James Bond that is as one of only two and the sole remaining DB5 that appeared on screen with Sean Connery in Goldfinger is set to go under the hammer this October

Goldfinger’s other star

Those of us here who grew up on the sixties can well remember when the James Bond movie Goldfinger came out in 1964. And apart from the beautiful women in it (Misses Masterson and, ahem, Galore), one of the real attractions was 007’s car – a 1963 Aston Martin DB5.

But this was no ordinary Aston Martin. This particular DB5 had been modified to the nth degree by Q, the head of Q Branch (the fictional R&D section of the British Secret Service) with a number of aftermarket options including:

•    Front and rear over-rider rams extending from the bumpers
•    Front firing .30 caliber Browning machine guns located behind the front turn signal lamps
•    Retractable tire slashers (disguised as three pronged wheel spinners)
•    Retractable rear bullet-proof screen
•    Radio telephone concealed in a secret compartment
•    Radar scanner located in racing type outside mirror with a tracking screen in the cockpit
•    Passenger ejector seat (roof panel is jettisoned just before the seat is fired)
•    Oil slick ejector from right rear taillight cluster
•    Triple spiked nail (caltrops) ejector from the left rear taillight cluster
•    Cartridge for smoke screen released through the exhaust pipes
•    Revolving license plates (BMT 216A - UK, 4711-EA-62 - France and LU 6789 - Switzerland)
•    Armaments drawer under front driver seat
•    Bullet-proof front and rear windshields
•    Switches and toggles for the above functions hidden in the center arm-rest and gear-selector lever

James Bond’s DB5

It turns out that there were actually two Aston Martin DB5’s used in the movie. The first, serial number DP216/1, was a pre-production prototype and it was this vehicle that was fitted at the Aston Martin works with all the bells and whistles listed above.

The second, serial number DB5/1486/R, was a production DB5 that was used for driving sequences during the film. Upon the film’s release, there was such a high demand for the specially-fitted DB5 to publicize the film that DB5/1486/R, plus two other DB5’s, were subsequently works-fitted by Aston Martin to match the original prototype.

To make a long story short, the original prototype was stolen in Florida in 1997, and its current whereabouts remains a mystery. Of the two DB5’s that never appeared in the film, one belongs to the Dutch National Motor Museum, while the second fetched over $2 million at auction in 2006.


This brings us to the second car to actually appear in Goldfinger (as well as in 1965’s Thunderball) – DB5/1486/R. After returning to the Aston Martin Lagonda factory following the promotional tour of Thunderball, Jerry Lee, the owner of an FM broadcasting station in Philadelphia, somehow convinced the factory to sell him FMP 7B in 1969 for the then-princely sum of $12,000.

Fast forward nearly forty-one years and the aforementioned DB5 is still owned by Jerry, who is, in addition to being a legend in the broadcast industry, the founder of the Jerry Lee Foundation, which is, according to the press release regarding the Aston Martin auction, “a multi-national initiative dedicated to solving social problems associated with poverty, with an emphasis on crime prevention.” In addition, “The Foundation supports programs at the University of Pennsylvania and Cambridge University (UK), as well as in Australia, Norway and Washington, DC. It is also responsible for the establishment of the Stockholm Prize in Criminology, for which Mr. Lee received a Swedish knighthood in 2008.

Proceeds from the sale of the car at this year’s 'Automobiles of London' event at the Battersea Evolution in London on 27th October, which is expected to fetch something north of five very large (as in million), will be used to further the charitable work of the foundation.

For those wishing to ogle the DB5 prior to its sale, a public appearance at the black-tie, Bond-themed “Midsummer Classic/Thunderball” will take place at the Stoke Park Club on the 26th of June. Bond fans will recognize the club as the site of the first confrontation between the British agent and Mr. Goldfinger.

DB5 Specifications

If you have the cash in hand or were wondering about the specifications of a normal DB5, here they are:

Vehicle Type: sports car, 2-door coupe
Configuration: - front engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine: - 4.0-liter Inline-6
Capacity: - 3995 cc
Torque: - 288 lb.-ft. torque at 3850 rpm
Power: - 282 bhp at 5500 rpm
Width: - 66 inches
Length: - 14 ft., 11.92 inches
Height: - 52.5 inches
Weight: - 3,130 lbs
0-60 mph: - 8.1 seconds
Top speed: - 141 mph
Price (original): - £4,248 ($6,161 at today’s exchange rate)

Images courtesy of Aston Martin and RM auctions