1965 Aston Martin DB5 Coupe

The buyer paid a premium for originality and left-hand drive, and the American collector no doubt carefully picked his moment

Chassis number: DB51847L
Engine number: 4001847

Aston Martin developed and released the all-new DB4 in 1958 alongside the final DB2-derived DB Mark III. The following year, the company received a Royal Warrant of Appointment from HRH Prince Philip and took overall victory at Le Mans and the World Sports Car Constructor’s Championship the year after.

A highly advanced design, the DB4 heralded the arrival of the brilliant new Tadek Marek-designed, all-aluminum 3.7-liter engine and a new platform-frame chassis, clothed in beautifully hand-formed aluminum coachwork designed by Touring of Milan and constructed using their patented Superleggera (super light) process.

A huge advance, the DB4 evolved through five sub-variants and profoundly influenced the Aston Martin line through 1969, while nonetheless retaining the distinctive flavor of its predecessors.

The DB5 arrived in the autumn of 1963 as an advanced development of the Series V DB4, and it was distinguished primarily by its larger, more powerful 4-liter engine, along with triple SU carburetors.

After approximately the first 50 cars, the DB5 was upgraded with the sturdy, all-synchromesh ZF 5-speed gearbox as standard equipment in place of the David Brown-produced 4-speed. The DB5 differed from the DB4 in many respects, with 170 upgrades between the models.

The Dunlop disc brakes were replaced with Girling units, and the suspension was significantly redeveloped with the front now adjustable for camber and the addition of Armstrong Selectaride dampers in the rear, along with a dash-mounted control to adjust stiffness to the driver’s taste. Most visually apparent, the trademark covered headlights, first seen on the DB4GT, became a DB5 hallmark.

The dash and gauges were modified to include an oil temperature gauge, á la the DB4GT. Although it was produced for slightly more than two years, the DB5 achieved lasting fame as the most famous of all Aston Martins and arguably the most famous car of all time.

The original left-hand-drive, U.S.-delivery example offered here was completed on November 23, 1964, and was finished in Dubonnet with black upholstery. Non-standard equipment included Normalair air conditioning, chrome road wheels, an engine breather, power-operated radio antenna and a pair of detachable headrests.

Just three days later, DB51847L was bound for the U.S. and its original owner, Leslie Pouch of Staten Island, NY, who eventually took delivery on February 23, 1965. Offered from a Swiss collection, it has been kept in climate-controlled display alongside original examples of the DB4GT and DB4GT Zagato, and has required little more than routine maintenance.

Paul Hardiman

Paul Hardiman - SCM Senior Auction Analyst

Paul is descended from engineers and horse thieves, so he naturally gravitated toward the old-car marketplace and still finds fascination in the simpler things in life: looking for spot-weld dimples under an E-type tail, or counting the head-studs on a supposed Mini-Cooper engine. His motoring heroes are Roger Clark, Burt Levy, Henry Royce and Smokey Yunick — and all he wants for next Christmas is an Alvis Stalwart complete with picnic table in the back and a lake big enough to play in.

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