With its progression over the decades, Aston Martin’s DB series has earned critical acclaim and reputation to the British vehicle manufacturer. The purchase of Aston Martin by David Brown in 1947 heralded the company’s rebirth, and it was also the year that the DB initials were written in the name of this 72-year-old series.
The DB series of cars are best known for their appearances in James Bond films, the most famous of which is the DB5, which appeared in six Bond films. Apart from being James Bond’s favorite mode of transportation, the automobiles in the series have gotten positive reviews from critics.
Retrospectively Named: DB1 (1948-1950)
Following David Brown’s acquisition of the company, the DB1 was the company’s first-ever production. It was originally known as the Two-Liter Sports, but after the popularity of the DB series, it was renamed DB1 to reflect Brown’s firstborn position. The automobile was based on the company’s Atom concept model from 1939.
The vehicle was powered by Claude Hill’s 2-litre 4 cylinder pushrod engine and was built around a tubular space frame chassis. The DB1 had a top speed of 93 miles per hour and won its maiden race, the ‘1948 Spa 24 Hours.’ In total, fifteen DB1s were produced during its production period.
The First DB nameplate: DB2 (1950-1953)
The DB2 was the first automobile in the series to be officially given the DB initials. It was first shown at the New York Auto Show in 1950. Surprisingly, the vehicle’s engine was not built by Aston Martin.
Instead, a Bentley-built Lagonda 2.6-litre straight-six engine with 105 horsepower was installed in the engine bay.
This car’s chassis was designed as a closed two-seater coupe, and it ruled the racetrack just like its predecessor. In 1949 and 1950 Le Mans finished on the podium.
Four Seater DB2: DB2/4 (1953-1957)
Due to a larger chassis, this was basically another DB2 with two more rear seats. The two-seater DB2 coupe was transformed into a 2+2 hatchback sports saloon with this modification. However, because the rear seats were fairly small, it was not the most comfortable four-seater automobile, hence the 2/4 designation.
Initially, the same 2.6-liter engine was used, but upgrades raised output to 125 HP.
This engine was eventually replaced by a 2.9-liter straight-six engine, which increased the total power output to a respectable 140 horsepower and a top speed of 116.4 mph. The DB2/4 model was notable for its numerous body styles.
Customers could choose from a variety of styles, including special limited-edition spiders, fixed-head coupes, and drophead coupes. During its manufacturing, a total of 764 DB2/4s were produced.
DB Mark III, Revised Model with Iconic Grille (1957-1959)
Instead of releasing a DB3, Aston Martin altered many features of the earlier cars and released the new DB Mark III. This car played a significant role in the series’ evolution. Precisely, the Mark III was an upscaled DB2 with a unique design and upgraded engine, though the engine was revised in the latter part of the departed production.
The most notable feature of this car was the iconic Aston Martin front grille that remains as an identity of the series to date. It used the same 2.9-liter straight 6 Lagonda engine but with increased 162-178 HP horsepower due to a dual-exhaust system.
Down the line, it received an engine upgrade that made it capable of churning 195 HP with a top speed of 120 mph. The car also sported a modern interior, an optional automatic transmission, and disc brakes. 551 Mark IIIs were produced in its entire production span.
The Superleggera DB4 (1958-1963)
This car gave Aston Martin the reputation of designing beautiful vehicles. Technically an advanced version of Mark III, the DB4 was special because of its Touring-designed ‘Superleggera’ body made of aluminum panels and tubular space frame. The DB4 was also the first car that carried an engine designed entirely by Aston Martin.
The automobile had a 3.7-liter straight-six engine that produced 240 horsepower and had a top speed of 140 mph, with available improvements making it even quicker. The DB4 was available in five different styles, each with its own personality.
The DB4GT and DB4GT Zagato, two distinct body variants of the automobile, were also introduced. This was also Aston Martin’s first partnership with Zagato, the famed coachbuilder.
Bond’s Favourite: DB5 (1963-1965)
On the street, a grey Aston Martin DB5. Aston Martin DB5 in Grey. The Aston Martin DB5 is one of Hollywood’s classic cars and the main character in the James Bond film series. This car marked the beginning of a connection between Aston Martin and fictional British secret service agent James Bond. It was undoubtedly the most popular car in the series because it appeared in six Bond films, the first of which was Goldfinger and the last of which was Skyfall.
The DB5 was designed with several amazing espionage features including as whirling license plates, an oil slick dispenser, an ejector seat, and wheel-destroying spikes, but these were solely for the big screen.
Aside from that, the DB5 had a beautiful Superleggera body and a 4.0-liter straight-six engine with 282 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission was paired with the engine. The DB6 was the next car in the series, and it had most of the same features as its predecessors save for a ‘Kamm-tail’ rear.
First V8 Engine: DBS (1965-1970)
The DBS was notable because it signaled the end of retro-styled vehicles and the beginning of a new era with new-age stylistic elements. For example, instead of the traditional spherical characteristics of previous models, the car was given a boxy design, and a fastback tail was added.
The car was initially debuted with a 282 HP straight-six engine, but Aston Martin eventually offered a V8 engine with this version. As a result, the DBS was the first vehicle in the DB series to be equipped with a V8 engine. After a redesign in 1972, the automobile was dubbed Aston Martin V8, and it was featured in another Bond film.
The DB series was phased out of manufacturing after 1972, only to reappear in 1994 as the DB7 with a V8 engine, which was later replaced by a V12. This vehicle was also seen in the film ‘Quantum Of Solace.’ The DB9 was the next car, and it was one of the most popular in the series.
This car was created specifically to commemorate the release of the film ‘Spectre.’ The DB11 AMR, which was released in 2018, is the most recent and current running model in the DB series. This car is powered by a 5.2-liter V12 engine that produces 600 horsepower and has a top speed of 208 miles per hour.
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