It’s now 75 years since David Brown acquired Aston Martin, responding to an advert in The Times offering the sale of a ‘High Class Motor Business’. Post WWII Aston was somewhat beleaguered, and Brown paid £20,500 for it. That was 1947; by 1959 Aston was building a Le Mans winner, and David Brown left an indelible mark on Aston. It’s hard to imagine an Aston Martin range ever existing without a ‘DB’-badged car somewhere in the range, which is quite some legacy.
Therefore even without the founder status guys like Enzo and Ferruccio have, David Brown and Aston Martin are inextricably (and very favourably) linked. So, an Aston with a tangible link to the man would be quite some find…
Which is exactly what we have here, Nicholas Mee offering for sale a car ordered new by DB and kept by him for the first three years of its life. Not just any old Aston Martin, either, but a DB5 Convertible; perhaps not as iconic as the hardtop, but an incredibly rare car, with just 123 ever made. Being the chairman and all, Brown didn’t hold back on the spec: Caribbean Blue with Dark Blue leather is just the start, as this DB5 also got the then-new five-speed manual, chromed wire wheels, Motorola radio and Power-Lock rear axle. Quite the car for January 1964.
And, let’s be honest here, quite the car for summer 2022 as well - it’s absolutely stunning. The DB5 Convertible was last sold in January 1994 (by Nicholas Mee, in fact), meaning it’s almost 30 years since this David Brown Aston was offered for sale. With its previous ownership the DB5 benefited from a restoration “faithful to its original specification”, which meant a rebuild of just about everything: the 4.0-litre straight six, brakes, suspension, gearbox and axle. Plus a respray. And a retrim of the Connolly leather. And a new hood. All of which was completed in 2014, which would explain why the DB5 continues to look so fresh.
With the rarity of all DB5s (only a thousand or so were made across all bodystyles and including Vantages), the provenance of this car and its condition, this Convertible is clearly pretty special even by the lofty standards of perhaps the most famous Aston Martin ever made. While a DB6 looks a comparative snip at a couple of hundred thousand, there seemingly isn’t a DB5 for anything less than half a mil; really nice coupes are nearing £750k, the best Vantages a little more than that. Call it the James Bond effect.
All of which means seven figures is eminently possible for one, as this Aston Works-approved car - also in Caribbean Blue - proves. As for David Brown’s one, the asking price is £1,150,000. Perhaps the world of million-pound DB5s won’t last forever (or maybe it will!), but having David Brown’s name associated with it will keep this one special. And, surely, rather valuable as well.
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