Wednesday, 14 August 2013

DB5 Shooting Brake

Words & photos: Daniel Bevis

A shooting brake is not an estate car. It's so much more than that...

OK, it is an estate car. But the sort of fancy upmarket estate that one might use to transport a shooting party, complete with guns and game. So we're not talking about your uncle's Volvo 240 here - think more in the area of luxury GTs and the like that have had a sizeable glasshouse grafted onto the rear. Like, say, the Aston Martin DB5.
David Brown himself kicked off the trend by having his own DB5 converted for dog-carrying duties, and customers were quick to say 'hey, I'd like a bigger boot too...'. Brown directed all such queries toward esteemed coachbuilders Radford, who stuck an extra 350kg-odd of steel and glass to the tail and beefed up the chassis to suit. In total, Radford built just a dozen DB5 shooting brakes (not including Brown's original), and subsequently four DB6s. So they may be heavier and less agile than the standard coupĂ©, and rather less elegant, but they have exclusivity on their side: when the DB5 was new, it sold for £4,412 (or £4,602 in Vantage spec), and Radford's conversion added an extra £2,000. All this at a time when the average UK house price was £3,600...
This exclusivity is reflected in today's values; a black DB5 shooting brake was sold by Bonhams in 2011 for £430,500. A lot of money, sure, but you can't put a price on being able to say 'yeah, this is what James Bond takes his hedge clippings to the tip in'.

Spotted at Aston Martin's centenary event in Kensington Gardens - click here for more photos

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