19-20 January 2017

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Lot 149

1965 Aston Martin DB5

  • Chassis no. DB5/1990/L
  • Engine no. 400/1099

Sold for $1,045,000

Please note that Internet bidding is not available for this lot. Interested parties that are unable to attend the sale may register to bid by telephone or place a commission bid online at

282 bhp, 3,995 cc DOHC inline six-cylinder engine with triple SU carburetors, five-speed manual transmission, front wishbone suspension with coil springs, shock absorbers, and an anti-roll bar; live rear axle with coil spring and shock absorbers, and all-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 98 in.

  • U.S.-specification, factory left-hand-drive example; matching-numbers engine
  • Originally delivered to prominent American socialite Oscar Strauss II
  • Five-speed transmission, factory Bosch radio, and heated backlight
  • Beautiful, well-sorted restoration, with Harvey Bailey suspension upgrade
  • Offered with jack, tools, owner’s handbook, and copy of build sheet

The Aston Martin DB5 epitomized the success of the company’s mission to produce a world-class GT sports coupe with the English gentleman in mind. The car was hand built and improved upon the advanced engineering that began with its groundbreaking predecessor, the DB4. Superior materials were used in manufacture, such as aluminum-alloy body panels mounted over a skeleton of small-diameter tubing, which was patented by Touring of Milan as Superleggera construction. Its race-proven engine was also made of aluminum, including both the block and its twin-cam hemispherical cylinder head. Then, of course, the interior was upholstered in the finest Connolly leather, which was complemented by deep-pile Wilton carpets. The net result was a car of unmatched power, elegance, and old-world luxury.

According to its factory build sheet, a copy of which accompanies the car, this stunning Sage Green DB5 was built to the desirable U.S. specification, with left-hand drive, chrome wheels, heated backlight, Britax safety belts, Fiamm horns, and a single fender mirror. Its guarantee was issued on 19 February 1965, to original owner Oscar Strauss II of New York City. Mr. Strauss was a member of the socially prominent Guggenheim family, who served as a partner in Guggenheim Brothers, on numerous corporate boards, and as president of two family foundations. He was also an avid fly fisherman and sailor, as a member of the New York Yacht Club. In other words, he was exactly the type of sporting gentleman who drove a DB5 to the office.

The car has since enjoyed many years of dedicated enthusiast ownership, including several years with vintage racer Kurt DelBene, in whose ownership it reportedly underwent a very detailed cosmetic restoration, still worn today. Later, while owned by Stefano Bruni of Connecticut, it received 2nd in Class at the AMOC North America Concours at Lime Rock in 2003. A few years later, the DB5 was found as part of the noteworthy collection of a Dubai-based shipping magnate, from whom a New England-based collector of significant Aston Martins and Bentleys acquired the car.

This current owner is an avid driver of his automobiles and regularly exercises his classics, often commuting between the Boston suburbs and his home on Cape Cod. Accordingly, he has spared little expense in the maintenance and upkeep of this DB5, with over $35,000 spent in recent specialist services for his own use and enjoyment. A Harvey Bailey suspension kit has been fitted, much improving handling, which is a desirable upgrade endorsed and now frequently utilized by Aston Martin Heritage themselves, as well as a custom aluminum radiator to ensure cool running for those traffic-stopping journeys to the Cape in the hot summer months.

Nonetheless, while an especially fit driver, it remains very appealing cosmetically, a testament to its high-quality restoration, with excellent paintwork and interior. It still boasts many of its rare original features, including a factory upgraded Bosch radio and the heated rear screen, and is accompanied by a jack, tools, and owner’s handbook. Just prior to sale, it underwent a full detailing at Aston Martin of New England, to ensure that it would present absolutely beautifully for its new owner.

A wonderful DB5 to both show and enjoy on the open road, this car is proudly offered from one gentleman’s collection to another, in high style, swift speed, and great comfort – in the best of the tradition of Aston Martin.


Please note that since publication of the printed catalogue, comprehensive additional information regarding the restoration, including photo documentation, has been provided by the restorer, Sean Johnson. Please refer to an RM Sotheby’s representative for further detail.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more