UPDATE 10/31/20: Sean Connery, the actor whose portrayal of James Bond was considered by many to be definitive, has passed away at age 90. As Bond, the BBC said in its obituary today, “He strode across the screen . . . like a panther, hungry and in search of prey.” He also drove a memorable series of gadget-laden cars, from the Bentley Mark IV in From Russia with Love to the Ford Mustang Mach 1 in Diamonds Are Forever—but he will forever be remembered in tandem with the Aston Martin DB5 in Goldfinger, pictured here, and which Aston Martin reproduced as a “continuation” series in 2018, as the story below relates. —Ed.
For James Bond fans, the desire to own a real version of 007’s iconic Aston Martin DB5 is a dream that soon will be realized—at least for those willing to spend $3.5 million. Following the “continuation” DB4 GTs that the company produced earlier this year, Aston Martin Works is now set to produce a limited run of DB5s built to the exact same spec as the famous car from the James Bond movies. And, yes, these will include a full set of the often lethal gadgets that agent 007 uses to escape from various scrapes and predicaments.
The new cars effectively will copy the original Bond-spec DB5s, one of which was at this year’s Villa d’Este concours in Italy. That car was still packing the bulletproof screen that rises behind the rear window, a smokescreen system, and the ability to lay down an oil slick in the path of pursuers, not to mention the famous rotating license plates. It also boasted .303 machine guns behind its front turn signals and an offset sunroof for its passenger ejector seat, although unfortunately neither of these functions actually worked for real.
The new replicas will feature a full suite of gadgets as well. They’re being developed with the help of Chris Corbould, an Oscar-winning special-effects supervisor who has worked on Bond films since the 1980s. Mechanically, the cars will be identical to the original DB5, with a 4.0-liter inline-six breathing through triple SU carburetors to produce around 280 horsepower. When new, that made the DB5 one of the fastest cars in the world, with a 148-mph top speed and a claimed 7.1-second zero-to-60-mph time.
The continuation cars are being built with the consent of Eon Productions, which jointly owns rights to the Bond franchise with MGM Studios. There is just one small catch, though: The cars are not road legal.
Being an effective copy of a 1965-spec car means that these as-new DB5s wouldn’t pass any form of emissions or safety testing. We’re sure that resourceful buyers will find some way to drive their new vehicles on the public highway legally. If not, at least they’ll be well equipped for any chase scenario.
The first of these Goldfinger DB5s will be delivered in 2020. The plan is to build 25 for customers, plus one car for Aston Martin, one for Eon Productions, and another that will be auctioned for charity. Now, how about a Lotus-built replica of the Esprit submarine from The Spy Who Loved Me?
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