An original James Bond "Goldfinger" Aston Martin DB5 heads for auction
One could be excused for thinking that the market for gadget-laden Bond-style Aston Martin DB5 automobiles could become a trifle crowded in the next year or two. Aston Martin has plans to produce 28 Bond DB5 replicas at $3.5 million each and now one of the original movie cars from Goldfinger is heading to auction during Monterey Car Week.
Last year Aston Martin announced it would build 28 Bond DB5 replicas with all the original spy gadgets presented by Gadgetmeister Q (Desmond Llewelyn) and subsequently used to spectacular effect by James Bond (Sean Connery) in the 1964 blockbuster movie Goldfinger ... at £2.75 million (US$3.5 million) apiece. Of the 28, 25 will be for sale, with a further three cars built for EON Productions, Aston Martin, and another to be auctioned for charity.
This week it was announced that one of the original three extant silver DB5s used in Goldfinger is heading to auction during Monterey Car Week in August, and despite having the authenticity of being a genuine movie car, it might not fetch much more than the store bought offerings from Aston Martin, with the official RM-Sotheby's estimate expecting it to sell between $4,000,000 and $6,000,000.
The Silver Birch DB5 going to auction in Monterey has been to auction before, selling for $2,100,000 in 2006, which at that time was a record for a screen-used Bond DB5.
In 2010, another of the three DB5 cars used in Goldfinger sold for £2,912,000 (US$4,595,998), which still holds the record for the most expensive piece of Bond memorabilia ever sold. Provenance is a key determinant at auction, as can be verified by American broadcasting boss Jerry Lee who bought that $4.6-million car for $12,000 in 1969.
Last year another Silver DB5 used in the Bond movie GoldenEye (with Pierce Brosnan as Bond) sold for £1,961,500 (US$2,592,347). The GoldenEye DB5 previously sold at auction in 2001 for £157,750 (US$210,600), a record for a Bond car at that time.
In GoldenEye, it was the car used in the opening scenes as Bond races the villainess Xenia Onatopp in her red Ferrari F355 GTS at high speed on the winding roads in the hills above Monaco. Though the new DB5 did not have the machine guns, revolving number plates, extending rams, or ejector seats of the original, it did have a champagne cooler and a built-in fax machine disguised as an Alpine 7817R CD Tuner. It had also been displayed at the British National Motor Museum and the "Bond in Motion" exhibition at Covent Garden, so its provenance was rich indeed for the price.
Time will tell if Aston Martin has over-reached with the $3.5-million price tag for its Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation models, and whether the fame of the Bond movie cars is on the wane.
In 1965 alone, toy manufacturer Corgi sold 2.5 million die-cast models of the 007 Aston Martin, and the car was subsequently reprised in other Bond movies such as Thunderball, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, Casino Royale, Skyfall and Spectre.
With 28 new replicas on the market at $3.5 million apiece, it's a perfect scenario to illustrate the value of provenance.
That's Sean Connery above with his most famous car during the filming of Goldfinger.