For a large audience, its elegant and assertive lines subconsciously evoke a taste for adventure. The connoisseur’s eye is not mistaken and recognizes the legendary Aston Martin DB5, iconic film vehicle. Immerse yourself in the history of this exceptional vehicle that has marked the James Bond saga forever …
The very mention of the Aston Martin DB5 is a guarantee of combining the elegance of two worlds: luxury sports cars and the glamour of cinema. This car alone meets all the necessary criteria. The British manufacturer Aston Martin, founded in 1914 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford and bought by the industrialist David Brown, whose initials were to become the basis of the brand’s DB models, produced the first models in small series that enjoyed an excellent reputation among wealthy buyers until 1958. The DB5 marked its era by combining distinguished styling with powerful mechanicals, while displaying a chrome arrow on the front flanks, as well as an ‘upside down T’ grille. The latter is the most visible and characteristic feature of the brand. The design is not new, as it is based on the curved shape of the DB4.
More than 1,000 units of the DB5 were produced between 1963 and 1965, first as a coupé and a cabriolet, and then as a limited edition hunting estate. This new model, which succeeds the DB4 and precedes the DB6, is intended to be different from its predecessors to compensate for a lack of creativity. The factory called on the services of Carrozzeria Touring, a master of Italian bodywork at the time, to produce the aluminium bodywork using its “Superleggera” (super light) process.
All that remained for David Brown to do was to organise the promotion of his model and it was a masterstroke that he made his first appearance in Guy Hamilton’s 1964 film Goldfinger, starring Sean Connery, the third in the saga. She then appeared in six other James Bond films: Thunderball (1965), GoldenEye (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), Casino Royale (2006), Skyfall (2012) and 007 Spectre (2015).
James Bond’s car
This first car was created by special effects expert John Stears, based on the Aston Martin DB Mark 3 from Ian Fleming’s original 1959 novel Goldfinger. It is prepared and equipped by MI6’s ‘Q’ research and development section, with many gadgets for 007’s missions, including a retractable interchangeable number plate (BMT 216A (UK), 4711-EA-62 (France), or LU 6789 (Switzerland)), a double Browning 1919 calibre machine gun, a 30-06 Springfield behind the front indicators, telescopic spurs in the rear wheels, oil or smoke wall jets, an ejector passenger seat, bulletproof rear windows and removable shield… not forgetting the indispensable Champagne cooler in the armrest for the ladies. In short, it’s quite a list for the most famous British spy!
The DB5 quickly became the ‘James Bond car’ and was a huge success around the world. The brand’s popularity came enormously from the film and this ‘large-scale’ promotion overshadowed the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans victory by an Aston Martin DBR1, as well as the Constructors’ World Championship title won the same year.
The three copies used for the film were exhibited, depending on the model, at the 1964-1965 New York International Film Fair, at the London Film Museum in London County Hall and Covent Garden, and at the Louwman Museum in The Hague, Netherlands. One of the models was sold at auction in 2010 by Sotheby’s in London for £2.6 million (€3.3 million) but it was in August 2019 that Sotheby’s confirmed the sale of the car driven by Sean Connery for the modest sum of $6.4 million! The car was renovated in 2012 by Swiss company Roos Engineering, one of only 13 companies worldwide approved by Aston Martin to restore its cars.
If you’re so inclined, Aston Martin has announced plans to build 25 collectible DB5 007 replicas by 2020 at a reported cost of £2.7 million each. The DB5 still has a long way to go and is still being talked about…