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A Tale Of Two Aston Martin DB5s


A 1964 Aston Martin DB5 Sport Saloon with just 48,000 accumulated miles - image: Bonhams

A 1964 Aston Martin DB5 Sport Saloon with just 48,000 accumulated miles - image: Bonhams

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Tie-ins to James Bond aside, the Aston Martin DB 5 is one of the most stunning luxury sport coupes of all time. That helps to explain the ongoing demand for the car, which went out of production in 1965.

Original examples are getting harder to find with each passing year, which is what makes a 1964 DB5 Sports Saloon barn find that much more alluring. In May, Bonhams will auction off this particular 48,000 mile example, which reportedly spent over three decades in the owner’s garage.

That owner purchased the car in 1972 and drove it until 1980, when it was unceremoniously parked in an outbuilding on his property. Despite sitting idle for three decades (and becoming home to generations of field mice), the car was recently started after its 3.9-liter in-line six engine was gone through and readied.

Of the car’s condition, Bonham’s group motoring director, James Knight, said, “The Bonhams Motor Car department has handled the sale of numerous 'barn-find' Aston Martins over the past 15 years, but none of them have been in as good condition as this DB5.”

As such, the car is a prime candidate for preservation, with original components being restored instead of being swapped out for new parts. Bonhams expects the car to sell between 150,000 and 200,000 British pounds ($236,100 - $314,800), which is quite a bargain compared to the 320,000 British pounds ($503,680) commanded by restored examples.

Another DB5 may soon be heading towards restoration or auction, but this story may not have a happy ending. Heavy rains and melting snow have caused flooding in Oxfordshire, England, where a DB5 owner recently found out the hard way that flood waters are usually deeper than they appear.

The car was reportedly submerged under two feet of water, which may not bode well for the DB5’s engine or electrics. If the driver had the foresight to shut down the engine before it ingested too much liquid, he may not be facing a complete engine rebuild.

If there's good news, it’s this: chances are that the car was submerged in fresh water, not salt water, and its alloy body isn’t prone to rust. Still, we’d avoid any silver DB5s for sale in Oxfordshire, priced significantly below market, unless we could be sure of the car’s history.
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