When launched in 1963, it is questionable whether Aston Martin had any idea of the global impact of the Aston Martin DB5.  The car’s appearance in the James Bond film Goldfinger in 1964 propelled it to international stardom and global iconic status.

Aston Martin DB5 (1965)
Aston Martin DB5 (1965)

Aston Martin only produced 1,059 2-door DB5s between 1963 and 1965.  The all-aluminium 4.0 litre engine produced 282 bhp.  Designed by Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera, the interior was exquisite with reclining seats, wool pile carpets, full leather trim in the cabin, electric windows, and even a fire extinguisher.  On the exterior, the DB5 looked very similar to the DB4, with chrome wire wheels, but with a magnesium-alloy body built to Superleggera patent technique.  The DB5 all-aluminum engine had been enlarged from the DB4’s 3.7-litres to 4.0-litres and produced 292 bhp, pushing the car to a maximum speed of 145 mph (233 km/hr), with an acceleration from 0-60mph in 8 seconds.

Three variants were also produced including the introduction of a high-performance DB5 Vantage in 1964 (65 were built).  Aston Martin also produced 123 DB5 convertibles, which carried the name ‘Volante’ after 1965.  A limited number of custom-built DB5 ‘Shooting-Brake’ models were built, with one being sold at auction in August 2019 for $1.765m (£1,456m).

Aston Martin DB5 features SMITHS Gauges

As with previous Aston Martin cars, the dashboard of the DB5 featured gauges designed and manufactured by SMITHS Instruments in the UK.  In all, there were 8 different gauges including:

  • Speedometer;
  • Tachometer,
  • Fuel Gauge;
  • Ammeter;
  • Water Temperature Gauge;
  • Oil Temperature Gauge;
  • Oil Pressure Gauge;
  • Clock;
Aston Martin DB5 Vantage dashboard
Aston Martin DB5 Vantage dashboard

Caerbont Automotive Instruments continues to manufacture and supply a selection of gauges for the Aston Martin DB5 and other Aston Martin classics using the original drawings.

Aston Martin DB5 and James Bond

Author Ian Fleming had James Bond driving a DB Mark III in the original Goldfinger novel, but the movie’s special effects expert John Stears persuaded Aston Martin to make the prototype DB5 available.  This proved to be a defining moment for Aston Martin.  Since Goldfinger, the Aston Martin DB5 has featured regularly in James Bond movies including:

  • Thunderball (1965);
  • GoldenEye (1995);
  • Casino Royale (2006);
  • Skyfall (2012);
  • Spectre (2015);

The DB5 also starred in the television series The Saint and in the film The Cannonball Run (1981).

The Aston Martin DB5 holds a special place in motoring history and is one of the most desired classic two-door sports cars in the world.

Related Blogpost

For further information on SMITHS gauges for classic Aston Martin cars, please contact us on:

Via the website

Email:  [email protected]

Phone:  +44 (0) 1639 732200

You can also follow us on social media for regular news updates, photographs and technical information:

Facebook | X (formerly Twitter) | LinkedIn