Jun 17, 2019 05:38

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Desirable Diversion

Brian M. Afuang

No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You To Drive

Aston Martin to build 25 recreations of DB5 cars used in Goldfinger

LIGHTNING McQueen. Herbie. Delorean time machine. Before these famous car stars came James Bond’s gadget- and weapons-laden Aston Martin DB5, which appeared in the 1964 spy flick Goldfinger (yes, Herbie was a 1963 model, but The Love Bug, in which it debuted, was released in 1968). And, as pop culture history unfolded, Bond’s DB5 became one of the most recognizable Aston Martin cars ever.

Little wonder then that Aston Martin, working with James Bond franchise holder Eon Productions, has announced it would produce 25 Goldfinger DB5 “continuation editions.”  To be built by Aston Martin Works at Newport Pagnell, original home of the DB5, the cars will be authentic reproductions of James Bond’s car as it was seen on the big screen in 1964. These will be kitted with working gadgets, like revolving license plates, to be made by Oscar-winner Chris Corbould, who is the special effects supervisor on eight previous Bond films. Expectedly, the cars will only come in one color—Silver Birch, which was the paintjob of the original.

Besides the series of 25 cars, three more will be built. Aston Martin and Eon will each get one while the third will be auctioned off for charity. Those earmarked for customers are priced at £2.75 million (plus taxes), with deliveries to start in 2020.

James Bond chases Xenia Onatopp through France, he in his Aston Martin DB5 and she in a Ferrari.

The production version of the DB5 was itself not exactly easily attainable—only 1,059 cars were made between 1963 and 1965. The car was powered by a twin cam, 4.0-liter, straight-six, all-aluminum engine outputting 282hp and 379Nm, and which was matched to either a five-speed manual or a three-speed automatic gearbox. As a 2+2 GT, it was luxurious — especially for the era — fitted as it was with items like reclining seats, wool pile carpeting, power windows and leather furniture. Its body was fashioned from magnesium alloy. Wheels were authentic wire-spoked ones with knock-off caps.   

For its part, the Goldfinger DB5 was the original DB5 prototype (although another car was used for the stunts). The car actually appeared in six more James Bond movies—a testament to the car’s star power. Sean Connery, as Bond (as he also was in Goldfinger) used the DB5 once more in Thunderball (1965). When it was Pierce Brosnan’s turn to play the British spy, the DB5 again appeared in GoldenEye (1995) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). But it’s during Daniel Craig’s Bond years in which the car was featured the most—in Casino Royale (2006), Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015).

“The connection between Aston Martin and James Bond is something of which we are very proud and it is remarkable that the DB5 remains the definitive James Bond car after so many years. To own an Aston Martin has long been an aspiration for James Bond fans, but to own a Silver Birch DB5, complete with gadgets and built to the highest standards in the very same factory as the original James Bond cars? Well, that is surely the ultimate collectors’ fantasy,” said Andy Palmer, president and CEO of Aston Martin.

This car’s definitely a star.