19-20 January 2017
1965 Aston Martin DB5
- Chassis no. DB5/1990/L
- Engine no. 400/1099
Sold for $1,045,000
- U.S.-specification, factory left-hand-drive example; matching-numbers engine
- Originally delivered to prominent American socialite Oscar Strauss II
- Five-speed transmission, factory Bosch radio, and heated backlight
- Beautiful, well-sorted restoration, with Harvey Bailey suspension upgrade
- Offered with jack, tools, owner’s handbook, and copy of build sheet
The Aston Martin DB5 epitomized the success of the company’s mission to produce a world-class GT sports coupe with the English gentleman in mind. The car was hand built and improved upon the advanced engineering that began with its groundbreaking predecessor, the DB4. Superior materials were used in manufacture, such as aluminum-alloy body panels mounted over a skeleton of small-diameter tubing, which was patented by Touring of Milan as Superleggera construction. Its race-proven engine was also made of aluminum, including both the block and its twin-cam hemispherical cylinder head. Then, of course, the interior was upholstered in the finest Connolly leather, which was complemented by deep-pile Wilton carpets. The net result was a car of unmatched power, elegance, and old-world luxury.
According to its factory build sheet, a copy of which accompanies the car, this stunning Sage Green DB5 was built to the desirable U.S. specification, with left-hand drive, chrome wheels, heated backlight, Britax safety belts, Fiamm horns, and a single fender mirror. Its guarantee was issued on 19 February 1965, to original owner Oscar Strauss II of New York City. Mr. Strauss was a member of the socially prominent Guggenheim family, who served as a partner in Guggenheim Brothers, on numerous corporate boards, and as president of two family foundations. He was also an avid fly fisherman and sailor, as a member of the New York Yacht Club. In other words, he was exactly the type of sporting gentleman who drove a DB5 to the office.
The car has since enjoyed many years of dedicated enthusiast ownership, including several years with vintage racer Kurt DelBene, in whose ownership it reportedly underwent a very detailed cosmetic restoration, still worn today. Later, while owned by Stefano Bruni of Connecticut, it received 2nd in Class at the AMOC North America Concours at Lime Rock in 2003. A few years later, the DB5 was found as part of the noteworthy collection of a Dubai-based shipping magnate, from whom a New England-based collector of significant Aston Martins and Bentleys acquired the car.
This current owner is an avid driver of his automobiles and regularly exercises his classics, often commuting between the Boston suburbs and his home on Cape Cod. Accordingly, he has spared little expense in the maintenance and upkeep of this DB5, with over $35,000 spent in recent specialist services for his own use and enjoyment. A Harvey Bailey suspension kit has been fitted, much improving handling, which is a desirable upgrade endorsed and now frequently utilized by Aston Martin Heritage themselves, as well as a custom aluminum radiator to ensure cool running for those traffic-stopping journeys to the Cape in the hot summer months.
Nonetheless, while an especially fit driver, it remains very appealing cosmetically, a testament to its high-quality restoration, with excellent paintwork and interior. It still boasts many of its rare original features, including a factory upgraded Bosch radio and the heated rear screen, and is accompanied by a jack, tools, and owner’s handbook. Just prior to sale, it underwent a full detailing at Aston Martin of New England, to ensure that it would present absolutely beautifully for its new owner.
A wonderful DB5 to both show and enjoy on the open road, this car is proudly offered from one gentleman’s collection to another, in high style, swift speed, and great comfort – in the best of the tradition of Aston Martin.
AddendumPlease note that since publication of the printed catalogue, comprehensive additional information regarding the restoration, including photo documentation, has been provided by the restorer, Sean Johnson. Please refer to an RM Sotheby’s representative for further detail.
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