's Great British Cars – Aston Martin DB5

Fri 26th Apr 2019

Great Britain, great cars. The UK motor industry is respected the world over, and though many of the vehicles are actually owned by foreign manufacturers, there can be no doubting of the fantastic heritage of the British motor.

To celebrate Britain’s famous history is launching a series looking back on some of the most famous vehicles the UK has ever seen.

Aston Martin DB5
When writing about Aston Martin’s ‘most famous car in the world’ we could talk about the design similarities the car shares with its predecessor, the DB4. We could talk about that huge all-aluminium four litre engine and ZF five-speed transmission gearbox and the three SU carburettors. We could write about a top speed of 145mph with a 282 brake horse power. Or than luxurious spec, including reclining seats, wool pile carpets, electric windows, twin fuel tanks, chrome wire wheels and magnesium-alloy body built to superleggara’s patented technique. Superleggera of course being the coachbuilder who came up with the definitive touring car design featured on the previous DBs and the iconic DB5 look. Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera inexplicably going out of business less than 12 months after the DB5 ceased production.

We could talk about all of the above, but all of the above pails into insignificance when you mention two words, James Bond.

Without the illustrious fictional spy figure created by Ian Fleming, we may never have the Aston Martin company that we know and love today. The literary 007 agent actually drove a DB Mark III in the books, but it was a modified DB5 which appeared in the 1964 Goldfinger movie, and would subsequently star in four more Bond movies.

The fact that Aston Martin only produced a little over 1,000 units in a two-year production spell from 1963 to 1965 tells us all we need to know about the DB5 legend, now known as a cultural icon, the car has featured in a host of movies, video games and music videos.

Years of manufacture: 1963-1965 
Price when new: £4,248 
Price now: £100,000-£1,000,000
Engine: 3,995cc 6cyl petrol, 282bhp
Top speed: 145mph