1965 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible

The DB5 convertible may be rightly regarded as the perfected Aston Martin-the product of deliberate and steady improvement in performance, reliability, comfort and appearance to a plane unequalled by its Continental rivals. The DB5 flowed smoothly from the DB4, gaining a small measure of displacement (from 3.7 to 4.0 liters) and power (from 240 to 282 horsepower). Its body flowed even more smoothly, adopting the covered headlights pioneered on the short-wheelbase DB4GT by Zagato and offered on some later DB4GTs. The DB5 body is the essence of refined design: beautiful, sophisticated and free of non-functional embellishment.

The DB5’s Tadek Marek-designed alloy block, dual overhead-camshaft, inline 6-cylinder engine had been introduced in 1958 in the DB4, similar in concept and layout to the W.O. Bentley-designed Lagonda engine used in earlier David Brown Astons. After several years of development, it provided ample horsepower for high-speed touring with abundant torque for quick acceleration and smooth driving in traffic. It also produced a distinctive (and, yes, refined) exhaust note that is uniquely identifiable as emanating from an Aston Martin. Only 123 of the 1,021 DB5s built were convertibles, making them very rare and highly sought.

The 1965 Aston Martin DB5 convertible pictured here is an exceptional example of this rare and satisfying model. It is fitted with chrome wire wheels and has the four-speed gearbox with overdrive for relaxed cruising. Many owners regard this David Brown-built gearbox as superior to the ZF five-speed that succeeded it during the DB5 production-particularly because it is much quieter when cruising in overdrive. It is finished in British Racing Green with tan Connolly leather interior and a tan top, as well as the rich wood garnishments for which British automobiles are noted. Restored some ten years ago, it is still in superb condition, attesting to both the quality of its restoration and to the care and maintenance it has received.