James Bond enthusiasts who benefit from the Midas touch will be interested in this recently delivered piece of intelligence: Aston Martin has revealed more details on its partnership with EON Productions to build 25 recreations of what is possibly the most famous car in the world: the DB5 featured in the 1964 Bond film Goldfinger.
The first cars are due to be delivered next year and will feature an array of gadgets just like those that wowed cinema-goers when they were first glimpsed 55 years ago.
Created by Bond film special-effects guru Chris Corbould, the decidedly unusual extras are expected to include a rear-mounted smokescreen delivery system, simulated front machine guns, bullet-resistant front and rear battering rams and, of course, the all-important revolving number plates that no self-respecting international man of mystery can do without.
Inside the car, owners will find a telephone mounted in the driver’s door (not, of course, of the smartphone variety), a weapons tray hidden beneath the driver’s seat and a simulated radar screen. The celebrated switchgear for the passenger ejection seat will also be offered – but will not be “live”.
Just 898 original DB5s were built at Aston’s Newport Pagnell works between 1963 and 1965. Helped by the 007 association, the car is one of the most sought-after of all British classics with the best regularly commanding £700,000 – although a 1964 example, once owned by Paul McCartney, fetched £1.34m at Bonhams in December 2017.
Each of the 25 Goldfinger recreations will be meticulously built from the ground up at the Aston Martin Works – brand-new cars, not restorations – and will be available only in the same Silver Birch paintwork that adorned the original. But, despite a price tag of £2.75m plus taxes, they will not be road legal, partly due to the gadgetry.
Ironically, one of the DB5s actually driven by Sean Connery in both Goldfinger and Thunderball was sold at auction in 2010 for a hammer price of £2.6m (around £3m with buyer’s premium) to American museum owner Harry Yeaggy. It was sold by Philadelphia broadcasting boss Jerry Lee – who bought it directly from Aston Martin in 1969 for $12,000.