“Bond. James Bond.” For those who’ve always fantasized about being able to speak that familiar line, they can now lay claim to another feature from one of Agent 007’s most iconic adventures.
Working with the special effects team from the most recent James Bond film, Aston Martin has recreated the classic DB5 that originally appeared in “Goldfinger,” and it plans to offer 25 full-size reproductions that, the British marque claims, will include an assortment of “working gadgets.” Those will include “revolving number (license) plates and more,” we’re told, though Aston isn’t ready to reveal whether that also includes the machine guns and ejector seat Bond had at the ready.
“The connection between Aston Martin and James Bond is something of which we are very proud and it is remarkable that the DB5 remains the definitive James Bond car after so many years,” said Aston CEO Andy Palmer. “To own an Aston Martin has long been an aspiration for James Bond fans, but to own a Silver Birch DB5, complete with gadgets and built to the highest standards in the very same factory as the original James Bond cars? Well, that is surely the ultimate collectors’ fantasy.”
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The DB5 was actually the third car that Sean Connery – the original Bond – drove on the silver screen, making its debut in “Goldfinger,” to many fans the single most iconic of all the super-spy’s adventures. It went on to appear in a number of the early films, including Thunderball, Golden Eye and Tomorrow Never Dies. And it resurfaced in the reboot of the 007 franchise, starring Daniel Craig as Bond.
In 2012’s “Skyfall,” 007 needs to whisk his boss, Dame Judi Densch’s M, to safety and reveals the old DB5 stored away in a garage. It plays an integral role, with guns blazing, in the film’s finale before being shot to pieces. It was resurrected for the most recent film, “SPECTRE.”
The DB5 itself is one of the most iconic of Aston Martin models, debuting in 1963 and continuing in production through 1965. All told, just over 1,000 of the cars were produced during that run in three different body styles: a 2+2 coupe, a convertible, and a two-door wagon or, as the British prefer, a “shooting brake.” Bond drove the coupe – a slight concession to 007 author Ian Fleming’s original vision, which had the secret agent piloting an Aston DB Mark III. The film required two of the Astons, one for “beauty shots,” the other for Bond’s stunts.
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Over the course of the various films, a number of DB5s stood in. But one of those cars, which was used in both “Goldfinger” and “Thunderball,” went across the auction block in 2010, drawing a winning bid of $4.6 million when commissions were included.
Each Bond film finds 007 armed with a variety of new gadgets, and the DB5 itself was re-outfitted repeatedly. The 25 continuation cars, however, are being modeled specifically after the version of the Aston coupe used in “Goldfinger.”
To effort to keep it authentic “will extend to include functioning gadgets such as revolving number plates and more, which were made famous in Goldfinger,” Aston said in a statement. “The gadgets will be co-developed with Oscar-winner Chris Corbould, special effects supervisor from the James Bond films. Officially sanctioned by Aston Martin and EON Productions, all the Goldfinger edition cars will be produced to one specification – Silver Birch paint – just like the original.”
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Unlike the original, however, the Aston continuation model will not be street legal. Probably best that way considering all the gadgets onboard. We’ll have to wait a while to learn how many of them will actually show up in the version Corbould is working up.
This isn’t the first time a Bond DB5 replica appeared. During the year after the debut of the original film, toy carmaker Corgi sold about 2.5 million of the die-cast model.
The 25 continuation cars will be a bid more expensive, however, Aston listing the price at £2,750,000 pounds, or about $3,510,000 at today’s exchange rate.