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'.”
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.
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.
restored DB5 cockpit showcases the "all-business" theme.
||The DB6 got a
stretched wheelbase, revised roof line and new rear fascia.
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
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
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.
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.
Skinner and the editors at Collector Car Market Review
Back to Aston-Martin
This profile first appeared in the
July 2004 issue of Collector Car & Truck Market Guide.
Aston-Martin page 1