RM Sotheby's, the automobile auction house, will be hosting a special sale in Monterey, California, on August 15, featuring more than 30 rare Aston Martin sports cars. Leading the night: a very special 1965 Aston Martin DB5 — one of just three surviving cars commissioned by the producers of “Goldfinger,” fully decked out to MI6 “Q-Branch” specifications.
Its most famous owner? Bond. James Bond.
“No other car in history has played a more important leading role on film and in pop culture,” said Barney Ruprecht, RM Sotheby's car specialist, in a statement. “This is an unbelievably rare chance to play secret agent in a car that offers incredible performance and style in its own right.”
The car features 13 special modifications, designed by legendary special effects artist John Stears: adjustable bulletproof screens, Browning .30 caliber machine guns hidden in the fenders, tire-slashers mounted on the hubcaps (as seen in the chase scene through Switzerland's Furka Pass), smoke screen dispensers, caltrop launchers, revolving license plates, an ejection seat, and more.
This particular model was never used in the 1964 film — there were two other, identical cars on set, one for stunts and chases, the other for close-ups of cool gadgetry — but it did appear alongside Sean Connery and crew during the promotional tour for “Thunderball,” released the following year. After the tour wrapped, the cars were sold.
The car on auction eventually found its way to the Smoky Mountain Car Museum, in Tennessee, where it was protected in its original condition for 35 years. After its sale in 2006, the owner undertook a massive restoration — spearheaded by Swiss Aston Martin specialists Roos Engineering — which refurbished the car to its original state and restored function to all the Bond modifications.
Take it from Bond himself: “These DB5s are amazing,” said Connery, in an interview with RM Sotheby's. “In fact, I bought a very fine DB5 myself relatively recently.”
The car is estimated to sell for $4,000,000 to $6,000,000. For more information, visit rmsothebys.com.