An unrestored, yet very useable, example of an early Aston Martin DB5 with ‘matching numbers’ and comprehensive documentation.
First registered on 28 November 1963, our car is a manual coupé with a ZF 5-speed gearbox, and was supplied by Brooklands of Bond Street, Aston Martin’s agent in London’s West End, to Manger & Henley Ltd of Borough High Street, South-east London. The factory ‘build sheet’ notes the car was finished in Caribbean Pearl, a metallic light blue, with red Connolly leather upholstery and was registered 73 GYL.
The build sheet also details service work carried out between the car’s delivery and 26 March 1970, by then the car being in the ownership of builder Jack Rhodes, founder of John Rhodes Ltd of Leamington Spa. By this time the car had covered just over 45,000 miles. Jack Rhodes was a successful builder and enjoyed the ‘good life’ having a liking for fine homes and luxury cars. The recession of the late-seventies hit the building industry hard; Jack’s business took a downturn and many of his assets including, we assume, the Aston Martin, had to be sold.
In 1986 the car was bought by John Goldsmith of well-known Aston Martin specialists Goldsmith & Young who retained and transferred the ‘GYL’ registration plate, the car now sports an ‘A-suffix’ (1963) registration plate. During this time the car appears to have had some success in historic racing: plaques on the steering wheel show it achieved fastest lap at Brands Hatch in 1986 and at Oulton Park in 1987.
In the early-nineties the car changed hands again, being purchased by a Mr. Pitkethley who maintained the car well; in 2000 the engine was rebuilt to a ‘fast-road’ specification, the conversion raising the capacity to 4.2 litres with Cosworth pistons. At some time the car was refinished in its current livery of silver with black leather upholstery.
Launched in September 1963 and in production until 1965, a total of 1,059 DB5s were sold, 923 being the 2+2 coupé. Using the all-aluminium, 4.0-litre DOHC ‘straight-six’ engine from the DB4 Vantage and a ZF 5-speed gearbox, the DB5 used the Superleggera (‘super light’) patent of attaching aluminium panels to a structural framework of small-diameter steel tubes. Standard equipment included chrome wire wheels, an oil cooler, electric windows and a fully leather-trimmed cockpit.
Since acquiring the car we’ve given it a thorough inspection: it now awaits restoration. Its age, its condition, the matching serial numbers and the file of documentation accompanying the car makes it a fabulous rolling restoration project, either as a conservation project – preserved and restored as a truly representative example of one of Aston Martin’s most beautiful creations – or for restoration to concours standard. We would be pleased to undertake whichever level of restoration you require.
If you would like to know more about this car and the rare opportunity it presents, please contact us, we’d be delighted to talk to you.