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James Bond's Aston Martin DB5

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Kevin ''Crash'' Corrigan
Just about any James Bond car is worthy of a place on my list of famous TV & film automobiles: the Mach 1 Mustang from Diamonds Are Forever, the Bentley Mk IV used in From Russia With Love, or even the submersible Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me. However, one car stands head and shoulders above all others, his silver Aston Martin DB5.

James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5
Photo: Aston Martin

With his sultry highland voice, Sean Connery captivated his female audiences in the 1964 movie Goldfinger, whilst every man and boy-child in the theatre dreamed of slipping behind the wheel of that drop-dead gorgeous Aston Martin. And who could blame them? If its classic 60s styling didn’t grab you, the long list of “optional extras” certainly did. Bulletproof glass, front-mounted machine guns and that super-cool ejector seat! Boy, what I’d give to have one or two of those gadgets fitted to my vehicle today!

Of course, author Ian Fleming had always planned on Bond piloting an Aston, as they’re fondly referred to in Britain. In the original novel, Bond drove a DB Mark III. However, by the time the film came to be shot, it was decided that James should pilot the company`s latest creation, the DB5. In fact, the main vehicle used in the film was an original factory DB5 prototype. A standard production version was also used in the movie and two stage-dressed vehicles were built specifically for promotional work.

The DB5 was quite the sports car in its day. The company boasted that it had 282 hp and the vehicle was supposedly capable of reaching 147 mph. I say this as car companies were well known back then for exaggerating these numbers.

In 1963, a new DB5 would set you back a whopping £4,248, or the cost of a pretty glamorous residence in swinging London, but James must have liked the car as it appeared in several other Bond movies, including Thunderball, Goldeneye and Tomorrow Never Dies. Of course, it was a totally different DB5 which appeared in the 2006 movie Casino Royale, as is readily noticeable, the steering wheel was positioned on the wrong side (it was a left-hand drive as opposed to the right-hand British-market versions previously used).

Today, a half-decent DB5 will set you back close to $250,000, but that’s still cheaper than the last Bond car to come up for sale. That vehicle sold at RM Auctions in 2010 and fetched over $4 million US.

Yes, Bond may have owned several impressive automobiles over the years, but the number one simply has to be his Aston Martin DB5, and I still yearn to drive one!

James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5
Photo: RM Auction