Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Touring
Original Owner, Paris, France (delivered through Garage Mirabeau in March 1964)William Magaro, San Diego, California (acquired circa 1968)Michael Dave, Los Angeles, California (acquired from the above in 1974)Carlos Gallegos, Santa Ana, California (acquired from the above in 1977)Art Nisson, Orange, California (acquired from the above in 1988)Robert Pond, Palm Springs, California (acquired from the above in August 1990)Private Collector, Los Angeles, California (acquired from the above circa 2012)Current Owner (acquired from the above)
In December 1962, Aston Martin management approved the development of the new DB5 model. The DB4 had been extremely successful and was refined many times during its production run – in fact, the cars were built in five distinct series. The DB5 was outwardly identical to the Series 5 DB4, save for discreet badging changes and twin fuel fillers on the C-pillars. Under its skin, however, Aston Martin’s newest offering was a considerably improved machine.
Engine displacement was increased to four litres, and three carburetors were now standard, raising engine output to 282 bhp with 40 lbs./ft of additional torque. Top speeds over 145 mph and quarter-mile times of 15.4 seconds were recorded, and, as of the 90th example built, all DB5s featured the new ZF five-speed gearbox. Clearly, the beautiful new grand touring car from Newport Pagnell was built to perform to new standards. Inside, DB5s were equipped with power windows and a redesigned instrument layout, featuring individual gauges in place of the DB4’s combination units.
All of this performance and style came at a steep price, roughly double the cost of a Jaguar E-Type, but Aston Martin had hundreds of loyal customers worldwide who were happy to pay. Production of each new model increased over its predecessor, and David Brown’s enterprise was growing at an appreciable rate.
Near the end of 1963, around the time Aston Martin closed its racing program, the company took part in what has become one of the greatest product-placement deals in the history of marketing. A Silver Birch DB5 was specially prepared to appear in the James Bond film Goldfinger. The seductive shape of the DB5’s aluminum superleggera body has become synonymous with the 007 character and enjoyed iconic status ever since.
Of the 899 DB5 coupes, a scant 220 were built as left-hand-drive cars; and of those, 193 were sent to the US, leaving just 27 left-hand-drive examples for the rest of the world. This car, DB5/1466/L, is one of that tiny group of 27 cars. Originally delivered through Aston Martin’s French distributor Garage Mirabeau in Paris, the car was ordered in the exceptionally rare and dramatic color scheme of black lacquer over black Connolly leather, with Dunlop RS-5 blackwall tires fitted to chrome wire wheels. Though its original French owner is unknown, chassis 1466/L was brought to the US in the mid-1960s. William Magaro of Southern California acquired the DB5 from a local attorney and had it refinished in 10 coats of hand-rubbed black lacquer. Mr. Magaro and his wife enjoyed their Aston Martin until 1974, when Michael Dave, having been charmed by its design, acquired it; and Mr. Dave had it maintained by noted California Aston Martin expert Bill Fife. In 1977, Carlos Gallegos, an Orange County barber, purchased chassis 1466/L and happily used it as his everyday transportation for much of the next decade.
In 1988, Art Nisson of Orange, California, purchased the Aston Martin from his friend Mr. Gallegos and had it repainted in a deep shade of red. Receipts dating from Mr. Nisson’s ownership detail cosmetic and mechanical work including a complete engine rebuild. In 1990, the red coupe joined the growing collection of automotive and aviation enthusiast Bob Pond and remained in his Palm Springs collection until his passing. The Pond collection was purchased by a California-based investor around 2012, and the DB5 received attention from renowned marque specialist Kevin Kay Restorations in advance of its subsequent sale to the consignor, an Aston Martin aficionado. Recognizing its rarity, originality, and special history, the consignor elected to return the Aston Martin to its original black on black color scheme.
Today, this special left-hand-drive DB5 presents much as it did when it first left the Aston Martin works more than 50 years ago, bound for Paris, and it now stands ready to delight its next caretaker.