Desmond J. Smail
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Feature car

A wonderfully original 1964 Aston Martin DB5   £POA

DB5/1706/R left the Aston Martin factory in Newport Pagnell in September 1964 in its original colour scheme of Caribbean Pearl with Red Connolly. It was first registered to Messrs. M Berman Ltd of Leicester Square, famous as costumiers to the British theatre and film industry and headed by flamboyant owner Monty Berman MBE. 
After serving with the RAF in WW2 as a squadron leader, Monty Berman took over the family tailoring business, diversified into costumes and soon became London’s largest and best equipped theatrical costumiers. His list of clients encompassed some of the biggest names in movies including Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Katherine Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Roger Moore and Sean Connery! His costumes can be seen in many theatre productions, films and TV series, from Africa Queen and Dr Zhivago to Chariots of Fire and Dads Army, and most fittingly, many Bond movies!! He was passionate about the theatre and showbusiness and devoted much time to The Variety Club helping to raise funds for handicapped children and was rewarded with the Queens award for industry, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Film Institute and an MBE.
It is not clear how long Monty kept the car but it did appear at Aston Martin Works, Newport Pagnell in January 1967 for a new fan belt at 21,000 miles. Further records show that by 1979 it had come into the hands of a Mr Jaspers from The Netherlands. He entrusted it to UK Aston Martin Lagonda dealer Robin Hamilton to carry out some major mechanical restoration, so it is possible it had by that time had much use. It subsequently came back to the UK in 1989 when it was taken on by Mr Bolton of Bedford who sent it to Aston specialist Peter Austen Smith, PAS Mobile, in Olney. A few years earlier Peter’s apprentice was one Desmond Smail! Once again, the car was subject to some extensive mechanical work and had by this time had a colour change to Dubonnet Rosso.
Mr Bolton kept 1706 until 1993 when it came into Desmond’s hands and he then sold it to the current keeper. The new owner, being Editor of ’Popular Classics’ magazine at the time, thought it appropriate to own a classic car himself! The DB5 was used as a daily driver for the first few years of his ownership but eventually became more of a pleasure than a necessity. It has been maintained whenever necessary with no expense spared throughout his tenure, exclusively by Desmond J Smail Ltd. This included a full engine re-build in 2003, the car has only covered 3,000 miles since then!
This DB5 has been kept in a wonderfully original condition with sympathetic maintenance throughout and comes with a very comprehensive history file including many invoices, MOT’s, Heritage Certificate and manufacturers original build sheet.