In 1946, David Brown answered a classified ad in the London Times selling a «High Class Motor Business» for £30,000. That business turned out to be Aston Martin, which Brown bought a year later for £20,500. According to the Bank of England, he paid nearly £600,000 in today’s dollars, about $736,000 U.S. He didn’t do a bad job with it, attaching his name to the DB series of sports cars from DB1 to DB6 and DBS that won Le Mans and became the preferred choice of real royalty and a fictional secret agent, buying Lagonda to get the straight-six engine for Aston Martin that had been designed by W.O. Bentley, and setting up the coachworks at Newport Pagnell, still considered the historic home of hand-built Astons. All of this, along with wartime contributions on the tractor side, helped make him Sir David Brown, and one of his cars is for sale.
Brown’s daily driver was allegedly a Jaguar XJ because of its friendlier running costs compared to his company’s products, so there won’t be too many ex-David Brown Aston Martins around. He ordered this DB5 Convertible in Caribbean Pearl with a Navy Blue interior and matching top a year after the model hit the market, when Aston Martin began selling it with the new five-speed ZF transmission. The droptop also got a Motorola radio, chrome wire wheels, and the 3.77:1 Power Lock rear differential. He held onto chassis DB5C/1273/R for three years before passing it on to an Aston Martin garage proprietor, who took excellent care of it. A full overhaul in 2014 rebuilt all of the mechanicals, retrimmed the interior, and applied a new paint job from the metal up.
Just over 99,000 miles have accrued on the chassis to now. UK specialist shop Nicholas Mee sold this car in 1994, and is doing so again with an asking price of £1,150,000 ($1.4 million U.S.). That sum includes a fresh service, registration, a 12-month warranty, and original accessories like the tool roll, mallet, jack, and owner’s manual.