An Aston Martin DB5 Cabriolet, commissioned and owned by the man who gave the legendary DB series its initials – former Aston Martin chairman Sir David Brown – is now offered for sale by specialists at Aston Martin, Nicholas Mee & Co.
The significance of the Aston Martin DB5 Cabriolet in motoring history cannot be overstated; with only 123 models ever built, it is one of the most sought-after cars by collectors around the world. The DB5 model first appeared as James Bond’s car of choice in coupe form in the 1964 film The golden fingerbut such is its enduring status as a symbol of British prestige, it remains an icon to this day, appearing most recently in No time to die.
But even among the icons, there are some more desirable than others.
Of the 123 DB5 convertibles built, only one was commissioned and owned by Aston Martin Lagonda chairman Sir David Brown, giving the car offered for sale by Nicholas Mee & Co a unique provenance. Delivered to Sir David in January 1964, the car was built to the highest specification, with a new five-speed ZF gearbox, Power Lock rear axle, chrome wire wheels and Motorola radio. The factory build sheet, supplied with the car, confirms that it was specified in a vibrant Caribbean pearl, with a dark blue interior.
It was treasured by Sir David for three years before being acquired by former Aston Martin DB4 GT owner and mechanic, John Wilkinson. During Wilkinson’s ownership, servicing was carried out at Aston Martin in Newport Pagnell, where records confirm that a replacement engine block was fitted and a newly stamped manufacturer’s identification plate was applied in 1969 .
This is the first time in 28 years that anyone has had the opportunity to buy this monument to automotive history, it was last sold by Nicholas Mee & Co in 1994, the year after the death of Sir David Brown. Since then he has performed in various Concours events across Europe.
In 2014, it benefited from a major restoration to its original specification, which included a redesign of the 4-litre engine, as well as redesigns of the suspension, gearbox, brakes and rear axle. A bare metal repaint and a complete new trim of the Connolly leather interior, as well as a new bonnet cladding, completed the work and means it drives just as well today as it did when it was new. it was in the hands of Sir David.
It was the vision of Sir David Brown who launched the DB series of sports and grand touring cars, starting with the DB1 through to the Aston Martin DB11 on sale today. But it was the DB5 that propelled the DB series to international fame. Today, the DB5 is one of the most sought-after collector cars in the world, with just over 1,000 examples made in total of all variants, including the Cabriolet and performance-upgraded Vantage versions.
Sir David acquired Aston Martin in 1947 for £20,500 after seeing an advert in The temperature newspaper proposing the sale of a “High Class Motor Business”. It saved the struggling marque, which had stopped producing cars to focus on manufacturing aircraft parts during WWII, and is the reason Aston Martin makes some of the best cars in the world today. , including a model that still bears his initials.
Nicholas Mee & Co founder Nicholas Mee said: “The very fact that Sir David Brown owned this convertible DB5 makes it one of the most special and unique DB cars of all time. The DB5 itself is the most iconic Aston Martin model ever produced, but the provenance of this car sets it apart.
“It is restored to exactly the same specification as Sir David ordered it in 1964, it is a car he treasured and loved. It is a unique example of British motoring history.
The 1964 Aston Martin DB5 Cabriolet is on offer for £1,150,000.
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