The spirit of David Brown and the DB5 lives on in the Aston Martin GT Fastback. The spirit of 1960s classic cars like the Aston Martin DB5 can continue to live on in the form of a brand new sportscar, the David Brown Speedback GT. This beautiful automobile is on show in a temporary showroom in Chelsea, London.
The story of the Speedback GT starts with the vision of a man who's name happens to be the same as the name of the head of Aston Martin from 1947 to 1972, Sir David Brown.Whos initials DB are emblazoned and forever enshrined on the famous DB2, DB3, DB4, DB5, DB6, DB7, DB9 and DBS. The Speedback GT's David Brown is a successful British entrepreneur with a love for vintage cars, but like many car enthusiasts, he is not so keen on the (reliability of) vintage technology. And rather than fitting an old Jaguar E-Type with a new engine, Brown decided to build a completely new car, based on state-of-the-art technology but with the looks of all the vintage cars of yesteryear. Soon after starting this project, he realised many other similarly minded people might be interested in the car, so he sets up David Brown Automotive and designed the car to be produced in very limited numbers.
The end result is the incredibly impressive Speedback GT, a car that aims to please the eye, be easy to drive, but appeals to the people that have it all. To live up to the legend of Aston Martins of yesteryear, each part of this car needed to be perfect, the quality be of an extremely high level. So the Speedback GT is not only a beautiful car, but is made with the latest 3D sculpting technology, combined with countless man hours of skilled craftsmen. The body is comprised of 42 aluminium panels that are hammered, shaped and assembled by hand.
The design is of course the first thing that not only catches but holds the eye, and the Speedback GT offers plenty of eye candy. Chrome details, spoke rims, a large hood and short back, and the sensual lines of a classic Grand Tourer two-seater. Hardly anything of the exterior tells you that this is a modern car, only perhaps the slightly oversized modern wing mirrors.
The car is obviously greatly inspired by one of the most famous movie cars of all time, the Aston Martin DB5, although on closer inspection there are many differences with this style icon and other influences can be spotted as well, including those of 1960s Jaguars, Ferraris, Maseratis and Porsches.
Besides the overall similar shape of the DB5, there are some elements that clearly reference the DB5, for example the side vents with chrome stripe, the large air intake on the hood, the round headlights with smaller round parking/blinker lights below, and the shape of the rear lights.
You are probably wondering what is under that beautifully sculpted hood. No, it's not an Aston Martin engine, but the roaring 5.0 litre V8 of the latest Jaguar XKR, which has been supercharged to produce 500bhp at 6000rpm. It elegantly accelerates from 0-60 in 4.8 seconds. With a little extra weight compared to the XKR, the GT's not a pure racing machine, but as a Gran Tourer should, it will get you where ever you go fast enough and in style.
In fact not only the engine is based on an XKR. The chassis, drivetrain, automatic 6-speed gearbox, suspension and most other technical elements are taken from the powerful Jag. And it doesn't stop there: even the interior contains many technical elements of the Jaguar.
The benefits of these Jaguar influences are obvious: you can bring it to a local Jaguar dealership for maintenance and new parts will be easily available.
You can get yourself a brand new, customised Speedback GT for about £500,000 ex- taxes... which is almost the same price of a vintage Aston Martin DB5 (although the value of those is rising fast certain models fetching £1M). I guarantee you the Speedback GT will turn just as many heads as the DB5 and you will be much more comfortable, safer, on time and a lot faster. If I had the choice, I wouldn't have to think twice. But for those with a bit more spare cash, just get both.