On my many visits to London for work, I often enjoy a stroll around at lunchtime to take in the ‘fresh’ air, ride a red London bus and pose ‘humorously’ leaning back out of a traditional phone box whilst giggling hysterically and blocking the entire pavement.
Ok, I do none of these things but the lunchtime stroll is true. And it was on one of these ‘head cleansers’ that I strolled by a traditional mews street, glanced to the side as is tradition, carried on walking, before sprinting back as my brain processed what it (I) had just seen.
Only in London will you find a £million+ vehicle from 1964 parked up in a residential street near the local park. Ok Hyde Park is a big park, but still…
I jogged back to the street and confirmed that I had spotted what must be one of the prettiest and most recognisable vehicles ever produced. Famed as being the daily driver for the UK’s most famous and terrible pun-spinning spy-seducer secret agent (James Bond, if you’re not with me) – the DB5 is as British as Hugh Grant’s bulldog, drinking tea and eating fish and chips in Margate on St George’s day, wearing belt and braces.
The DB stands for David Brown, a tractor entrepreneur (genuinely) and Aston Martin owner from 1947 until the mid 1970’s having bought the company for £20,500 having seen an advert in the newspaper which was selling a ‘High Class Motor Business’. And what a business that has since become.
His name is synonymous with only the most famous Astons since and, of course, the James Bond relationship too, even today some 50-odd years on. My spot here is the DB5, first seen in the 1964 film Goldfinger. It has a top speed of 145mph and a 0-60 time of a shade over 7 seconds delivered by the 282bhp engine – just imagine that in the 1960’s – absolutely epic performance and for a mere £4,175 (albeit the equivalent then of around £75k in today’s money).
It was built in numbers that made this car (as my Gran would say) ‘rarer than hen’s teeth’. This is actually true dear Grandma, given that there were only 1059 of these ever produced, and as our ‘most useful website award’ (doesn’t yet exist, but should) http://howmanyleft.co.uk indicates; this has been reduced to a mere 277 registered to UK roads in 2016.
Hence the £million+ price tag. That’s a 7-bedroom manor house in Dorset. And yet, not a single Doberman or special forces sniper in sight – from what I could see, anyway. If I were the owner I no doubt would employ one (or both) of these if I had a 7-digit asset that couldn’t be stored safely in the family vault. Lock, Stock.
I’ve never been lucky enough to get to drive one of these (*cough* Aston Martin Heritage team, *cough*) and yet I found myself grinning in amazement as I took in the lines and curves of this special vehicle. And that was just looking lustfully in from the outside. Imagine what would happen if I sat in one, or, let’s say, drove one. I think I’d revert to being a child, oil slicks and machine guns included. Pow pow pow tch-tch-tch (it’s actually quite hard to write machine gun noises, don’t’cha know?) They just don’t make ‘em like this anymore.
Oh, and if you want a spot that’s even rarer – I must try and seek out the DB5 Shooting-Brake (Basically, a DB5 in estate form). I’ve never seen one. It was designed exclusively because David Brown was an avid fan of hunting. I’m afraid on that note David, we disagree on something… but I have to say, you didn’t half make fabulously stunning cars.
To those of you wondering, yes, all the pictures you see in this post were taken with a tuna sandwich in one hand and a bag of Wotsits in another.
And they say that men can’t multitask…
See you very soon for more car spots and blog topics.
Edford Classic Cars