The one-of-a-kind 1964 silver sports car with special 007 modifications became the quintessential Bond car when Sean Connery got behind the wheel in 1960s Bond classics Goldfinger and Thunderball.
Now, the classic has been snapped up at a London auction for US$4 million. It was not immediately clear who bought the DB5.
Peter Wallman, car specialist at RM Auctions, the auction house selling the car, told CNN. “I think, unquestionably, it’s the most famous car in the world.”
He called the sale a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The DB5 comes complete with all the original 007 specifications fitted to it by the Aston Martin factory for 1965’s Thunderball. They include front machine guns that shoot blanks, an ejector seat (that doesn’t work), radar navigation, a nail spreader, tire shredders, bullet shield and a revolving number plate.
The DB5 has only had one private owner, US radio station owner and philanthropist Jerry Lee. He bought it straight from the Aston Martin factory in 1969 for US$12 000. The self-confessed “huge” Bond fan says he’s kept the car at home in Pennsylvania in his “James Bond room” for the past 41 years.— BBCOnline.
Despite being close to half a century old, the DB5 only has 30 000 miles on the clock. Lee told CNN he has only driven the car once: “I drove it for two blocks in London. I think it’s a work of art,” he said. “It’s just pure beauty.”
Lee said he will put the proceeds from the sale towards the Jerry Lee Foundation, which he founded in 2007 to reduce crime.
Lee’s DB5 is the only surviving one of two cars used on screen in Goldfinger and Thunderball. The other car was reported stolen in 1997 and is thought to have been destroyed.
The car and all its gadgets are the brainchild of late special effects maestro John Stears, who won an Oscar for his work on Thunderball in 1966. He also worked on Star Wars and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
The average Aston Martin sells at auction for US$250 000- US$280 000. RM auctions says that this DB5’s sale price was a reflection of its special status.
“A standard Aston Martin is a very good-looking, glamorous (car). It’s a gentlemen’s club on wheels,” Wallman said. “(But the Bond DB5) isn’t just a car. It’s a trophy. It’s an icon.”
There was a crackle of excitement among the car enthusiasts on Tuesday in the London showroom where the DB5 was on show alongside 100 other cars including many other Aston Martins in an auction preview.