Fans of James Bond films know that the cars British super-spy 007 drives are often centerpieces in the best scenes of the movies. The most famous James Bond car is undoubtedly the legendary Aston Martin DB5, first driven by Sean Connery in the 1964 movie “Goldfinger.” In the film, 007 pilots a silver DB5 reconfigured by Q, the mechanical genius of MI-6 R&D, containing a raft of cool gadgets including rotating license plates, machine guns, a bulletproof shield and a famous ejector seat. Today British automaker Aston Martin announces the completion of the first operational version of secret agent 007’s James Bond Aston Martin DB5.
The Aston Martin DB5 Bond car became so famous after “Goldfinger” that British toymaker Corgi created a die-cast model replete with many of these special spy features. In its first year on the market, 2.5 million toy DB5s were sold, confirmation of the movie car’s popularity. Since then the DB5 has been featured in six additional Bond movies, most recently in 2015’s “Spectre” starring Daniel Craig.
A few fortunate Bond fans will be able to obtain something a bit larger than a 1:43 scale die-cast model of Agent 007’s Aston Martin DB5. Under the Aston Martin Goldfinger DB5 Continuation Project, engineers are building a limited number of DB5 Goldfinger cars. This special DB5 includes functioning gadgets co-developed with Oscar-winner Chris Corbould, special effects supervisor from the James Bond films. Officially sanctioned by Aston Martin and EON Productions, the first of 25 cars has been completed.
Creating a real vehicle with all the operational gadgetry of a proper James Bond DB5 is no simple task. Said Corbould, “The main challenge has been to recreate the gadgets from the film world and transfer them into a consumer product. We have license in the film world to ‘cheat’ different aspects under controlled conditions. For instance, we might have four different cars to accommodate four different gadgets. We obviously don’t have that luxury on these DB5’s as all the gadgets have to work in the same car all the time,” Corbould explained.
Although the ejector seat was a hard no from engineers for obvious reasons (although the roof on the passenger side does open up), this new DB5 has all other gadgets for the world-class spy. The list of special features includes a rear-facing smoke delivery system, a simulated oil-slick delivery system, revolving front and rear number plates, simulated twin front machine guns, a bullet-resistant rear shield, simulated tire slashers and front and rear battering rams.
Inside, the Goldfinger DB5 has a telephone in the driver door, a gear-shift-mounted actuator button, a simulated radar-screen tracking map, armrest and center-console-mounted switchgear and an under-seat hidden weapons storage tray. The driver uses a remote control to activate the appropriate protection system — depending on which arch villain is in hot pursuit.
One of the more complicated features to emulate are the guns up front. In the movies, special effects designers used flammable gas mixtures combined with an ignition system to produce flashes and gun sound effects. Since this might be incredibly distracting in reality, Corbould and his team came up with a new system using lights designed to safely achieve a realistic effect without accidentally taking out any “villains.”
The Goldfinger Edition DB5 looks like the real model because it is. The car gets constructed with original DB5-styled aluminum exterior panels covering an authentic DB5 mild steel chassis. The original nature of this new car continues under the hood — power comes from a 4.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine with a 6-plug head and three SU carburetors — just like the original. Output is a healthy 290 horsepower, sent to the rear wheels via a ZF 5-speed manual gearbox. All Goldfinger Edition DB5s will be painted in Silver Birch, matching the color of the original movie car.
For those Bond fans ready to reach for their checkbooks, don’t bother. Only 25 lucky customers had the opportunity to purchase one of these special Astons at a price of £2.75 million (approximately US$3.5 million) and all are sold. The DB5 Continuation Project vehicles are being built at Aston Martin Works in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire — the same facility where all 898 original DB5 sports cars were manufactured between 1963 and 1965.
“The DB5 is, without question, the most famous car in the world by virtue of its 50-plus year association with James Bond,” said Chief Creative Officer of Aston Martin Lagonda Marek Reichman. “To see the first customer car finished, and realize that this is the first new DB5 we have built in more than half a century, really is quite a moment,” Reichman noted.
Built from 1963 through 1965, the original Aston Martin DB5 features a 4.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine with three SU carburetors producing 282 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. The original car sprints to 60 mph in about 7 seconds and boasts a top speed of 148 mph — clearly a fitting vehicle for James Bond to drive, even without all the gadgetry.
Now that the Aston Martin Goldfinger DB5 Continuation Project has completed its first customer car, deliveries of the remaining 24 vehicles will take place through the remaining months of 2020. Although the spy gadgets on this unique vehicle would be great fun in the real world, these special Goldfinger DB5 1:1 scale models are not street legal.
Open roof, ready for ejecting a villanous passenger. (Note the car has no ejector seat for obvious reasons.)
Simulated oil slick.
Sprayers built into the taillights.
Sprayers for simulated oil slick.
Retractable bullet-resistant shield.
Rotating rear license number plate.
Simulated tire slashers.
Retractable battering rams.
Telephone installed in the driver door.
Ejector-seat actuator under gearshift cover.
Cover for tracking system.
Hidden switches and levers for operating spy gadgets.
Gadgets can also be operated via this remote control.
Authentic interior with every detail considered.