The Aston Martin DB5 is most widely known as the car that James Bond drives. When it made its silver screen debut equipped with all of Q branch’s latest and greatest spy gadgetry, people in the audience swooned. Yes, some of them may have been swooning over the young and handsome Sean Connery, but the car was certainly a demanding presence on screen.
We could talk movie cars all day, but the fact is that the British grand touring car is so much more than just the super spy’s sweet, sexy ride. The car has an interesting history all its own. Bond is only one of the highlights of its very illustrious career.
More Than Just a Spy’s Coupe
The Aston Martin DB5 made its debut in 1963 and was a needed successor to the DB4. It borrowed a lot from its predecessor, but still moved Aston Martin’s DB model line forward. The car featured a 4.0-liter straight six engine with three SU carburetors that produced 282 hp and 28 lb-ft of torque. The engine was mated to a 5-speed ZF manual or a 3-speed Borg-Warner automatic transmission.
The car had telescopic shock absorbers up front and double acting lever arm shock absorbers in the rear and rode on 15-inch wheels. The car could gallop from 0-60 in just over 7 seconds (that was very fast in its day) and had a blistering top speed of 142 mph. The front and rear hydraulic disc brakes hauled the car to a halt when necessary.
When most people think of the DB5, they only think of the coupe, but the car came in a convertible version as well as a shooting brake version (wagon), though fewer of those models were made. There was also the DB5 Vantage, which had Weber carburetors and a revised camshaft. Those two features bumped the power output up to 315 hp. Only 65 DB5 Vantages were built.
A Collector’s Dream Car
The Aston Martin DB5 has over time become just about every collector’s dream car. The vehicle conjures up images of James Bond for some, but it also reminds people just what a beautifully designed grand touring car is supposed to be. It’s fast, fun, sexy and comfortable.
While the classic DB5 isn’t as smooth and fast as modern GT cars, the model embodies the ethos of that vehicle type and if it does anything at all, it makes people want to drive it. That’s the true measure of a great sports car. If it draws you in and makes you want to go fast, you’ve found yourself a legendary automobile and the BD5 definitely fits that description.