1965 Aston Martin DB5 James Bond Car

by | Aug 7, 2019

Photo Credit: Simon Clay ©2019 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

1965 Aston Martin DB5 James Bond Car

by | Aug 7, 2019

Photo Credit: Simon Clay ©2019 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

YEAR

1965

MODEL

DB5 James Bond Car

MANUFACTURER

Aston Martin

ESTIMATE (US)

$4,000,000 - $6,000,000

ENGINE NUMBER

400/1995

CHASSIS NUMBER

DB5/2008/R

AUCTION COMPANY

RM Sotheby's

AUCTION DATE

August 15
When Eon Productions approached Aston Martin to provide the car that would become James Bond’s iconic gadget-equipped sports car in the film Goldfinger, very few could have foreseen the enormous impact the Bond/Aston Martin partnership would have. Since then, the Aston Martin DB5 has been dubbed “The Most Famous Car In the World” and has become known as the most recognizable Aston Martin ever built.

This DB5 is the third of four examples built per the Goldfinger movie specs, and just one of two purchased for the launch of Thunderball. In one of the most memorable scenes from the Bond franchise, Q introduces 007 to the innumerable gadgets and spyware devices that have been added to the DB5. This example has undergone a full refurbishment, including ensuring all 13 of the original special effects modifications are fully functional.

John Stears served as the special effect expert on both Goldfinger and Thunderball. You may recognize Stears’s name: a little more than a decade later, he won an Academy Award for Best Special Effects for his work on the Star Wars franchise. He equipped Bond’s car with:

  • Front and rear hydraulic over-rider rams on the bumpers
  • A Browning .30-caliber machine gun in each fender
  • 18-inch wheel-hub-mounted tire slashers
  • A retractable rear bulletproof screen
  • An in-dash radar-tracking scope
  • Oil slick, caltrop and smoke screen dispensers
  • Revolving license plates (England, France and Switzerland)
  • A passenger-seat ejection system
  • A driver-door telephone used to communicate with MI6
  • A hidden weapon compartment under the driver’s seat

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Famed British collector Lord Bamford purchased the pair of Thunderball DB5s in 1969, and in 1971 sold this example to B.H Atchley, the owner of the Smoky Mountain Car Museum in Pigeon Forge, TN. The museum featured it as their centerpiece in pristine condition until it was auctioned in 2006. At that time, a significant portion of the car had not been refurbished.

Since then, the DB5 has undergone a complete restoration provided by Roos Engineering, one of only 13 facilities appointed as official Heritage Specialists by Aston Martin. No expense was spared as the chassis, body and special effects were properly refurbished to function as they were originally built.

This Aston Martin DB5 truly is a cultural icon, and the opportunity to own all of Bond’s working bells and whistles will undoubtedly bring plenty of attention to the auction block. As historian Stephen Archer remarked after riding in the DB5 in 1965, “The DB5 is a special Aston, but this one has an aura all of its own. Just to be in its presence is exciting.”

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