DB5 / DB5 Vantage
Aston Martin set great store in listening to its customers, their experiences, as well as the service experience it itself acquired from the servicing and repair of customer cars. Through that feedback, the DB4 evolved through no less than 5 distinct series, each with an additional set of modifications being embodied on the production line. It was clear that by the Spring of 1963, that the modifications, incorporated and planned, were of a sufficient number and significance, that a new model, the DB5 could be justified and that an announcement to that effect should be made at the 1963 London motor show.
The one major change was the increase in engine capacity from 3.7 litre to 4 litre, as the most direct way to increase power and torque to offset the growing weight of the car with its additional equipment. However, there were other significant changes also included, the aim of these being to make the car more luxurious, and through some advanced ideas, be able to market the car as the last word in modernity, comfort, style and performance befitting a top of the line GT car.
The DB5 engine specification recalled the triple 2 inch SU carburettors of the DB4 Vantage, which, when added to the increased capacity of the 4 litre engine, provided a useful increment in power and torque; this recovered all of the lost performance from the car’s added weight. A Vantage engine option was added, this time with triple Weber DCOE45’s allied to the standard single plug head, though with a small increase in compression. A claimed 27 bhp was claimed for this engine option. One other significant change was the incorporation of a 4 silencer exhaust system, to improve the general refinement of the car.
Other significant changes to the DB4 standard specification included the use of a 5 speed ZF manual gearbox, a revised final drive ratio, a change from Dunlop to Girling 4-wheel disc brakes of increased size, a divided twin servo brake system, electric windows as standard, variable rear suspension dampers, electric engine fan, an alternator and other refinements such as an electric demisting rear window. The success of this model can be measured by the company selling just on a 1000 cars over little more than a 24 month period, representing a peak in car production that would not be bettered until the arrival of the DB7.