007’s Drop Top! 1964 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible

Time to take another trip to Gullwing Motor Cars and see what’s new this week. And lo and behold, we have a very rare 1964 Aston Martin DB5 convertible. I have never seen one and didn’t know such a body style existed! This example has a story behind it so a further look is in order. Located in Astoria, New York, this Aston Martin convertible is available here on Gullwing Motor Cars for $1,750,000 (gulp!)

Aston Martin’s total DB5 production (1963-1965) was 1,059 copies with 123 being convertibles. Originally, only nineteen were constructed as left-hand-drive with another twenty added to the count later on. Most were powered by the standard 4.0 liter DB5 engine, though a few were fortunate enough to harbor the more powerful Vantage motor. This particular convertible was owned by Peter Sprague who at one time was the Chairman of A-M and this car stayed with his family until Gullwing Motors acquired it. In its 56 years, it has experienced only 65K miles and has seen one engine upgrade with a replacement motor – more on that later.

An illustrative example, not the actual subject car

Unfortunately, there are no images of this convertible in top-up mode, important as sometimes convertibles are designed more for svelteness and style in top-down operation. That being the case, here’s an image of how this car should look when buttoned up. I’d say the DB5 convertible’s lines present very well regardless of the top’s position.

From an exterior perspective, no complaints with this Aston Martin (there shouldn’t be at this price point!). The finish, chrome, trim, wire-wheels, all of it, appears to have received meticulous care. That said, this DB5 has received one repaint in its original black finish. It’s a shame we can’t spy a look at the convertible top… There was a removable steel roof available as an option but I haven’t been able to find an image.

A recurring question in my mind is what happened to the seats? The listing claims, “including the nicely worn leather interior” I think I would replace nicely with “very“. The seats seem out of character as the rest of the interior has held up its end of the bargain; the dash, carpet, instrument panel, and door cards need nothing and still look great. It seems unusual that sun damage, if that’s the cause of the upholstery’s demise, would only affect the seat leather and nothing else.

Under this Aston Martin’s bonnet is an upgraded “Vantage” engine of 4.0 liters and developing 325 HP as opposed to the DB5’s standard 282. Apparently, A-M swapped the engine during Mr. Sprague’s ownership. The seller states that the carburetors are Webers as opposed to the standard SUs but I can’t tell – it would be helpful to have some reader analysis on that matter as this engine looks no different than a standard DB5 powerplant. Curiously, there is no word as to how, or even if, this convertible runs and drives. Power to the rear wheels is channeled via a ZF, five-speed manual transmission.

As an extraneous thought, if James Bond had this convertible model DB5, Q Branch wouldn’t have had to include a removable roof hatch for the ejector seat. But then again, firing the seat and forgetting to put the top down would be more accustomed to Benny Hill than James Bond. And of course, top-down would have probably caused Sean Connery’s rug to take flight, so just forget the entire suggestion. No doubt about it, this is a beautiful and rare automobile. If you happen to have almost $2M sitting around and doing little, this could be the place to park it, right?

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Comments

  1. angliagt angliagt Member

    I had to double-check to make sure I wasn’t on the wrong website.
    I sure hope you aren’t going to keep showing listings like this.

    Like 15
    • UK Paul 🇬🇧

      Why, this is fascinating?
      Gullwing is a known barn finds retailer also.

      Like 18
      • Little_Cars

        Surely you are not suggesting the “Barn Find Retailer” is a real thing. If so, can we ask Gullwing Motors to cough up a better description of how the car runs, and why they swapped out the good seats of this example for a DB6 elsewhere in their inventory? LOL

        Like 4
    • Howard A Member

      I hear ya’, with Ferrari’s, A-M’s and other so called, “high end” classics, these are merely posted for us to see how the other half can live or so it seems. Clearly, their barns differ greatly from where I come from,,,,MOOOOO,,

      Like 10
      • 455bobj

        Are you referring the the other half that pay 95% of the taxes? Find a Pinto to enjoy.

        Like 12
    • scott m

      I’m just happy Barnfinds hasn’t gone the full BATQ route- You know, Bring A Trailer Queen! I like the mix here- maybe not the campers or motorcycles, but even those can be interesting. And this car is balanced by Barnfinds BADP (Bring A Dust Pan :^} )

      Like 1
      • chrlsfu

        taxes R so low now that no longer holds true, 455. We should return them to the ’50s level
        /OR/
        return to the topic at hand.

  2. DayDreamBeliever Member

    As with previous Gullwing MC offerings, it is evident that they make their profit on the BUY end. Snag up derelict rarities, offer out at a premium+ price, before the investment is made in a restoration.
    This car is in better shape than others we have seen from that outfit, but the $$$…..

    Like 8
    • Jonanthan

      Isn’t that really the best way to be in this business. Restoration is an iffy business even at this level.

      Like 7
  3. OddBallCars

    I just looked through the coin jar by the front door AND the one on the dryer, and I’m probably going to come up a little short on this one. I can swing about $7.50 – anyone willing to loan me the balance?

    Like 9
    • Mike

      I can chip in .95 cents that I found under the seats of my car when I vacuumed it out last weekend. Come on guys, let’s crowd fund this!

      Like 5
  4. ccrvtt

    I think what really irritates me about places like Gullwing and BHCC is that somehow they find these cars first. I’d love to find a bargain GTO in some abandoned warehouse but so far it’s never happened.

    But these guys swoop in, buy low and sell high. Imagine that, capitalism in action!

    I have a lot of (grudging) admiration for the ability to do that.

    Like 9
    • UK Paul 🇬🇧

      I agree.. I probably spend 4 hours a day (mostly at night) trawling for car bargains and never find a thing.
      I say that, last night I found a dismantled Sapphire Cosworth for £8k which might be interesting but I would need to clear my garage so my enthusiasm dwindled.
      I have played with buying newer Challengers in the US and bringing them to the UK.

      Like 3
      • Steve R

        As you know, the best deals are rarely advertised. They sell by word of mouth. I have a couple of friends that drive nice 60’s and early-70’s 2 door base model cars as their daily drivers. Each has “found” and purchased cars due to conversations started because of what they were driving. It’s not rocket science, there is a reason many sellers had multiple cars featured on this site, that is it limited to dealer like Gullwing.

        Steve R

        Like 4
      • MikeH

        As Steve R says, the best deals are never advertised. I have a friend who is heavily into Hudsons. He has 25-30, all in concours condition except for the ones still in restoration. He has several sole survivors and many one of a fews. He gets calls from all over the world. Whenever a rare or highly desirable car surfaces, he’s the one that gets the first call. He pays fair prices and the general public never knows about it.

        Like 3
  5. Howard A Member

    If it wasn’t for James Bond, a car like this could come and go, and not make such a fuss, but the movies made it seem these were secret agent cars right from the factory, and the “DB5” became an icon. I think most of us still think there are machine guns behind the turn signals, and ejection passenger seat could come in VERY handy. I’ve never seen a ragtop, probably agin the law calling a 2 million dollar convertible that, like high end Italian jobs, the A-M was top of the British heap, if that’s possible. Great find, too bad I’m $1.7mil short.

    Like 1
  6. YankeeTR5

    RE: leather seats…..probably shredded from wet swimsuits and top down in the rain. I’ve got leather in my two sedans and my two kids swim. Both cars seats are completely unrelated wear wise to the rest of the car (as in way worse). So I live how this car has worn.
    Interesting car, but before I ponied up the $$ I’d look at a 275, 330 or 365GTS. 12 cylinders, much more rare and cheaper.
    BHCC & GWMC “find” all these cars because they (& their agents) a)advertise everywhere for cars wanted b)they pay cash on the spot….not a lot of fingerdragging or stalling why they try to sell a car before they’ve bought it……c)they buy any condition, which can be a godsend for a relatively desireable but rough car.
    Complain about their pricing, but both these outfits provide a pretty useful service. You can make judgements about pricing, but in both cases plenty of pics provide a relatively open judgement about the various states of the cars.
    Also, I like looking at projects just as much as finished cars so these websites are regular visits for me.

    Like 8
  7. UK Paul

    Plenty of things like this tucked away in barns and garages. I suspect this could have been bought at a fairly sensible price in the 70’s.
    Chasing Classic cars with Wayne Carini shows us that.
    Most on here I would have thought are car fans and can/want to stretch their interest from a $3k Model T all the way to this fine example.
    To add not everyone with these sort of cars had a lavish lifestyle. My neighbour lives In a building divided up into many apartments.
    His modest abode is probably worth $150k.
    He drives a $90k+ Ferrari (and a $4k van for work)
    What will that be worth in 50 years?

    Like 4
    • Steve Clinton

      The van? Probably $500.00. LOL

      Like 1
      • UK Paul 🇬🇧

        Could be Steve, I will take a closer look. :)

  8. JBD

    Great car but Peter Kumar is crazy pricing this one!!!!

    Like 3
  9. glen kay

    i think i got the wrong email this should have gone out to house wives of la

    Like 3
  10. Lowell Peterson

    A couple years ago we converted one of these from right hand drive to left!!???$$$$? So…..the ‘wife could drive it!!!’.
    Had to fab the whole Frankenmess!

    Like 3
  11. lbpa18

    A barn in my mind had an agricultural intent in its first life vs the “eat off the floor” metal building. That’s where I want to find something interesting. Frequently the implements and tools around the vehicle are as important and interesting as the vehicle. This is cool but Id rather have the 47 Ford.

    Like 2
  12. Steve Clinton

    $1,750,000 and they can’t bother to recover the seats? Unfathomable. What’s up with that?

    Like 4
    • Scott

      They will, but the price goes up to $1,850,000. Leaves you something to do.

      Like 1
    • Bill McCoskey

      They may well have the car on consignment, perhaps as part of an estate, and the current owners don’t want to spend the money on upgrades. And Gullwing certainly ain’t gonna do it on their dime!

  13. UK Paul

    Anyone else losing their replies when they submit?

    Like 2
    • Steve Clinton

      Occasionally I have a reply not show up, so I resubmit, and then magically both replies appear.

      Like 2
    • Solosolo Solosolo Member

      Yep. I now have to log in before my comment will be accepted, however, I also get the opportunity to add photos if I should so wish.

    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      UK Paul:

      There is some weirdness going on with the spam filter today but I don’t know why, it usually works OK. I’ll keep an eye on it and release what gets captured, assuming that it shouldn’t have been.

      JO

      Like 3
      • UK Paul 🇬🇧

        Thank you! Seems ok now.

    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      Not here, but on another feature page, yes!

  14. lbpa18

    I just checked my JC Whitney catalog and they carry those cheap indian blanket looking seat covers for the DB5. $9.95 and your car is complete. Id like to see James Bond show up with THOSE seat covers on. Chicks would be all over him. Oh wait…

    Like 2
  15. Tony K

    First, yes, those are triple Weber 45 DCOE carbs — same as I had on my DB6 Vantage LHD coupe.

    Second, I drove this car in the early ’80s at Lime Rock (though not on the track. Peter usually showed up at the annual Aston Martin Owners Club meet there to race his metallic blue-green V8, but happened to bring this one year. That year, I brought my DB4 Convertible (1-of-12 in LHD, with the Special Series engine that was the precursor to the Vantage) and was curious how different they drove — so he handed me the keys. Took a short cruise around the neighborhood, and it felt identical to my earlier one.

    Alas, both of my Astons are long gone, victims of an ugly divorce. But I have the memories!

    https://scontent.fmia1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/27787984_10213809580607277_1103451558162711441_o.jpg?_nc_cat=106&ccb=2&_nc_sid=730e14&_nc_ohc=uRGUdJ0wgBgAX-MjMXn&_nc_ht=scontent.fmia1-1.fna&oh=b6be5dede7eb0b656d3b317d078fbeee&oe=6002A03E

    Like 9
  16. UK Paul

    My replies are just not showing now. This is a test.

  17. Darwin Mickleborough

    Unfortunatly with my 2016 Honda and 2006 MX5 I have no room in my garage. Nice car tho to bad about the seats likely a deal breaker.

  18. banjo

    I was going to comment on Gullwing having known them for the better part of 20 years, but I think that has been amply covered here.
    Instead I wanted to comment on the “stock photo” of the blue car. When you talked about never having seen a convert DB5 I thought about the only one I have ever seen. A blue one that has attended the Watkins Glen Vintage Grand Prix Festival for several years running. It is always displayed in the Concourse De Elegance held in the State Park parking lot. If I am not mistaken that photo is of the same car and it was taken in that parking lot. The stacked stone wall is consistent as is the fall foliage since the festival is held in September.

    Like 2
  19. DavidL Member

    What? Only $1,750,000? Oh darn! Left my checkbook in my other blazer. Well, maybe next time.

    Like 1
  20. TED WALTHER

    The actor Robert Stack owned a 1964 DB5 Convertible. https://i.pinimg.com/originals/bd/b2/21/bdb2219941c07510f7432b70964aa0b3.jpg

    Like 3
  21. PETE W.

    I think Michael Caine drove one in the original “Italian Job”.

    Like 2
    • TED WALTHER

      Pete;
      Close…Micheal Caine drove a 1962 Aston Martin DB4 convertible (specifically: DB4C/SN:1073 )in the original Italian Job(1969).

      Like 2
  22. Andy

    Seeing the car I’m stirred. Seeing the price I’m shaken!

    Like 5
    • Bill McCoskey

      Andy,

      When I go into the paint department in one of the large home centers, to have a custom blended color created, I always ask them to do it “007 style”.

      Most of the time I have to follow up with “You know; shaken, not stirred!”. One time an employee replied “Of course Mr. Bond, Shaken, not stirred!”

      Like 1
  23. Michael Thomas

    Weber carbs no question

  24. Not Prince Charles

    The guy who plays Prince Charles in the latest season of “The Crown” on Netflix drives a DB6 Volante that looks a lot like this one. The one in the show is black, though Prince Charles’ actual DB6 is dark blue.

    https://www.caranddriver.com/features/g34784846/all-the-best-cars-in-the-crown-season-4/

  25. chrlsfu

    Altho oneada ‘good guys’ Peter’s business model is for those “across the Ribber” from him ( “a different prt of NYC”). Doesn’t work everywhere.

    I like the green dash and ZF-5 speed. Price should drop a good bit for replacement motor no difference if “it is correct”. May B it hasn’t due to the customized seats (to this specific vehicle). U can’t get them anywhere else
    ;^ )

  26. UK Paul

    @little_cars that is exactly what I am suggesting.
    Gullwing is renowned for selling cars that have sat.
    I cannot think off top of my head of a better known retailer on the planet for doing this apart from maybe Wayne Carini.
    Maybe this one was in a nice garage somewhere but fact remains many of his cars are in barn find type condition.

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      And, Peter Kumar has appeared on Wayne’s show. Wayne will call him in when he finds a car that is up Peter’s alley, like older SLs.
      That’s how I first found out about Peter, so I found it surprising when people here on BF would diss the way he does business.

  27. Pete

    That is truly a rare car. The Maserati Ghibli of the same era only had about the same number made into convertibles. But you can get one for a 1/4 million and probably a better car. Go figure. Honestly though I doubt if anyone who visits this sight given the opportunity to buy one of these or another rare car of this value for 5 or 10 K would hesitate to jack up to the nose bleed pricing we see for stuff like this. I know I would. Then buy what I really wanted and save the rest for retirement. LOL.

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