James Bond is one of the most iconic fictional characters of all time. His movies are popular not only because of his intelligence and agility but also because of his highly innovative cars. Amongst all the vehicles that he drove, the 1965 Aston Martin DB5 is perhaps the most memorable one.
This car is dubbed as "the most famous car in the world" and will be appearing on the auction stage at RM Sotheby's in August with an estimate of US$4m - 6m. The car, in fact, is fitted with a Browning .30-caliber machine gun in each fender, wheel-hub-mounted tire slashers, a retractable rear bulletproof screen, revolving license plates, and a passenger-seat ejection system.
James Bond 1965 Aston Martin DB5
Buttons to control the car's functions
Red button to fire Browning .30-caliber machine guns
The car has a removable top
Even the car boot is equipped with different functions
Machine guns are hidden in the headlights
An oil-slick dispenser at the rear of the car
Wheel-hub-mounted tire slashers
Apart from its functions, the beauty of the vehicle also lies in its classic design. The car's story began in 1963 when the James Bond movie Goldfinger was made.
During the making of the film, Eon Production requested car manufacturer Aston Martin to produce a DB5 car, fully equipped with gadgetry.
Sean Connery played James Bond in Goldfinger
The vehicle's interior is in top condition
A box of prop weapons is hidden in the car
The car comes with an in-dash radar-tracking scope
A retractable rear bulletproof screen
This DB5's 13 original special-effects modification helped Jame Bond to escape from dangerous situations. Apart from the functions mentioned, the vehicle also comes with a telephone in the driver’s door utilised to communicate with MI6 headquarters.
A total of four DB5s were produced for the film. Two were used for stunt driving and chase sequences as well as interior shots and close-ups; the other two for promotional benefits for the next James Bond film Thunderball. The current lot belongs to the latter. One of the DB5s used for the former purposes is lost.
A still shot of DB5 from the movie Goldfinger
A still shot of DB5 from the movie Goldfinger, filmed in the rural area of Switzerland
This DB5 had three owners. The production company’s parent financier, the Swiss-based Danjac S.A., sold the two cars in 1969 to collector Anthony Bamford. Bamford then sold it to the owner of the Smokey Mountain Car Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The car was soon featured as the museum’s centerpiece. In 2006, the vehicle was sold again and landed in the hands of its present owner.
Sean Connery who played James Bond has also expressed his excitement on the sale of the car. He says that it seems like only yesterday that he was driving the car through the Swiss mountains and shredding the enemy's car tires. Recently, he has also purchased a fine DB5 himself.
Last year, Aston Martin announced the production of 25 James Bond DB5s, pricing each at £2.75m. Despite the expensive price, the reproduced model only comes with revolving license plates. All other functions must be fitted through modification.
After maintenance by its original manufacturer, the present DB5's gadgets are still usable. The only function that does not work is the passenger-seat ejection system. For all the James Bond fans, this original DB5 should be much more precious than the reproduced model.
1965 Aston Martin DB5 "Bond Car"
Produced in: 1965
Estimate: US$4,000,000 - 6,000,000 (£3,176,480 - 4,764,720)
Auction house: RM Sotheby's
Location: Monterey, California
Date: 15 - 17 August 2019