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Throwback Thursday: 1964 Aston Martin DB5

The ’64 Aston Martin DB5 is going to be familiar to any fan of the early James Bond movies – Sean Connery was behind the wheel of a DB5 in “Goldfinger,” a role that made it “the most famous car in the world” at the time. The real-life DB5 was almost as exotic as its Bond-movie counterpart, minus all the weaponry and gadgets; standard equipment on the DB5 included a magnesium-alloy body, a 282 horsepower 4-liter aluminum inline six engine, wool pile carpets, reclining seats, power windows, an oil cooler and even a fire extinguisher. The 2 + 2 coupe was available with a five-speed manual transmission or Borg-Warner automatic, with a 145 mph top speed and 0-60 times of around eight seconds. The DB5 Vantage was a high-performance version of the DB5, with three Weber carburetors and a revised camshaft, producing 315 horsepower.  Aston-Martin also produced a “shooting brake”version of the DB5, a station wagon-type design (only about a dozen were built).

Aston-Martin has always been a niche manufacturer, putting out extremely limited numbers of very expensive cars, and the DB5 is a perfect example of their niche. The DB5 is preceded by its reputation, and has shown up not only in “Goldfinger,” but also “The Cannonball Run,” “The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E,” various video games, “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” and even the Pixar film “Cars 2.”

Your chances of seeing a ’64 Aston Martin DB5 anywhere other than a car show are probably pretty slim, and they suffer from the same electrical glitches and temperamental nature as many other British cars, but that’s hardly the point. The DB5 is like an exotic, beautiful endangered species in automotive form…and draws about as much attention as a zebra in a shopping mall.