Original left-hand drive

1964 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible

In September 1963 Aston Martin introduced a new model that was destined to become the most famous sports car in world, the DB5. The first few production cars were sent to the world’s automobile shows. The first 50 DB5 chassis were convertibles.

DB5C/1253/L was destined for the United States and in particular the New York and Los Angeles Auto Shows.  Aston Martin factory show cars were assembled with a few differences from the production models.  The interior was standard except for the horn button, which, instead of blue and silver, was red and gold, like the Lagonda Rapide of the 1960s. The most noticeable differences on show cars are under the bonnet: the bonnet itself is not fitted with an insulation pad, retaining bows, or slots for the bows.  The aluminium cam covers are polished instead of painted in silver Hammertone.  The carburettors, intake manifolds, oil filler plate, oil cap, and various aluminium coolant plumbing fittings are polished instead of rough cast.  The carburettor linkage, coolant and vacuum tubes on the intake manifolds are hard chromed instead of nickel plated. This DB5C has several factory options:

-Blaupunkt AM/FM/Marine band radio
-Chrome wheels
-Three eared knock-off wheels
-Borg Warner automatic transmission, later replaced with a ZF 5 speed unit

Of the 123 DB5 convertibles built, only 19 were left-hand drive.  Another rarity is the engine sequence.  The first four litre engine was installed in DP/216, a DB4 chassis modified to become the DB5 prototype.  DP/216 became James Bond’s car in the movie Goldfinger.  The second four litre engine 400/1252 was installed in the first DB5C/1251/R.  This engine-sequencing pattern happened for only the first four DB5Cs.  The fifth DB5C had engine 400/1263. From there on things became rather confusing, partially because Aston was also building the first coupes, starting with chassis DB5/1301/L.

DB5C/1253/L was purchased new in September 1963 at the Los Angeles Auto Show by a retired U.S. Navy Admiral.  He kept the Aston Martin at his home in Santa Barbara, CA until he died in 1993.  The car was acquired by an investment company at the Monterey, California auction in August 1994, but they never licensed it.  A family in northern California acquired this Aston Martin in June 1995 with 32,495 total miles.

Other than detailing the engine compartment, rebuilding the front suspension, fitting five new wheels and tyres and installing a stainless exhaust system, this car is in excellent, unrestored condition.