A 1965 Aston Martin DB5 which was used to promote the James Bond movie ‘Thunderball’ has now sold for a whopping £5.26 million!
In our present turbulent times, there is some evidence of an upsurge in adults choosing to read more classic children’s literature and fantasy feel-good books. It’s a combination of nostalgia and a perceived need to try to escape the overwhelming assault of news that can now get at us from every angle – from more than just the traditional ITV or BBC ten o’clock each night.
It might be safe to assume that the same can be said for movies, and one of the best at combining nostalgia and escapism has to be the never-ending (thankfully) James Bond franchise. We argue about who is the best James Bond from Roger Moore to Sean Connery to Daniel Craig, and we even argue about what sex the next Bond should be (according to producer Barbara Broccoli, James Bond will always be male in case you are wondering). Back in the late sixties, Corgi fed our fascination with the James Bond car with their James Bond Aston Martin DB5 (from Goldfinger) in 1968 – still the best selling Corgi car ever.
But nothing can compensate for the real thing, and now one lucky owner can drive his very own 1965 Aston Martin James Bond DB5 thanks to winning a Monterey classic car auction that topped out at an eye-watering $6.4 million (about £5.2 million).
The car comes complete with tyre slashing devices, nail spreaders and a smokescreen for a stealthy getaway – and if that doesn’t work, the one we all remember that put a smile on our faces; rotating licence plates controlled by an internal knob marked ‘B-S-F’ (‘British’, ‘Swiss’ and ‘French’). Upfront behind the indicators are Browning 30-caliber machine guns that make a convincing ‘bang’, although they don’t actually fire real bullets. Like the Corgi model, it also has a rear pop-up bulletproof screen. Surprisingly, the car is completely street legal too, though we wouldn’t recommend engaging the defensive oil spreader while going about your daily business.
This car was one of two DB5 Astons used to promote Thunderball (the 1965 Bond film that followed Goldfinger) starring Sean Connery. That other DB5 resides in the Louwman Museum in the Netherlands, where it sits as the main attraction among the world’s oldest private classic car collection.
A few years ago in 2010, an Aston Martin DB5 that was actually used in the filming of Goldfinger sold for $4.6 million, and at the time we all thought this was going to be hard to beat. So why did this one sell for so much more? It’s hard to say, but as I said at the beginning, nostalgia is increasingly big business these days and Goldfinger and Thunderball really are the two iconic Aston Martin Bond films that we all remember with such a lot of affection.
Barney Ruprecht, a Car Specialist at Sotheby’s, says that while they are thrilled with the auction, it also shows that this James Bond Aston Martin is surely the most famous car in the world. Sean Connery himself had been keeping an eye on the auction, having only recently bought a DB5 for his own personal use.
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