To satisfy worldwide demand and complete the model range, it was
inevitable that Aston should produce a convertible version of the DB5. Slightly
taller roof-up than the coupé, the DB5 Convertible was the equal of any
open-top Italian granturismo for style and exclusivity. Simply
unclipping the catches on the handbuilt fabric roof transformed the car from
captain of industry’s Yorkshire shooting party toy to sublime convertible,
effortlessly at home in the hot spots of the Italian Riviera.
In its most powerful form, the four-litre DB5 Vantage had a lusty
nigh-on 300bhp at its disposal – more than enough to show a pursuing Maserati
3500 GT Vignale Spyder or Ferrari 275 GTS a clean pair of heels. Of the 1021
DB5s built in its two-year lifespan, just 123 were open cars. Some were
automatic, which suited the ‘high days and holidays’ nature of the car,
although far less highly prized today.
Sitting at the top of tree are manual, Vantage-spec DB5 Convertibles in
discreet colours. Cars such as this example, superbly presented in Goodwood
Green with Fawn, as good an automotive equal of a Savile Row suit or pair of
John Lobb handmade brogues as it gets.
This Motor Car
According to the build sheet that accompanies the car, DB5 Convertible
chassis 2116/R was purchased new by DT Hedges of Chalfont St Giles, Bucks. The
guarantee was issued on 14 September 1965 and the car was registered KPP 548C,
the mark it bears today.
Although no colour codes are mentioned on the build sheet – not uncommon
– recent correspondence from Chris Devallancey of Aston Martin Parts Operations
confirms the car was ordered in Goodwood Green with Fawn interior.
The build sheet notes a swift change of ownership in November 1965 via
main agent Eton Garage Ltd who transferred the remainder of the warranty to new
owners Strauss Turnbull & Co of London EC3, stockbrokers in the heart of
the City. The sheet later notes a third owner, well-known member of the Aston
Martin Owners Club, Don Aylett of Shenstone, Staffs. No dates are mentioned,
though Club records note Mr Aylett entering a concours in 1971, coming third.
Entries on the factory service record of the car are maintained until
March 1968 as follows:
28 June 1967 – 23,568 miles. 25,000 miles chassis service, new clutch
and other small items.
14 August 1967 – 25,466 miles. Fitting new n/s door window winder.
14 September 1967 – 26,771 miles. 25,000 miles service and other items.
31 October 1967 – 27,919 miles. Fitting new window lift motor,
collection from and delivery to London.
5 March 1968 – n/a miles. 30,000 miles service, attending to suspension
Club records show concours entries for 1986 (Dickens, Birtsmorton Court,
2nd) and 1996 (Autumn Concours, Piper, 3rd). Keith Piper
is a former Chairman of the AMOC and also enjoyed the 2002 Luxembourg Tour in
the car, as well as joining the parade of Aston Martins presented to HM The
Queen at Windsor in 2005.
Seeing the potential in this DB5 Convertible, our client entrusted it to
preeminent marque specialist and Aston Martin Heritage agent RS Williams Ltd of
Chobham, Surrey, for total, body-off restoration. RSW stripped the car down and
carried out all mechanical repairs, as well as attending to the body and paint. The process took over 18 months and
the results speak for themselves.
Still running in, the car is UK registered (KPP 548C) and accompanied by
RS Williams body-off restoration records, an A4 ring-binder history file,
owner’s handbook and wallet, copy of the factory build sheet and tools.
This Aston Martin DB5 Convertible is one of the finest Astons we have seen,
restored by the best in the business in an original colour combination that
just cannot be bettered. We commend it.