|Aston Martin DB5|
|Production||1963–1965 (1,059 units), 2020- (25 units)|
|Designer||Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door 2+2 coupé|
2-door convertible (123)
2-door shooting brake (13)
|Engine||DOHC Straight-6, 4.0 L (3,995 cc)|
|Power output||282–325 bhp (210–242 kW) @ 5500 rpm|
280–288 lb⋅ft (380–390 N⋅m) @ 4500 rpm
|Transmission||5-speed ZF box or optional BorgWarner 3-speed automatic|
|Wheelbase||2,489 mm (98.0 in)|
|Length||4,570 mm (179.9 in)|
|Width||1,680 mm (66.1 in)|
|Kerb weight||1,502 kg (3,311 lb)|
|Predecessor||Aston Martin DB4|
|Successor||Aston Martin DB6|
The Aston Martin DB5 is a British luxury grand tourer (GT) that was made by Aston Martin and designed by the Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera. Released in 1963, it was an evolution of the final series of DB4.
Although not the first in the DB series, the DB5 is the best-known cinematic James Bond car, first appearing in the James Bond film Goldfinger (1964).
The principal differences between the DB4 Series V and the DB5 are the all-aluminium engine, enlarged from 3.7 L to 4.0 L; a new robust ZF five-speed transmission (except for some of the very first DB5s); and three SU carburettors. This engine, producing 282 bhp (210 kW), which propelled the car to 145 mph (233 km/h), available on the Vantage (high powered) version of the DB4 since March 1962, became the standard Aston Martin power unit with the launch in September 1963 of the DB5.
Standard equipment on the DB5 included reclining seats, wool pile carpets, electric windows, twin fuel tanks, chrome wire wheels, oil cooler, magnesium-alloy body built to superleggera patent technique, full leather trim in the cabin and even a fire extinguisher. All models have two doors and are of a 2+2 configuration. The boot lids differed slightly between the DB4 mark 5 and the DB5.
Like the DB4, the DB5 used a live rear axle. At the beginning, the original four-speed manual (with optional overdrive) was standard fitment, but it was soon dropped in favour of the ZF five-speed. A three-speed Borg-Warner DG automatic transmission was available as well. The automatic option was then changed to the Borg-Warner Model 8 shortly before the DB6 replaced the DB5.
The high-performance DB5 Vantage was introduced in 1964 featuring three Weber carburetors and revised camshaft profiles, delivering greater top-end performance at the possible expense of driveability, as Webers are typically optimized for 'full-throttle' response. This engine produced 325 bhp (330 PS; 242 kW) at 5,500 rpm. 65 DB5 Vantage coupés were built.
123 convertible DB5s were produced (also with bodies by Touring), though they did not use the typical "Volante" name until 1965. The convertible model was offered from 1963 through to 1965. Originally only 19 of the 123 DB5 Convertibles made were left-hand drive. 12 cars were originally fitted with a factory Vantage engine, and at least one further convertible was subsequently factory fitted with a DB6 specification Vantage engine. A rare factory option (actually fitted by Works Service prior to customer delivery) was a steel removable hard top.
From October 1965 to October 1966, Aston Martin used the last 37 of the Aston Martin DB5 chassis' to make another convertible model. These 37 cars were known as "Short Chassis" Volantes and were the first Aston Martins to have the "Volante" name. Although calling it a "Short Chassis" is a bit of a misnomer as the "short" comes from comparing it to the subsequent DB6, which has a longer chassis. When compared to the DB5, it is not "short" but rather the same size; however, these cars differ from the DB5 convertible models as they feature DB6 split front and rear bumpers and rear TR4 lights, as also used on the DB6.
A prototype DB5 shooting-brake was custom produced by the factory for David Brown, an avid hunter and dog owner, and a further 11-12 coupés were custom modified for Aston Martin by independent coachbuilder, Harold Radford. The taillights used were Triumph units, and were also adopted for the succeeding DB6. In August 2019 a DB5 sold for a record $1.765m (£1.456m) making it the most valuable Shooting Brake bodied-car of any marque sold at auction.
The Aston Martin DB5 is a well-known car thanks to special effects expert John Stears, who modified the DB5 for use by James Bond in the film Goldfinger (1964). Although Ian Fleming had placed Bond in a DB Mark III in the novel, Stears persuaded the company to make its DB5 prototype available.
There were a total of four Goldfinger DB5s. Two of these were used in filming and two were used only for promotional purposes. The first filming car, DP/2161/1, was added with gadgets. This DB5 was the original prototype and was painted Dubonnet Red. Before it appeared in Goldfinger, it was used in episode 2.17, "The Noble Sportsman," of The Saint. This chassis number DP/216/1 was later stripped of its weaponry and gadgetry by Aston Martin and then resold. It was then retrofitted by subsequent owners with nonoriginal weaponry. It later appeared in the film The Cannonball Run (1981), in which it was driven by Roger Moore. The Chassis DP/216/1 DB5 was stolen in 1997 from its last owner in Florida and is currently still missing. The second filming car, DB5/1486/R, was used for driving scenes and had no gadgets. After filming, gadgets were added and the car was used for promotion. It features the pop out gun barrels behind the front indicators, the bullet shield behind the rear window and a three-way revolving front number plate showing "LU 6789" or "4711-EA-62" or "BMT 216A." In 2010 RM Auctions sold the car for $4.6 million to Harry Yeaggy. The first publicity car, DB5/2017/R, now belongs to the Louwman Museum in The Hague. The second publicity car, DB5/2008/R, was auctioned by RM Sotheby's in August 2019 for $6.4 million to an unknown buyer.
To promote the film, the two DB5s were displayed at the 1964 New York World's Fair, where it was dubbed "the most famous car in the world", and subsequently sales of the car rose.
Since the film, the DB5 has become closely associated with the James Bond franchise and is considered the quintessential vehicle of the character. As such, it has reappeared in subsequent films over the years. Within the universe of James Bond, the same car (registration BMT 216A) was used again in the following film, Thunderball, a year later.
A different Aston Martin DB5 (registration BMT 214A) was used in the 1995 Bond film GoldenEye, in which the car is Bond's personal vehicle and has no gadgets - although it did come equipped with a champagne cooler in the arm rest and a fax machine. Three different DB5s were used for filming. This same car briefly reappeared in the next film, Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), and was set to make a cameo appearance in the Scotland-set scenes in The World Is Not Enough (1999), but most of the scenes were cut in the final edit. Yet another DB5 (registration 56526) appeared in Casino Royale (2006), this time owned by the villain, Alex Dimitrios. This car has Bahamian number plates and left-hand drive (where the previous British versions had been right-hand drive). In the film Bond wins the car from Dimitrios after beating him in a card game.
The Goldeneye DB5 currently resides at the London Film Museum in Covent Garden. Of the three cars used in the production, one car was filmed for the static ocean side shot, one's participation is unknown, and DB5/1885/R was driven in the chase scene against the Ferrari in Monte Carlo. DB5/1885/R was bought at a Christie's auction in 2001 and entered the Guinness Book of Records that year for the highest paid for an item of Bond memorabilia. It was first exhibited at the Bond exhibition at Beaulieu before moving to its new home in the London Film Museum.
Another silver-birch DB5 with the original registration BMT 216A was used in the 23rd James Bond film, Skyfall, at the time of the 50th anniversary of the release of the first James Bond film Dr. No (1962). The car is destroyed in the film's climactic finale. It is seen again in Spectre (2015), firstly in Q's underground workshop in various stages of rebuild, and at the film's ending, fully rebuilt, with Bond driving away with it.
In 2019, it was confirmed by Aston Martin that the car would be featured in the next Bond film, No Time to Die, to be released in October 2021. The plan was to build a replica, not use an existing vehicle. Eight replica Aston Martin DB5 stunt cars were built for the movie.
Aston Martin has completed manufacturing 25 new DB5s, including many of the gadgets seen in the film, each selling for about GB£2.75 million. The Goldfinger DB5 cars were to have several functional spy gadgets, including smoke screen, oil slick, revolving license plates, machine guns (non-functional) and rear bullet shield.
Wherever possible Aston Martin used the same manufacturers as the original production run. For example ZF Friedrichshafen again supplied the transmission as did Connolly Leather supply the interiors. As in the 1960s, the aluminum body was hand-made and fitted to the body and completed in the same Silver Birch colour scheme.
With Goldfinger, Corgi Toys began its decades-long relationship with the Bond franchise: they produced a toy of the car, which became the biggest selling toy of 1964. A highly detailed 1:24 scale plastic kit was also produced by Airfix between 1966 and 1970.
A highly detailed 1:24 scale die-cast model with many working features was produced as a limited edition in 2006 for Casino Royale, by the Danbury Mint. In January 2011 a 1/8 scale model was released by part work magazine publisher GE Fabbri in the UK. Over 85 weekly parts, the model builds into one of the biggest 007 scale models to date, with working gadgets and lights. In 2015 Hotwheels Elite released their Cult Classics Goldfinger Aston Martin DB5 in 1/18 and 1/43 scale, the 1/18 model featured many of the gadgets from the original film.
In July 2018, LEGO unveiled a 1:8 scale 1,290 piece set with front machine guns, hidden telephone, ejector seat, bullet shield, tire shredders, and the homing screen in the cockpit.
In June 2022, The Lego Group announced that James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 will be released in August 2022 as part of the Lego Speed Champions range.