VANTAGE - - The Specialist Post Vintage - DB5/DB5 Volante

SPEC­I­FI­CA­TION En­gine 3995cc, in-line 6 Power 282bhp @ 5500rpm Torque 288lb ft @ 3850rpm 0-60mph 8.0sec Top speed 145mph

Re­ally another evo­lu­tion of the DB4 (it would have been Se­ries 6), the DB5 is now revered in its own right – and fa­mous above all other As­tons – wholly be­cause of its role in the James Bond film fran­chise. In looks it was vir­tu­ally iden­ti­cal to the DB4 Se­ries 5 Van­tage; the main change was the 4-litre en­gine and the op­tion of a five-speed gear­box, which soon be­came stan­dard. Reg­u­lar DB5S had 282bhp, Van­tage ver­sions 314bhp, and there were now disc brakes on all four wheels. To­tal pro­duc­tion reached 1023.

Res­ur­rect­ing the part­ner­ship with Ital­ian de­sign house Za­gato in the mid-’80s was a mas­ter­stroke by Aston’s then-boss Vic­tor Gauntlett, es­pe­cially when all 50 coupes were im­me­di­ately snapped up at £87,000 a pop (37 con­vert­ibles were also built). The ’80s Za­gato couldn’t match the beauty of the ’60s orig­i­nal, but its per­for­mance was sen­sa­tional. Based on the V8 Van­tage but with even more power and con­sid­er­ably lighter, it broke 5sec from 0-60mph and was ver­i­fied at 185.8mph, mak­ing it the fastest Aston yet.

The DB7 was given a ma­jor fil­lip in 1999 with the launch of the Van­tage model, its styling beefed up by Ian Cal­lum and with the first ap­pear­ance of a brand-new 5.9-litre V12 en­gine that would go on to power the next gen­er­a­tion of flag­ship Aston Martins. With re­worked sus­pen­sion too, the Van­tage was a sig­nif­i­cant step on from the six-cylin­der DB7 but cost just a few thou­sand pounds more – it was no sur­prise that sales of the stan­dard car dried up and it was quickly phased out. The de­sir­able run-out Van­tage GT had 435bhp.

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