Bond, James Bond: The Iconic 1964 Aston Martin DB5
Billed as “the most famous car in the world” at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, the Aston Martin DB5 is James Bond’s car of choice. In fact it was suggested in GoldenEye that the DB5 is Bond’s daily driver.
This British luxury grand tourer is the most popular vehicle in the James Bond films making a record 7 appearances – most notably in Goldfinger, Thunderball, and Skyfall.
The DB series was named after the owner of Aston Martin from 1947 to 1972, Sir David Brown. An evolution of the final series of DB4, the DB5 was designed by the Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera. The beautiful lines and sporty stance represent the finest in British elegance and class.
The deadly silver-birch DB5 featured in the Bond films was Aston Martin’s original prototype. Although author Ian Fleming had Bond driving a DB Mark III in the novel, the DB5 was Aston Martin’s latest model when the film was being made. Created by the Oscar-winning special effects expert John Stears, James Bond’s DB5 came equipped with a number of gadgets and weapons fit for a British Secret Service agent.
A hidden telephone was built directly into the driver’s door panel. Incredibly useful in a time decades before cell phones were invented. An ejector seat could be activated by pushing the red button concealed under the gear shift (pictured above). Although it was shown as working in the film, it was one of the few features that didn’t actually function.
A myriad of switches and dials on the center console were used to rotate the UK, Swiss, and French license plates, extend the battery ram bumpers, activate the twin machine guns, tire slasher, oil slick sprayer, nail spreader, smoke screen, and last but not least the bulletproof screen in the rear. In addition to all of that, there was a state of the art radar tracker that could be used as a GPS system. Because GPS systems did not exist at the time, this gadget didn’t actually work.
Replica Browning .303 twin machine guns were hidden behind the sidelights. While the guns produced flashes and bangs, they couldn’t actually fire any bullets. Because of that, this DB5 is actually completely street legal and can still be driven on the roads today.
The tire slasher was made to pop out from the rear wheel. This gadget was used in Goldfinger to cripple Tilly Mastertson’s Ford Mustang. For road safety reasons, this feature is disabled when being driven on the road.
In October, 2010 this car was sold at auction to Harry Yeaggy for $4.6 million. It’s estimated that the car is now worth over $5mm today.
In addition to the standard coupe, Aston Martin made Vantage, Convertible, and Shooting-Brake variants of the vehicle. The high-performance DB5 Vantage featured three Weber twin-choke 45DCOE side-draft carburetors and revised camshaft profiles, delivering greater top-end performance at the expense of overall flexibility. This engine produced 315 hp (235 kW).
Only 65 DB5 Vantage coupés, 123 convertibles, and 12 shooting-brake variants were manufactured.
What do you think about this iconic Bond car? It’s definitely my favorite one in the film series – is it yours? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!