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WHAT TO LOOK FOR

We turned to long-time dealer and aficionado of the DB-5 and 6 models, Rocky Santiago, and asked him to lend us some of his considerable expertise on these models.  “When looking at one of these cars,” Santiago said, “one should remember all the basics learned in ‘Car Buying 101'.”

 “Remember, these cars were hand-built,” Santiago went on, “When looking under the hood, there are a number of areas that might look like they were unfinished or improperly finished. In fact, these irregular edges were done at the factory.”

Aluminum was the main body material and as Santiago points out, electrolysis can corrode the panels, especially around the mounting points.  Another area of concern is the jacking ports, squared tubing that accepts the factory screw-type jack.  These have a tendency to rust-out near the weld points. 

 Other areas of concern are holes in the bodywork used to drain rain and wash water. Among the most critical of these are the ones located near the hood hinges over the headlights. While aluminum is used for the body, steel framework was still employed under the skin, including the door frames.  Drain holes along the bottom of both doors should be closely inspected to make sure they were kept clean and clear, allowing the water to escape.

 Matching numbers are important, especially when verifying the authenticity of the higher horsepower Vantage models.  Be sure to check the build plate located under the hood and attached to the firewall on the right side of the car.  Included is both the chassis number and the original engine number. On the left side of the engine’s block those same numbers should appear. The letter “V” represents the premium horsepower version, the Vantage.

 The factory tool kit and the the proper jack, plus the original owners book and service manuals are big pluses, and can add several thousand dollars to the value of any Aston-Martin, including these models.

This impeccably restored DB5 cockpit showcases the "all-business" theme. The DB6 got a stretched wheelbase, revised roof line and new rear fascia.


















THE MARKET

Earlier DB-5 models have a stronger following, partially because of the James Bond connection, but also due to the superior Touring coachwork, which was lost somewhat on later models. Critics lauded the early models performance and handling, but later DB6's were touted as being noisy, a bit curious as they were supposed to be a bit more luxurious.  One British magazine of the day described the steering this way:  “...requires the strength of a hairy mammoth to crank it around.” Evidently these cars are not for dainty drivers.   Much of this perception can be attributed to the advancements in sports car refinement during the mid-sixties.  What worked in 1963 was getting long in the tooth by the late sixties.

The early DB5 models command strong prices in today’s market, and if the sought after car is well documented and exceptional, coupes can bring over $100,000, while the open Volante models command another $25,000-50,000.  Historically, right-hand drive versions in the United States brought a sizeable deduction in value, and a number of conversions have been conducted to "remedy" this.  This “RHD” (right hand drive) discount has narrowed substantially over the years, as these models are often bought by home market or other overseas buyers.  In any event, serial numbers indicate if the car was originally for the home market or for export, so pay attention!

As mentioned earlier, all of the DB5 and DB6 “shooting brakes” were produced for sale in England, and it is not believed that any of these cars have come here.

Later DB6 models are valued about 20% or so below the DB5.  Performance was down a bit, making the Vantage engine option an even bigger plus.  The later cars also seem to have more problems with body integrity.  While the longer wheelbase and overall length was a plus for passenger comfort when new, it has a negative effect in the collector market.

***  2014 Pricing Update:  Values have been surging, make sure to check the latest values. 

As the market continues to be strong, interest in all things British is especially so, and values of the many British marques is reaching an all-time high -- approaching the bubble values of the late eighties.  But with Corvettes at $100,000 plus, T-Birds over $60,000 and GTO's hitting $50,000 on occasion, the DB5/6 looks positively like a bargain.

Current Values:  Main Aston-Martin Menu

Aston-Martin did not produce a car for everyone, only for those who could afford and appreciate fine motoring.  Consider yourself fortunate if you can count yourself among potential owners.

  P. Skinner and the editors at Collector Car Market Review

Back to Aston-Martin page 1

 

This profile first appeared in the July 2004 issue of Collector Car & Truck Market Guide. 

Current Values:  Main Aston-Martin Menu    Aston-Martin page 1

 
 

 

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