Rare 1965 Aston Martin DB5 shooting brake sells for $1.765M

It wasn’t the only Aston Martin among the top 10 at RM Sotheby’s Monterey Auction on Thursday evening. There were seven of those. Nor was it the most expensive or best-known of the bunch. That honor went to the 1965 Aston Martin DB5 James Bond car that sold for $6,385,000. But a rare 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Shooting Brake starred in a supporting role, eclipsing its $1.4 million high estimate and selling for $1,765,000.

“We continue to see Aston Martin Shooting Brakes sell for a premium,” says Hagerty valuation expert Adam Wilcox. “The sale price was 89-percent above the $933,000 average value for a DB5 Saloon in similar 3+ (Excellent+) condition.”

One of only 12 factory DB5 shooting brakes—and one of four fitted for left-hand drive—the Aston wagon was created after company head David Brown grew frustrated that he couldn’t fit his polo gear in the luggage compartment. (Classic problem.) Plus, his dog was gnawing on the leather seats. As the story goes, Brown walked into a board meeting with some of his engineers in attendance, plunked down his hunting dog, and said, “Build me something for him to sit in.”

The factory was already busy with the DB5, but when your initials are on the car, you get things done. Brown reached out to Radford Shooting Brakes, and the DB5 shooting brake was born soon after.

The conversion wasn’t cheap, as the car was essentially rebuilt from the windscreen back. The tubular-structured roof was cut and extended with steel fabrications, and the rear was fitted with a single-piece hatchback.

1965 Aston Martin DB5 Shooting Brake by Radford
RM Sotheby's

Chassis DB5/2273/L, equipped with rear folding seats, offers 40 cubic feet of space, and Radford claimed the DB5 was still capable of reaching speeds of 150 mph and could go from 100 mph to a complete stop in six seconds.

Sold new to Rainer Heumann and delivered on December 1, 1965, the shooting brake has spent its entire life in Switzerland. Heumann’s option choices included a power-operated radio aerial, two front-seat safety belts, a detachable headrest for the front-seat passenger, and Heumann’s initials on each door. He drove the car daily for 30 years, repainting it Cumberland Gray in the 1980s.

After Heumann died in 1996, and the car was sold in 2003, its second owner gave it a compete body and chassis restoration—including replacing its original DB6 taillights with DB5 lights, as were featured on David Brown’s original shooting brake—and had the car painted Grigio Quartz. In addition, the engine was upgraded to Aston Engineering’s 4.2-liter specification, and the original automatic transmission was replaced with a five-speed ZF gearbox.

“We continue to see Aston Martin Shooting Brakes sell for a premium,” says Hagerty valuation analyst Adam Wilcox. “The DB5 Shooting Brake sold yesterday was the highest sale price for an Aston Martin that wasn’t linked to a James Bond film.” The car is in roughly #3+ (Good condition, nearly Excellent) which corresponds to a value of $933,000. Clearly the final sale price of more than $1.7M way overshot that, a total that is 89 percent above the value for a comparable DB5 Saloon.

The Aston was purchased by its current owner in 2009, and he trusted a complete overhaul to Aston Martin specialist R.S. Williams. The engine was upgraded again, this time to 4.7 liters (but fitted with the proper triple SU HD8 carburetors). The car also received suspension upgrades, correct 15-inch wheels, a repaint in its original Silver Birch, and new carpet.

Now it has a new owner—one who paid handsomely for it and grabbed the attention of shooting brake obsessives worldwide.

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