Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Touring
Hazen Pierce, Sacramento, California (acquired new via British Motor Car Distributors in 1965)Mr. Morrisey (acquired by 1976)Keith Brown, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (acquired via Aston Martin Lagonda Inc. in 1981)Current Owner (acquired from the above)
AMOC Annual East Coast Meet, Lime Rock, Connecticut, 1976 (Second Place)
Introduced in 1963, the DB5 combined the sporting qualities of the previous DB-series cars with a more mature and refined manner. Its sophisticated feeling behind the wheel was echoed in the beautiful aluminum coachwork crafted in the old-world Superleggera method by Touring of Milan.
Mechanically, the DB5 reflected steady improvement over the already-superb DB4. Every DB5 was equipped with the updated four-liter Tadek Marek-designed engine, and all but the earliest examples were fitted with an excellent ZF five-speed gearbox. Other noteworthy changes included Girling braking in place of the earlier Dunlop system, standard electric windows, and a more modern charging system.A grand touring car of essentially unapproachable prestige and performance, the latest Aston Martin drew universal praise from buyers, journalists, and devoted motoring enthusiasts. “If one were planning a trip from Paris to Rome, a car such as the Aston would be hard to beat,” said Road & Track when it tested the DB5 in October 1964.
Between 1963 and 1965, Aston Martin built just 1,021 examples of the DB5. Of the 899 coupes built, a scant 220 were constructed as left-hand-drive cars; of those, 193 were intended for North American delivery. The Aston Martin presented here, chassis 2072/L, is among this exclusive group of left-hand-drive DB5s delivered new to the US. According to factory records, this DB5 was originally finished in the sensational color scheme of Autumn Gold over beige Connolly leather. It was ideally optioned with Normalair air-conditioning, a 3.73:1 rear-axle ratio, Britax seat belts, and chrome wire wheels wearing Avon Turbospeed GT whitewall tires.
Completed at Newport Pagnell in May 1965, 2072/L was dispatched to San Francisco dealer British Motor Car Distributors and sold to its first owner, Hazen Pierce, a successful Sacramento-based real estate developer. After a period in Northern California, the Aston Martin relocated to the East Coast, where it was sold to Mr. Morrisey. In his ownership, the DB5 was exhibited at the 1976 AMOC Meet in Lime Rock, Connecticut earning Second Place. In 1980, Aston Martin Lagonda Inc., the New York-based factory distributor, offered 2072/L for sale. The DB5 – by this time repainted black – was sold in January 1981 to Keith Brown of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Mr. Brown then joined the Aston Martin Owners Club East and enjoyed the DB5 for many years, though it has been driven sparingly in more recent times and would benefit from servicing before road use.
Today, this DB5 remains in unrestored and largely original order, showing less than 63,000 miles at the time of cataloguing. Remarkably, the Aston Martin retains many important original features and its older black paintwork possesses a fantastic appearance, with extensive lacquer checking over the Touring bodywork. Other original features include the interior upholstery and carpeting, data tags, and matching-numbers engine still fitted with its optional Normalair compressor. The engine and chassis stamping appear clear and undisturbed, with the correct red rectangle of paint surrounding the engine number and traces of original red oxide primer on the undercarriage.
Inscriptions of “2072” can also be seen in various locations, providing evidence that this DB5 has not been substantially restored or altered from its original form. Included with the sale is a file that contains a copy of the factory build record, the original 1981 sales agreement from Aston Martin Lagonda Inc., assorted AMOC literature, and service records.
Boasting an ideal factory specification, a fascinating provenance, and a wonderful patina, this matching-numbers, left-hand-drive DB5 is surely among the most desirable David Brown-era Aston Martins. Its appearance at auction marks the first time in almost 40 years that this remarkable car has been offered for public sale. We encourage discerning collectors to pay close attention to what may well be the opportunity of a lifetime.