- James Bond’s 1965 Aston Martin DB5 is going up for auction at RM Sotheby’s “An Evening with Aston Martin” on August 15 as part of the Monterey auction week.
- The car is fitted with fully-functioning gadgets such as two hidden front-facing machine guns in the fenders and bulletproof windows from its time as a promotion prop for the Bond movie, “Thunderball.”
- Sotheby’s projects the car will fetch upwards of $US6 million dollars at the auction.
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Super-spy James Bond’s 1965 Aston Martin DB5 is up for auction this week, and it could be yours – bulletproof windows and all.
The auctioneer estimates the car to sell between $US4 to $US6 million when the hammer finally falls during its “An Evening with Aston Martin” event on August 15 as part of the 2019 Monterey auctions in Monterey, California.
After all, it’s the “most famous car in the world” according to auctioneer RM Sotheby’s, quoting author Dave Worrall, who wrote a book on the car.
The DB5 had its 10 minutes and 21 seconds of fame in the Oscar-winning 1964 film “Goldfinger” starring Sean Connery as James Bond, according to Leasing Options. It was then used again in “Thunderball” with the additional fitting of a jet pack in the trunk and rear-firing water cannons. Bond movie production company Eon Productions also purchased two more DB5s for “Thunderball” promotional uses, which is how this example came into existence.
Two almost identical DB5s were built and loaned to Eon Productions with fictional MI6 Q-Branch specifications for the “Goldfinger.” One was used for stunt driving, and the other for interior and close-up shots. The second was fitted with gadgets such as a Browning .30 calibre machine gun on each fender, wheel-hub mounted tire-slashers, a bulletproof screen, in-dash radar tracking scopes, smoke screen dispensers, passenger-seat ejection system, a hidden compartment under the driver’s seat, and more.
These gadgets in this car still fully-functioning as they were built by Aston Martin itself to be more durable. The vehicle being auctioned is one of the three surviving DB5s used by Eon.
The success of “Goldfinger” translated to success for Aston Martin. DB5 sales surged after the release of the film, according to Sotheby’s.
“These DB5s are amazing – I remember the Furka Pass tire shredding as well as the promotional events with these cars – they have become increasingly iconic since Goldfinger and Thunderball, in fact, I bought a very fine DB5 myself relatively recently,” Connery said in a prepared statement for Sotheby’s.
The DB5s purchased for Thunderball were sold by Eon in 1969. This example changed hands three times, and was featured in a car museum in Tennessee for 35 years, Sotheby’s says. The historical vehicle has since been restored, refinished, and refurbished to Aston Martin Heritage’s standards for this year’s auction.
“No other car in history has played a more important leading role on film and in pop culture than the Aston Martin DB5,” said RM Sotheby’s Car Specialist Barney Ruprecht in a prepared statement.
“The DB5 is the iconic cornerstone of a marketing relationship that still exists to this day-with the model’s collectible status rooted largely in its 007 fame-and we look forward to exciting car and film enthusiasts alike in the lead up to the auction.”
Two DB5’s were made for the 1964 James Bond film “Goldfinger”, but only one of them was fitted with the gadgets. The other was used for stunts.
The car was featured in “Goldfinger” for 10 minutes and 21 seconds. It was also used in “Thunderball” with the addition of a jet pack and water cannons. Two more DB5s were also ordered for “Thunderball” promotional uses, one of which is the car for sale now.
The car still has a large collection of fully-functioning gadgets, including bulletproof windows, dual machine guns, an ejector seat, a tracking display, a smokescreen, and tire slashers.
The DB5 is one of two car types fitted with Bond gadgets designed by special effects expert John Stears.
Stears also worked special effects for films like “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” and “The Mask of Zorro”, according to IMBD.
The car was restored, refinished, and refurbished by Aston Martin-approved Roos Engineering.
It will be auctioned at RM Sotheby’s “An Evening with Aston Martin” on August 15 during the Monterey auction, where it will likely sell for millions of dollars.
The historical vehicle was on display in the lobby of Sotheby’s York Avenue global headquarters in New York for July.
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