The Aston Martin DB-5 is a luxury grand tourer 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. The DB series was named honouring David Brown (the head of Aston Martin from 1947–1972). The DB5 is famous for being the first and most recognised cinematic James Bond car, first appearing in Goldfinger (1964).
The principal differences between the DB4 Series V and the DB5 are: The all-aluminium engine was 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 Producing 282 bhp (210 kW), which propelled the car to 145 mph (233 km/h), this engine, 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. A three-speed Borg-Warner DG automatic transmission was available as well. 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. The automatic option was then changed to the Borg-Warner Model 8 shortly before the DB6 replaced the DB5.
An Aston Martin DB5 engine
- Engine: 3,995 cc (243.8 cu in) Inline-6
- Power: 282 bhp (210 kW) at 5,500 rpm
- Torque: 288 lb·ft (390 N·m) at 3,850 rpm
- Weight: 1,502 kg (3,311 lb)
- Top Speed: 143 mph (230 km/h)
- 0–60 mph (97 km/h) Acceleration: 8 s
James Bond's DB5
Two Aston Martin DB5s were built for production, one of which had no gadgets.
The Aston Martin DB5 is one of the most famous cars in the world thanks to Oscar-winning special effects expert John Stears, who created the deadly silver-birch DB5 for use by James Bond in Goldfinger (1964). Although Ian Fleming had placed Bond in a DB Mark III in the novel, the DB5 was the company's latest model when the film was being made.
The car used in the film was the original DB5 prototype, with another standard car used for stunts. To promote the film, the two DB5's were showcased at the 1964 New York World's Fair, and it was dubbed "the most famous car in the world", and subsequently sales of the car rose. In January 2006, one of these was auctioned in Arizona; the same car was originally bought in 1970 from the owner, Sir Anthony Bamford, by a Tennessee museum owner. A car, mainly used for promoting the movie, is now located in the Louwman Museum, Netherlands. The first DB5 prototype used in Goldfinger with the 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. The Chassis DP/216/1 DB5 was stolen in 1997 from its last owner in Florida and is currently still missing.
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 three different DB5s were used for filming. The BMT 214A also returned in 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 these were cut in the final edit. Yet another DB5 appeared in Casino Royale (2006), this one with Bahamian number plates and left-hand drive (where the previous British versions had been right-hand drive).
Another silver-birch DB5 with the original registration BMT 216A is used in the 23rd James Bond film, Skyfall, during the 50th anniversary of the release of the first James Bond film Dr. No. In the film "M" (Judi Dench) describes the car as "not very comfortable".
On 1 June 2010, RM Auctions announced the upcoming auction of a DB5 used in both Goldfinger and Thunderball. The owner (Jerry Lee, president/owner of WBEB Radio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) originally bought the car from the Aston Martin company in 1969. At the auction, the DB5 was sold for 2,600,000 Pounds Sterling.
1964 Aston Martin DB5, produced by Corgi Toys, as a tie-in to the film
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 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.