This is an original Aston Martin DB5 nose section, it was made by hand at Aston Martin’s Newport Pagnell factory under license from Carrozzeria Touring, using their proprietary Superleggera technique.
“Superleggera” is an Italian term that translates to “super light” in English. It’s a construction technique that was pioneered by the Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring in the 1930s. It involves constructing a supporting structure for the car’s body out of small-diameter steel tube that forms a structural skeleton, this is then covered with thin, lightweight aluminum body panels.
A number of historically significant one-off cars and series production vehicles have been produced using the Superleggera technique – including the Aston Martin DB4, DB5, and DB6. Other examples include the 166, 195, 212, and 340 Ferraris, the Pegaso Z-102, the Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 Mille Miglia, the Lamborghini 350 GT, the BMW 328 Touring Roadster, and many others.
As unibody construction became more and more common classic coachbuilders like Touring needed to evolve to stay relevant, and the Superleggera method of building automotive bodies largely fell by the wayside. The name is now still used under license by Aston Martin to denote special lighter-weight performance models – even though they aren’t built using actual Superleggera architecture.
There are some coachbuilders who still use variations of the Superleggera method on one-off builds or limited production runs, though they don’t use the specific name due to the fact that it’s trademarked. One such builder is MotoRRetro out of Sydney, Australia who are working on the limited production Rinato 5000GT.
The Aston Martin DB5 front end you see here is, as noted above, an original piece made by hand by Aston Martin craftsmen. Exactly how it came to be separated from its original car, with its paint stripped off, isn’t explained in the listing – all we know is that it’s in good condition overall, it’s been repaired/welded, and that the cooling ducts are intact.
It’s currently being offered for sale out of Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom on Collecting Cars. It will most likely be bought by someone who is restoring a DB5 or who wants a spare nose section for their own car, though it would also make a fantastic display piece exactly as it is now.
If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can visit the listing here.
Images courtesy of Collecting Cars
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