Aston Martin marks 60 years of DB5

The world’s most iconic car, the Aston Martin DB5, turns 60 this month, with the car maker leading the celebrations. From its launch, the model has gone on to become an icon of British culture, design and innovation.

Six decades on, the DB5 continues to be one of the world’s most recognisable cars, and took centre stage at Aston Martin’s presence at the Goodwood Revival Festival in Sussex last weekend, alongside the latest addition to DB bloodline, the DB12.

Marking Aston Martin’s proud past and exciting future, the two models have been photographed together in images released today to celebrate the landmark anniversary.

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“The David Brown era gave us so many great Aston Martin sports cars but none more recognisable, revered, and desired as the DB5,” Aston Martin executive chairman Lawrence Stroll, himself a DB5 owner, said.

“It is only right that, as it turns 60, we take a moment to look back and reflect on this car’s incredible role in our storied 110-year heritage.”

Picture it. The year was 1963. Aston Martin was riding a wave of popularity and its DB4 had been selling consistently well since it was unveiled as an entirely new car for the marque in 1958. But with strong competition something new was needed to keep the brand on top.

Making its official public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1963 the newcomer featured several design, technical and equipment changes over its predecessor – most notably a major engine development delivering even more power.

The DB5 displayed in Germany featured a new 4.0-litre (3,995cc) much reworked version of the 3.7-litre, twin cam, straight six that powered the DB4, with the new engine developing what was, then, a distinctly potent 210kW in standard form.

The saloon and, later, convertible bearing this unmistakable moniker set about forging a reputation and fame that, today, make them among the most desirable cars of all time. Appearing in a few James Bond movies didn’t hurt its cause either.

But 007 is far from the only ‘celebrity’ to have been seen behind the wheel of this now iconic Aston Martin. Celebrated DB5 patrons included The Beatles’ Sir Paul McCartney and George Harrison, and Rolling Stone Mick Jagger.

Master comedian Peter Sellers also acquired the model, while a plethora of notable names in the years since – from Robert Plant and Jay Kay to Elle McPherson and Ralph Lauren – have ensured the car has rarely left the limelight.

What makes its success remarkable though is the fact a mere 887 DB5 saloons, 123 convertibles and 12 bespoke coach-built shooting brakes were made originally. Even by the standards of the day, these numbers were tiny, and showcase just how special the car is.

It’s fitting then that this grandest of grand tourers laid the groundwork for the cars that followed, with today’s DB12 – the world’s first super tourer – once again asserting Aston Martin’s position as a leader in performance, dynamics, engineering and technology.

News Desk
News Desk
The News Desk is the hub of Exhaust Notes Australia. It's from here that our team of writers journalists and photographers bring you the latest happenings from the world of motoring.

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