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DB5 Shooting Brake by Radford LH
The Aston Martin DB5 is 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 honouring David Brown (the head
The principal differences between the DB4 Series V and the DB5 are the all-aluminium engine, enlarged from 3.7 L to 4.0 L; a new robust ZF five-speed transmission (except for some of the very first DB5s); and three SU carburettors. This engine, producing 282 bhp (210 kW), which propelled the car to 145 mph (233 km/h), available on the Vantage (high powered) version of the DB4 since March 1962, became the standard Aston Martin power unit with the launch in September 1963 of the DB5.
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.
The high-performance DB5 Vantage was introduced in 1964 featuring three Weber twin-choke 45DCOE side-draft carburettors and revised camshaft profiles, delivering greater top-end performance at the expense of overall flexibility, especially as legendary Webers are renowned as 'full-throttle' devices. This engine produced 315 hp (235 kW). Only 65 DB5 Vantage coupés were built.
Just 123 convertible DB5s were produced (also with bodies by Touring), though they did not use the typical "Volante" name until 1965. The convertible model was offered from 1963 through to 1965. Originally only 19 of the 123 DB5 Convertibles made were left-hand drive. 12 cars were originally fitted with a factory Vantage engine, and at least one further convertible was subsequently factory fitted with a DB6 specification Vantage engine.
The Short Chassis Volante (also known as the Short Wheel Base (SWB) Volante) was the first Aston Martin to be called an Aston Martin Volante, 'Volante' meaning 'Flying' in Italian. As it was the first Aston Martin to be called a 'Volante' any 'drop-head' version of the DB4 and DB5 series should therefore be called a 'Convertible' and not a 'Volante',
The car is a cross between the DB5 (same chassis) and DB6 (bumpers, rear church/TR4 lights, oil cooler, leather stitching), but is closer to being a DB5. Only 37 cars were ever built, being constructed on the last DB5 chassis, between the dates of October 1965 and October 1966. Calling it a "Short Chassis" is a bit of a misnomer; it is a unique Aston model. The "short" comes from comparing it to the subsequent DB6, which has a longer chassis. When compared to the DB5, it is not "short" but rather the same size, however these cars differ to the DB5 convertible models as they feature DB6 split front and rear bumpers and rear TR4 lights, as also used on the DB6.
A prototype DB5 shooting-brake was custom produced by the factory for David Brown, an avid hunter and dog owner, and 11-12 more coupés were custom modified for Aston Martin by independent coachbuilder, Harold Radford. The taillights used were Triumph units, and were also adopted for the succeeding DB6.
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