17 May 1999
1966 ASTON MARTIN DB5 SHOOTING BRAKE
COACHWORK BY RADFORD
Chassis no. DB5/2244/R
Engine no. 400/2228
Old English pewter with tan leather interior.
Engine: six cylinders in line, twin overhead camshaft, triple SU carburettors, 3995cc, 282bhp at 5500 rpm; Gearbox: manual five speed; Suspension: independent front by wishbones and coil springs, live rear axle with coil springs and control links; Brakes: four-wheel dual servo-assisted disc. Left hand drive.
As the preferences of Aston Martin's customers became ever more sophisticated through the 1950s and early 1960s, the company responded with zest. Its handbuilt Grand Touring models evolved in character from being nearly a competition car in the case of the DB2, to the refined 145mph DB5. The DB5 offered an enticing blend of sports car handling and road cling with a superb ride, at the same time subtly reminding the driver that under all the luxury was an engine and chassis that in every sense could be called thoroughbred. David Brown had a particular liking for the DB5, and decided he wanted to use one for shooting, his other abiding interest. The result was the elegant and very rare DB5 estate car, developed in the Aston Martin factory with the cooperation of London coachbuilders Harold Radford, who specialised in coachbuilt estate car conversions on quality chassis such as the Bentley. It is understood that up to a dozen were eventually completed.
This DB5 estate car left the factory in January 1966 and was originally delivered to a British owner. It had right-hand drive and UK documentation although it had been domiciled in Switzerland for many years. The present vendor purchased it in 1985 and in the same year despatched it to the Aston Martin factory for one of their famously comprehensive - not to say costly - restorations. During the engine rebuild the following major components were renewed: crankshaft, bearings, cylinder liners, pistons, cylinder head including valves and guides. The cooling system, brakes, steering gear and many other mechanical and electrical items received comprehensive attention. It was fully retrimmed and re-carpeted using appropriate materials throughout. The alloy body skin and its underlying structure received much attention, including correcting previous poorly executed repairs, before refinishing on bare metal throughout. At the same time the Factory converted it to left hand drive. All the work is detailed in Aston Martin's own report, which comes with the car. The car has seen little use since restoration but has been regularly maintained. It impresses as the rarest of all DB5 variants in what can only be described as "new car" condition. A successful purchaser will surely acquire one of the most charismatic and unusual of classic, pure-blooded automobiles with the knowledge that in every respect the restoration has been correctly completed.
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The engine number is 2250
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