Aug 04 2020

There Are Some Fantastic Alternatives To A DB5 Restoration Project. Here's Our Take.

Some Alternatives to DB5 Restoration Projects - They Do Exist!

Cards on the table, the cost of a full restoration of a barn-find classic Aston Martin DB5 is not for the faint-hearted; even buying a car in need of complete restoration is going to cost around £400k. It’s a rich man’s game.

The thing is, finding a DB5 in that state is rare, so funding the restoration isn't even the biggest challenge.

But there are some utterly fantastic alternatives that will get you into a beautiful classic Aston Martin for a lot less money. Here’s our take on it.

aston martin v8 vantage

Wallet-Friendly DB5 Alternatives

For starters, don’t dismiss left-hand drive (LHD) cars. For example, LHD DB6’s are now very desirable, in fact, they are worth more than RHD cars. So if you come across one in need of some work, it’s well worth considering.

As an example, we’ve got an LHD DB6 Vantage in just now. It’s got air con, the paintwork is OK, and the leather is more than acceptable. It needs some carpets and some mechanical work, but the end result will be an investment of about half the price of a DB5 because it was less expensive to buy and only needs a partial restoration.

 DB6 aston martin interior

Did We Mention How Much We Love DB4’s?

DB4’s are also a great option. Readers of our blog know how much we love these cars (here's why we love DB4s by the way). A fully restored DB4 Series I will cost around £450k in the current market (June 2020) which is perhaps £300k less than a DB5. We love these cars, and if you’re lucky enough to find one on need of some work, they are a great way to get into classic Aston Martin ownership.

DB4 Restoration Wheel

The DBS 6 Cylinder Is A Cracker

Then there’s the 6-cylinder DBS. These cars are becoming increasingly desirable, so much so that they are now fetching similar money to a DB6. For example, a fully restored car might cost around £350k, but again, that’s about half the cost of a DB5.

Although only 787 DBS’s were produced, including the later V8 model, considerably fewer than the number of DB5’s, they haven’t been as sought after until now so cars in need of rescue are still out there and can be had for sensible money, relatively speaking.

V8 Bargains Are Out There

V8’s can also be worth considering. Between 1969 and 1989 over 4000 of these cars were built. The good news is there are cars out there in need of partial or full restorations for sensible money. An excellent and very usable V8 can be bought for around £80k. With a proper maintenance plan and some phased restoration that’s only going to go up.

We recently saw a very nice V8 in AutoTrader for a little over £50k. It clearly needed some TLC, but the work required could be been done in stages and the car driven and enjoyed in between.

We’ve Considered DB7’s Cheap For A While

If you’re keen to get into an Aston on an even tighter budget, and you’re willing to take a gamble on it increasing in value, don’t rule out the DB7. DB7’s are very cheap just now, and you’re getting a lot of Aston Martin for your money.

Working with the right Aston Martin restoration specialist, you’ll own a car you can enjoy without putting a dent in your wallet. Also, it’s common for DB7’s to be used as daily drivers if you can live with the fuel consumption. There are some areas prone to corrosion that will need sorting, but DB7’s are mechanically excellent and reliable cars. We rarely see engine issues, the gearboxes, manual or automatic, are great, and the diffs are pretty much bomb proof. With the potential to be a future classic, the Aston Martin DB7 is increasingly looking like a sound and enjoyable investment.

Now Is The Time

In fact, now is a good time to consider an Aston Martin investment across the range. Prices have eased, there’s a decent stock of cars available, and, likely, prices are only going to go one way.

There’s one other thing we’d like to mention, although it’s a little delicate in nature.

Partial Restoration Is Sometimes All That’s Needed

Some classic Aston specialists over egg the work required to bring a car up to standard. We recently did a top-end DB5 overhaul resulting in an engine that’s now good for 100k miles. The owner had previously been told by another specialist that a full engine rebuild was required.

We’re not suggesting the other company were being disingenuous, but with our expertise, we quickly established that only a top-end rebuild was needed and the difference in cost was significant.

Just like when we carry out a pre-purchase Aston Martin inspection, we’ll always assess a car and create a prioritised list of work required. When we do this, we concentrate on the problem areas needing immediate action and separate that from non-essential work that won’t affect the owner’s enjoyment of the vehicle. We’ve turned average cars into top cars for a lot less than full resto costs.

Own An Aston You’re Happy To Drive

And finally, another benefit of the phased approach to restoration is the car will be more usable and less of an ornament. We often see cars that we have brought up to the very highest standard get wrapped in cotton wool and stored away. Now, we understand why people do this, but Aston Martins are built to drive, no matter their age.

DB6 restored example

When considering classic Aston ownership, it’s too easy to look at the DB5, decide it’s too pricey and look at other marques instead. The truth is there’s an Aston Martin out there that you’ll love owning that will suit your budget and give you just as much pleasure.

If you’re considering Aston ownership for the first time, call us for a chat, and we’ll help you understand what’s available. If you’ve seen a car you’re thinking of buying and want the peace of mind of knowing a classic Aston Martin expert has given it the once over, we can help with that as well.

There’s never been a better time to get into an Aston Martin

P&L has a depth of experience and knowledge that puts us in an elite group of independent Aston Martin specialists. If you’d like to discuss any Aston Martin repair, restoration or upgrade work for your classic or modern Aston, either give us a call or fill in the form at the bottom of this page. Our reputation is built on engineering excellence and first-class customer service; we look forward to looking after your Aston Martin.

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