Lot 322

Monterey 2023

1965 Aston Martin DB5


$1,200,000 - $1,450,000 USD | Not Sold

United States | Monterey, California



Chassis No.
Engine No.
US Title
  • One of 193 left-hand-drive examples built
  • Superbly presented mid-production example that retains its matching-numbers engine
  • Originally delivered to Guggenheim family member Oscar Strauss II
  • Concours-quality restoration completed in 2023
  • Tasteful mechanical upgrades for improved performance and reliability
  • Documented with factory build record and restoration invoices dating to 2002; offered with owner’s manual and tools

The Aston Martin DB5 has long been considered one of the world’s most seminal sports cars, owing to its 282-horsepower race-developed aluminum alloy engine, advanced chassis, and distinctive lightweight sports saloon coachwork built with Touring’s Superleggera construction technique. Further popularized by its association with the James Bond film franchise, the DB5 was the ultimate combination of beauty, brains, and brawn, a car that was no doubt specifically developed for the sporting British gentleman. While 899 saloon examples were ultimately built, only 193 of these cars were completed in left-hand drive, making this beautifully presented example even more desirable.

According to a factory build sheet on file, chassis number 1990/L was equipped with a Motorola radio with power antenna, a heated rear windscreen, dual Britax three-point safety belts, a Fiamm horn, fender-mounted sideview mirror, and chrome wheels shod with Avon Turbospeed GT tires. Finished in Black Pearl paint over an interior trimmed in red Connolly leather, the DB5 was sold new to Oscar Strauss II of New York City. Mr. Strauss was a member of the world-renowned Guggenheim family who served as an executive on several corporate boards and family foundations while indulging his passions for fly fishing and yachting. As a scion of society elite with the sensibilities of a true sportsman, the new owner epitomized the kind of buyer for which the DB5 had been conceived.

By the 1990s, the Aston Martin was acquired by Kurt DelBene, a Microsoft executive who would go on to serve the US government as the current Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Information and Technology. Also a noted enthusiast of rare sports and racing cars, Mr. DelBene engaged British car specialist Sean Johnson to perform a cosmetic restoration.

Eventually sold to marque specialist Rocky Santiago, 1990/L was soon acquired by a New York-based dealer who went on to intermittently tend the car over the next 20 years. By March 2003 the DB5 was purchased by Connecticut-based collector Stefano Bruni, and he presented the car at the 2003 Greenwich Concours d’Elegance and the 2003 AMOC North America Concours at Lime Rock, Connecticut, where it received a class award.

After passing through at least three more owners, including a period in the care of a Dubai-based shipping magnate, the Aston Martin was acquired in the early 2010s by a collector based in New England. During his custody, the DB5 continued to receive expert attention as needed, including the installation of a Harvey Bailey suspension kit that improves handling, and a modern aluminum radiator for superior engine cooling.

In June 2018 the Aston Martin was acquired by the consignor, a respected collector of significant European post-war sports cars. Despite the fact that the DB5 was in very good condition upon purchase, the consignor preferred to elevate the car to concours standards by refurbishing every system and component as needed.

Entrusted to Raffi Najjarian’s noted The Pit Stop, the restoration included repainting the coachwork in vintage Aston Martin racing green and reupholstering the interior in dark green leather. Mechanically, the driveshaft assembly, brakes, suspension, carburetors, steering, and

instruments were rebuilt, while the fuel pump, water pump, oil cooler, motor mounts, and transmission mounts were replaced. Final detailing was entrusted to the esteemed specialists at Kevin Kay Restorations. As demonstrated by invoices on file, the restoration totaled over $390,000, and it has resulted in one of the finest DB5 examples to be encountered.

The Aston Martin has been tastefully upgraded with the installation of electronic ignition and an electronic steering assist system, making the car ideal for enjoyment on long-distance touring events. The DB5 should also expect a warm welcome at finer concours d’elegance and marque gatherings.

It is worth noting that 1990/L retains its matching-numbers engine, which considerably bolsters the car’s authenticity and value. Offered with an owner’s manual and tools, the beautifully restored DB5 is a particularly well-sorted example of Aston Martin’s most legendary model. It would make a splendid addition to any sporting collection, sure to captivate the next caretaker with its combination of elegance and performance.