Paul McCartney's Aston DB5 sells for £1.3m with Bonhams at Bond Street sale

04th December 2017
Bob Murray

The summer of ’64, and just before the Beatles head off for their US tour Paul McCartney treats himself to a new car. He orders it in Sierra Blue with black leather interior, ticks the options boxes for manual ‘box, Selectaride dampers and electric aerial, and pays £3,800 10s 0d, plus £793 of Purchase Tax. Now Sir Paul’s Aston Martin DB5 has been sold again… for £1.345 million. 


The 1964 coupe – now a more James Bondish Silver Birch since its restoration 2600 miles ago – is thought to have been Sir Paul’s first Aston. He kept it six years and is said to have been a big fan.

A Time magazine profile of Paul back in the day memorably captured the flavour of the era thus: ‘Bachelor Paul, 25 (his favorite "bird" is 21-year old actress Jane Asher) is a movie addict, loves "the look of London" and tools around town in a spiffy blue Aston Martin DB5'.

One point three mill (including premium) for the spiffy Aston is not the highest DB5 price ever but it is up there, reflecting not just its provenance but also its 2017 restoration to concours standard, complete with that colour change and bigger 4.2-litre straight six.

One original feature was retained and is now said to be working again: the Philips record player that McCartney had fitted in period. It’s not known if Sir Paul composed any songs in the DB5 as he is said to have done with Hey Judein his DB6 some years later.


A pop star provenance has long been an appealing prospect for car collectors, and the Aston wasn’t the only famous machine to cross the block at the Bonhams Bond St Sale on December 2nd. Ringo Starr’s 1966 Radford-gentrified Mini Cooper S also found a new home. Ringo’s luxury baby sold for £102,300 including the premium, going to a new home after 40 years of single-family ownership. 

A couple of Bentleys with the name of Sir Elton John in the logbook were sold; a 1960 S2 Continental Flying Spur for £180,700, and a 1959 S1 Continental saloon with HJ Mulliner bodywork – latterly owned by Sir Alan, now Lord, Sugar – which went for £366,666. 

Jim Prideaux was no pop star but the Cold War spy in John Le Carré's Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy did have impeccable taste in cars: he drove an Alvis. The car used in the BBC TV adaptation of the book, a 1937 4.3-litre Short Chassis tourer with coachwork by Vanden Plas and one of only 12 built, was sold by Bonhams for £505,500. 

Hope it’s going to a safe house…

  • Bonhams

  • Bond Street

  • Aston Martin

  • Bentley

  • Mini

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