Factory-Original Vantage – One of 65 Produced
Extremely Rare Factory Left-Hand-Drive Example
Original Data Confirmed by BMHT Certificate
Early 2000s Restoration by Marque Expert
The Ultimate Specification Aston Martin DB5
3,995 CC DOHC Alloy Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Three Weber Twin-Choke Sidedraft Carburetors
314 BHP at 5,750 RPM
5-Speed Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Servo-Assisted Girling Disc Brakes
Independent Front Suspension with Wishbones and Coil Springs
Live Rear Axle with Trailing Links and Watts Linkage
Jean Denoyer, New York, New York
Current Owner (acquired by 2002)
In autumn 1963, Aston Martin’s DB5 debuted as a highly refined update of the late-model DB4. The DB5 remains one of the world’s most widely recognized automobiles today, thanks to its big-screen use as James Bond’s mount in Goldfinger. But not even 007 had the top-specification DB5 Vantage – exemplified by the car offered here – at his disposal.
The DB5 maintained the 98″ wheelbase and pressed-steel platform chassis, designed by Harold Beech, of the prior DB4. It was powered by the DOHC inline six designed by Tadek Marek, increased to 3,995 cc and developing 282 bhp in standard tune. A choice of four-seat coupe or convertible bodies was offered, constructed of lightweight aluminum using the patented Superleggera (Super Light) process developed by Italy’s Carrozzeria Touring. After mid-1964, an all-synchromesh ZF five-speed manual gearbox replaced the four-speed. Abundant standard features included reclining seats, luxurious wool-pile carpeting, electric window lifts, twin fuel tanks, chrome wire wheels, an oil cooler, full leather interiors, and a fire extinguisher. No more than 1,059 DB5s were built in total between July 1963 and September 1965, including 123 convertibles and 19 shooting brakes.
The higher-performance DB5 Vantage arrived in September 1964. The prototype, DP 217, bore chassis number DB5/1451/R and was fitted with three Weber twin-choke sidedraft carburetors and a five-speed gearbox. Other Vantage upgrades included flow-tuned “ram” intake manifolds, extra-large ports, more-radical camshaft profiles, ignition timing with greater advance, and a vacuum power-brake reservoir. Power output was dramatically raised to 314 bhp, with some published sources quoting the Vantage at up to 325 bhp. As expected, the DB5’s reflexes were sharpened considerably in Vantage tune, particularly with top speed rising and 0–60 acceleration times dropping significantly.
It is generally accepted among Aston Martin collectors and experts that just 65 Vantage-spec DB5s were originally produced; among them, estimates cite around 40 right-hand-drive cars and only about 25 export models in left-hand drive. According to its British Motor Heritage Trust Certificate, this left-hand-drive 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Vantage, chassis DB5/2211/L, was factory-finished in Silver Birch over Champagne leather upholstery, and completed on June 17, 1965. Two days later it was dispatched to Société Nouvelle du Garage Mirabeau in Paris, France. In addition to its Vantage-specification engine, numbered 400/2221/V, this rare DB5 was also factory-equipped with chrome wheels.
Subsequently, DB5/2211/L was exported to the US, where it would eventually be owned by Jean Denoyer. In 2002, he commissioned a total restoration by noted marque specialists Steel Wings of Ivyland, Pennsylvania. Confirmed by invoices totaling in excess of $130,000, this restoration work involved complete disassembly and a bare-metal strip and refinish of the body, an engine rebuild with an increase in displacement to 4.2 litres, the addition of air-conditioning, suspension upgrades, and a refinish in Goodwood Green paint over “Pale Pumpkin” Tan Connolly leather.
Soon after the restoration was completed, DB5/2211/L was acquired in 2002 by the current owner, under whom the DB5 has benefited handsomely from comprehensive and consistent servicing, tuning, sorting, and maintenance, with the majority of such work performed at Winning Makes in Santa Barbara, California. Invoices accumulated over the intervening years document the care this rare Aston Martin has received. It was enjoyed by the current owner on Arizona’s Copperstate 1000 rally in 2009 and on the Legends Rally through Napa Valley, California, in 2012. On the show field, it has won awards in Central Coast British Car Club events in 2010. A more modern five-speed manual gearbox is currently fitted; however, the original ZF unit accompanies the sale of DB5/2211/L at auction. According to the current owner, this exceptional DB5 Vantage is his favorite of numerous classic cars that he has owned over the years, and he says it is a true joy to drive. Extremely rare, factory-equipped in the top Vantage specification, restored, selectively upgraded, and very well-maintained, this 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Vantage is simply one of the finest available.