Lot 130

New York - ICONS 2017

1965 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible


$2,700,000 USD | Sold

United States | New York, New York



Chassis No.
Engine No.
  • Believed to one of fewer than 40 left-hand drive DB5 convertibles
  • Factory optional air-conditioning; retains its original engine
  • High-quality restoration by renowned marque specialists Steel Wings
  • 2009 Pebble Beach Class winner and 2011 Ville d’Este Special Award winner
  • Accompanied by restoration receipts, FIVA card, owner’s manual, and factory brochures
Please note that Internet bidding is not available for this lot. Interested parties that are unable to attend the sale may register to bid by telephone or place a commission bid online at rmsothebys.com.
Addendum: Please refer to rmsothebys.com for an updated catalogue description.

The Aston Martin DB5 is easily one of the most recognizable cars in the world. Seeing one calls to mind the image of Sean Connery casually leaning against the Silver Birch DB5 which propelled Aston Martin to the height of international acclaim. The DB5’s association with the gentleman spy ensured the model’s instant success – indeed, over 1,000 were produced during the two-year model run.

Equipped with a soft top that was perhaps more Dr. No than Goldfinger, the convertible version of the DB5 was released shortly before the movie reached audiences. Described as “extremely elegant and completely practical,” the new convertible lacked none of the successful features of the saloon – excepting those super spy gadgets. Just 123 convertibles would be built before production ceased, though this was not due to lack of interest. Priced at £4,490, the convertible cost well above the average house price of the time, assuring that only a privileged few were able to afford one. The epitome of British elegance and class, celebrities snapped them up – Peter Sellers, Beryl Reid, and even HRH Princess Margaret could be spotted in a DB5 convertible.

The passing decades have only added to the allure of the DB5. With continued cameos in the most recent James Bond blockbusters, the DB5 has become more than just an accessory and is now afforded as much attention as the stars of the films themselves. Far from being the car driven by aging British gentlemen, the DB5 convertible has been the mainstay of young thirty-something stars, and easily drops jaws wherever it is seen.

The DB5C offered here is one of the most desirable Aston Martins on the market today, as it is one of fewer than 40 left-hand drive examples. Delivered with optional Normalair conditioning, and still equipped with its original engine, this DB5 has been known to the Aston Martin Owner’s Club for decades. With an older restoration performed in the 1980s, the convertible swept several Lime Rock Concours awards and gained the attention of more than a few noted Aston Martin specialists.

Currently presented in the elegant combination of Midnight Blue over a Fawn leather interior with blue carpeting and matching blue soft top, chassis 1923/L has gained high praise from those in the know. Described by Autosport Designs as having “always led a charmed life,” this DB5 had just won Best in Class at the 2000 Greenwich Concours before it was acquired by California collector William Grimsley. It was then acquired by noted concours enthusiast James Utaski circa 2004. Upon acquisition, and with the intent to make the DB5 convertible the best of its kind, a complete restoration by Steel Wings was embarked upon.

Upon completion, 1923/L was then presented at a host of international concours where it wowed judges and audiences alike. Returning to the Greenwich Concours in 2008 to win Best Post-War Convertible, that year saw the DB5 Convertible win both 1st in Elite Class and Best of Show at the Aston Martin Owner’s Club Lime Rock Concours. Next, 2009 and 2010 were banner years, with award wins at Pebble Beach and the Amelia Island Concours for the Post-War Sports Car classes, among other awards. On the international circuit, the convertible was awarded the 2011 BMW Sponsors Trophy Special Award for Most Sensitive Restoration at that year’s Villa d’Este Concours d’Elegance. Finishing on a high note, 1923/L was presented at the 2012 Cavallino Classic Aston Assembly at Mar-a-Lago where it received the award for the Best Aston Martin.

Housed with the current owner in the United States for the past five years, this DB5 convertible remains as immaculate as it did during its multi-year concours reign. Ready for either more event wins or a simpler life of touring, DB5C/1923/L is absolutely superb in every regard.