Lot 162

Amelia Island 2023

1965 Aston Martin DB5 Vantage Convertible


$1,517,500 USD | Sold

United States | Amelia Island, Florida



Chassis No.
US Title
  • A superb and award-winning DB5 Vantage Convertible; one of only seven produced
  • Benefits from stellar provenance including many years of dedicated AMOC custodianship
  • Recently refinished in its factory-correct Deep Carriage Green
  • Professionally converted to left-hand drive in 2005
  • Accompanied by BMIHT Certificate, toll roll, owner’s manual, copy of build sheet, restoration invoices, and its original, numbers-matching engine block, no. 400/2111/V
Addendum: Please note that this car is not accompanied by the awards which it has won.

Launched in 1963, the Aston Martin DB5 represented the pinnacle of British automotive design. With a classic-yet-modern shape that hid a deceptively muscular stance, the sharply dressed grand tourer combined spirited performance with elegant Superleggera coachwork in a way that came to define the David Brown era.

Already a hit with well-heeled buyers, the DB5 became the stuff of legend with the wider public when the Silver Birch-cloaked lines of James Bond’s iconic machine first appeared on screen in the spy thriller, Goldfinger. Newport Pagnell’s premier grand tourer would remain etched in the minds of subsequent generations of both movie-goers and car enthusiasts.

But while 007 made do with the tin-top version—produced in their many hundreds between 1963 and 1965—the more exclusive offering remained the DB5 Convertible, of which just 123 were created. Distilled further from this refined grouping, only seven DB5 Convertibles were originally built to the company’s high-performance Vantage-specifications.

Vantage upgrades included flow-tuned intake manifolds providing a “ram” effect, the cylinder head featured extra-large ports, valve timing was modified, and ignition timing was advanced for extra power and a flatter torque curve. A vacuum reservoir was also added to the power-assisted brake system. As expected, the DB5’s reflexes were sharpened considerably in Vantage tune, particularly with 0–60 times dropping to just 6.5 seconds.

Appropriately, any original Vantage-specification DB5 is a rare and highly desirable GT with immensely satisfying driving dynamics. The scarcely seen convertibles such as the one offered here reside firmly within the upper echelon of this iconic model’s register of collectability.

Presented today having been recently refinished in its factory-correct shade of Deep Carriage Green, chassis DB5C/1924/R is an authentic factory-built Vantage Convertible. Accompanying copies of its factory build record indicate that it was completed on 1 April 1965 for the home market and dispatched five days later to its selling dealer J. Blake and Company Limited.

The original owner was J.V.R. Bullough, a member of the Aston Martin Owners Club. Mr. Bullough was obviously endowed with good taste, an appetite for performance, and with the means to act upon his desires. However, one might presume he was short of physical stature, as he specified two unusual, additional items—namely a two-inch clutch-pedal extension and additional padding to the front-seat squabs.

This uniquely configured DB5 Vantage Convertible remained within a short chain of continuous AMOC member ownership from new until the early 1990s, at which point it was purchased by Henry S. Miller and imported to the United States.

Under Miller’s guardianship it subsequently received a comprehensive restoration by experienced Aston Martin restorers Kent Bain’s Automotive Restorations of Stratford, Connecticut. Completed to concours standards in 2005, the restoration included a professional conversion to left-hand drive and repaint in the period shade of Peony Red over a rich tan Connolly leather cabin trimmed with matching Wilton carpets and Everflex convertible top.

The entire restoration is fully documented by over $200,000 of invoices included in the car’s history file. It should be noted this exceptional Vantage Convertible is accompanied by its original, numbers-matching engine block, numbered 400/2111/V, though the unit currently fitted in the car utilizes an Aston Engineering-sourced replacement block that has been restamped to match the original unit.

A highly successful post-restoration show career followed Miller’s exhaustive expenditure, with the car winning a class award at its first showing during the AMOC Lime Rock Classic in Connecticut. Other notable entries included the 2007 Gold Coast Concours at Glen Cove, New York, followed by the Amelia Island and Greenwich Concours d’Elegance in 2009, the Fairfield Concours in 2010, and the Cavallino Mar-a-Lago Concours, where it again received a class award.

More recently, under current ownership it was decided to strip this preeminent DB5 down to bare metal and return it to its original, factory-correct color of Deep Carriage Green—as delivered to Mr. Bullough when new. The Connolly leather interior supplied during the car’s 2005 restoration has been retained, and it appears “as new” throughout, on account of its careful use within prior ownership.

Thus, today, this DB5 Vantage Convertible is exceptional in every respect. It has been serviced regardless of use to make sure it has remained in superb concours condition throughout. Complete with original Aston Martin factory build sheet as well as British Motor Heritage Trust Certificate substantiating original color, engine number, as well as Vantage specification— this further accompanied by an owner’s manual, tool roll, and its original engine block.

It is a superb, immensely drivable, and extremely rare example of the marque flagship, in its most desirable, high performance, open-air form.