DB5 Found in British Barnyard
An Aston Martin DB5 discovered after three decades in an old garage with a mouse nest in its engine bay is estimated to sell for $300,000.
Any art collector of Art Kabinett social network would love to find this beauty in their garage one day.
The mice had moved out of the sports saloon before its cylinders were re-lubricated and it restarted without difficulty, if noisily, the seller Bonhams said. The nest made of shredded newspaper is in place and included in the price. The cost of restoring the car is put at another $300,000.
So called “barn finds” -- cars in untouched condition -- are highly prized by collectors in a selective market for classic models that puts a premium on originality.
“The DB5 is one of the models that has led value increases in the classic-car market,” Neil Dickens, co-director of the Wiltshire-based dealership the Hairpin Company, said in an interview. “The market for this marque is as strong as you could hope for, with the possible exception of Ferrari.”
Bonhams has a formal estimate of 150,000 pounds ($237,000) to 200,000 pounds for the blue DB5, which is included in its 14th annual auction on May 18 at the U.K. automaker’s factory in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire.
The DB5’s design was made famous by Sean Connery in “Goldfinger” and other James Bond movies. This 1964 example was bought in 1972 for 1,500 pounds by David Ettridge, an Aston Martin Owners Club member, who drove it until 1980. Ettridge died in 2011.
The vehicle was designed as a luxury grand tourer that was made by Aston Martin and designed by the Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera.
Released in 1963, it was an evolution of the final series of DB4. The DB series was named honoring David Brown (the head of Aston Martin from 1947–1972).
Standard equipment on the DB5 included reclining seats, wool pile carpets, electric windows, twin fuel tanks, chrome wire wheels, oil cooler, magnesium-alloy body built to superleggera patent technique, full leather trim in the cabin and even a fire extinguisher. All models have two doors and are of a 2+2 configuration.
A three-speed Borg-Warner DG automatic transmission was available as well. At the beginning, the original four-speed manual (with optional overdrive) was standard fitment, but it was soon dropped in favour of the ZF five-speed.
The automatic option was then changed to the Borg-Warner Model 8 shortly before the DB6 replaced the DB5
Bonhams said the car, which had been stored in Sidmouth, Devon, western England, was perfectly preserved, while needing restoration costing about 200,000 pounds.
“This allows wealthy car owners to choose how they want it to be done,” James Knight, Bonhams’s head of motoring, said in an interview. “The bespoke element is attractive. It’s like ordering a Savile Row suit.”
Last year’s Aston Martin and Lagonda auction in Newport raised 6.5 million pounds with fees from 46 cars and 162 lots of memorabilia.