A gadget-laden Aston Martin DB5 could become the most expensive piece of James Bond-related memorabilia ever when it is offered at auction in America in August.
The fully restored 1965 DB5, used on the North American promotional tour for Bond film Thunderball, is to be put under at the hammer by the manufacturer’s official auction partner, RM Sotheby’s, in Monterey on August 15. It’s the star lot in a one-make auction evening, titled ‘An Evening With Aston Martin’ which will see more than 30 Astons offered.
The Bond DB5’s story started in 1963, when Aston Martin loaned two cars out for the filming of Goldfinger. The movie really propelled the DB5 into superstardom, with a Corgi model of the car becoming the best-selling toy of 1964. Goldfinger’s success both as a film but also as a marketing tool meant two more cars were ordered for Thunderball’s release. Not only is the Monterey car one of them, it’s also one of just three remaining cars in total, as the first Bond DB5 has been lost since 1997.
Wearing chassis number DB5/2008/R, the Aston was fitted with the full complement of 007 gadgets – 13 of them, and they all still work. They include front and rear hydraulic over-rider rams on the bumpers, Browning .30 calibre machine guns in both wings, wheel-hub mounted tyre-slashers and smoke screen dispensers. You also get those famous revolving number plates, and a passenger-seat ejection system.
This particular DB5 stands out amongst the other gadget-laden examples for its minimal chain of owners – just three parties can lay previous claim to the car, including a museum curator for 35 years of its life. Dubbed ‘The most famous car in the world’ in a 1993 book, the Aston is estimated at $4m-$6m (£3.2m-£4.8m). If it reaches that target it will surpass the £2.9m paid for a Bond DB5 in 2010.