What would you say is the world's most famous individual car? KITT from Knight Rider? Mr. Bean's Mini? The General Lee? For anyone born prior to the mid 70's, the answer would probably be "The '64 James Bond Aston Martin DB5." Driven by Sean Connery in the classics Goldfinger and Thunderball, it featured a long list of spy gadgetry, and is considered by many to still be the quintessential Bond car. This fall, for the first time ever, the silver beauty will be put up for auction. Start saving now, because it is expected to fetch over US$5 million.
There were actually two cars used in the 007 films. A late-series DB4 was used for close-ups, while a DB5 was used for the fast-driving scenes. Aston Martin loaned both cars to EON Productions for the filming of the movies, after which they were returned to the factory. In 1969, American radio broadcaster Jerry Lee convinced Aston Martin to sell the DB5 to him for $12,000. It has remained in his possession ever since. He is selling it now to raise money for his multi-national crime-prevention charity, the Jerry Lee Foundation.
In the movies, the car featured Q-Branch "optional extras" such as machine guns, a bullet-proof shield, revolving license plates, an ejector passenger seat, oil slick sprayer, nail spreader, smoke screen, and totally awesome spur-like wheel hubs that extended outwards to shred the tires of other cars. They were all controlled by gloriously now-retro toggle switches hidden in the center arm rest. Although the stunt car didn't actually have any of these features when the movies were being filmed, they were added soon after for publicity tours. Two other DB5's also did the tour circuit, although they were never used in the filming of either movie.
FMP 7B, as it is known for its original UK registration number, will be put on the block by RM Auctions on October 27th at London's Stoke Park Club. In the movies, Stoke Park was the scene of the first confrontation between James Bond and Mr. Goldfinger.
Oh, and here's a tantalizing tidbit - the other Goldfinger/Thunderball car, the DB4, was stolen in 1997 and is still missing. So hey, if you miss out on the DB5, there's still a chance...
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