prepared and fitted by a former Aston Martin interior master craftsman who worked at the factory in period. The matching black door panels and dashboard contrast elegantly with the delicate chrome accents and intricately etched aluminum details. A wonderful array of restored instrumentation fills the main binnacle, sportingly framed by a large diameter wood steering wheel, flanked by an array of controls. Switches and vents accent the descending center console, terminating with a leather booted 5-speed shifter. Nestled beneath the climate control levers, the original and functional Motorola AM/FM radio (paired to a retractable electric antenna) has been updated with a smart phone input jack suitable for most modern phone connections. The entire system plays through contemporary JBL front and rear speakers concealed behind the original Aston Martin grilles and powered by a hidden 150W per channel Cerwin Vega Stealth B2 amplifier.
Continuing with interior details, such as the engraved rearview Lucas mirror, tinted sun visors, correctly finished headliner and stitched leather surfaces, the interior is a harmonious composition of original features and comforting upgrades. The black Wilton wool carpeting has a rich feel, properly installed with superior heat and sound insulation. Overall, the interior has an excellent and authentic feel to it, with only minor evidence of use evident in the carpet footwell areas. The trunk compartment is finished with matching black Wilton carpet, concealing a matching wire wheel spare tire properly anchored with a correct spare tire spinner nut.
The beautifully restored twin-cam engine and engine compartment are presented with all finishes, fasteners, and proper components thoughtfully prepared as originally intended including beautifully cast alloy features polished to an appropriate luster. The upgraded and more desirable 4.2 liter engine, number 400/2096, not only provides an improvement in overall power and performance, it is properly detailed, showing only light patina, indicative of mild use since the restoration was completed in 2014. The engine bay and all hardware have been expertly refinished or reconditioned to a very high standard, prepared with originality and pride. The undercarriage is tidy and clean including a stainless-steel exhaust system, ceramic coated exhaust headers, and properly finished suspension components. There is no visual evidence of structural compromise when inspecting the underside of the car.
Opening the alloy driver’s door, entrance into the bucket seat is easily accomplished even for larger drivers. Seating is comfortable and visibility quite nice both fore and aft, through the fastback rear glass. The car starts easily, offering a very satisfying exhaust note and gentle idle. Once warmed and off choke, driving is effortless with excellent shifting through the comfortable 5-speed gearbox and easy steering through the power steering system that can be conveniently adjusted from inside the car. Acceleration from the 4.2 liter engine is very rewarding, with throttle response that comfortably manages leisurely cruising or carving mountain roads with more spirited intentions. Of particular note is the upgraded rear suspension, which has been fitted with adjustable telescopic shock absorbers, a notable improvement to the overall handling of the car. The Girling disc brakes operate in harmony with the chassis, coming down smoothly and tracking evenly even from highway speeds. Overall, this magnificent Aston Martin drives with a refined balance of performance and grace, easily maneuvering through quaint hills and canyons or open highways with equal aplomb. Accompanying the car is a set of four chrome bumper overriders which were finished during restoration awaiting the next owner’s preference for installation.
Beautifully finished in iconic Silver Birch and handsomely appointed with stunning black Connolly leather interior, this Aston Martin DB5 is ready to offer the next enthusiast all the joys associated with owning a premier sports car from the Golden Age of Sports Cars. Powerful and elegant, this wonderful example combines all the traits of exemplary motoring, be it fulfilling an enthusiast’s singular dream or as an esteemed addition to a collection of highly prized performance sports cars.
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.
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