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Lot 237: Aston Martin DB5 4.2-Litre Sports Saloon

Goodwood Festival of Speed, Bonhams (29 June 2012)

Racing has played a major part in the development of all Aston Martin engines since Frank Halford designed the original 1.5-litre unit for Bamford & Martin. The 3,995cc 6-cylinder light alloy engine fitted to the DB5 is in all major respects the same as that which powered the 4-litre prototype which ran in the 1962 and 1963 Le Mans 24-Hour races.' Autocar, 21st May 1965. Aston Martin's post-war evolution had taken a giant step forward with the launch of the DB4 in 1958. Classically proportioned, the Carrozzeria 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engine was still an all-alloy, twin-overhead-camshaft, six but the old W O Bentley supervised 3.0-litre unit had been superseded by a new design by Tadek Marek. The new 3,670cc engine featured 'square' bore and stroke dimensions of 92mm, 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. The DB2/4's trailing-link independent front suspension gave 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. Its 3,995cc engine - first seen in the Lagonda Rapide - was mated to a four-speed overdrive-equipped gearbox; a proper ZF five-speed unit being an option at first and standardised later. Famously featured in the James Bond movie, 'Goldfinger', the DB5 was immensely popular, with demand swiftly outstripping the factory's ability to supply following the film's release in 1964. In total, 1,021 examples were built between 1963 and 1965. Chassis number '1527/R' was owned and raced with success in the late 1980s/early 1990s in Aston Martin Owners Club events by Jim Holloway. Its entry in the AMOC Register listing Jim Holloway's results occupies several lines and there are many period race programmes and results sheets on file. The Aston was then sold via R S Williams to John Dennehy/Paul Spires having been upgraded with an RSW 4.2-litre engine conversion giving 325bhp. The engine is stamped 'R.S.W. 14' and engine bay has a 'Sanction Two Green' sticker. Messrs Dennehy and Spires then raced the DB5 in the Thoroughbred Sports Car Championship, the Aston Martin Post-War Race Series and the Anglo American Championship in 1996/1997 with considerable success. The car was then sent to New Zealand where highly respected marque specialists Beacham restored it circa 2001. The history file contains a letter from Greg Beacham, a copy of Beacham's colour brochure featuring the car, and a build specification sheet from Aston Martin Lagonda confirming matching chassis and engine numbers. 'AGS 77B' sits on offset chromed wire wheels shod with Avon 215/60 R15 tyres, the rear wheelarches being very subtly flared to accommodate them. Other noteworthy features include air conditioning, power steering and a Kenwood music system, enabling both driver and passengers to enjoy this upgraded car to the full. The presence of stickers from the 2008 Goodwood Spring Sprint and a GRRC membership badge for 2010 bear witness to its owner's enthusiasm. 'AGS 77B' is finished in Aston Racing Green with chestnut leather upholstery and green carpets, and is described by the private vendor as in generally excellent condition. The car is not currently taxed or MoT'd as it has been in Ireland for the past year. A set of competition seat belts is included in the sale.

Lot Details
Auction Goodwood Festival of Speed
Bonhams, Chichester, Goodwood,UK
Lot Number237
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating1
Registration numberAGS 77B
Chassis numberDB5/1527/R
Engine number400/1487
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2