Cars: James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 is going back into production

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on August 23, 2018.

Connery as James Bond seen with an Aston Martin DB5. Photos by Bloomberg

Bond chasing Xenia Onatopp through France in GoldenEye. He is in his Aston Martin DB5 and she in a Ferrari.

Jetpacks and a DB5 feature in the filming of Thunderball.

In Tomorrow Never Dies, Bond’s DB5 rests while Bond dallies with a professor at Oxford University.

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British carmaker Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd is recreating the legendary DB5, as driven by James Bond in Goldfinger. A collectible for true 007 fans, the 25 limited edition vehicles — each at £2.75 million (RM14.37 million) plus taxes — will feature enough working gadgets to make Q proud, the company said.

The espionage modifications will be co-developed by Academy Award-winner Chris Corbould, special effects supervisor on eight previous Bond films. So far, rotating number plates have been announced, with more to come. It is safe to predict a working ejector seat is not on the blueprints.

Based on the 1964 model used in Goldfinger and driven on-screen by actor Sean Connery, the cars are a collaboration between the marque and EON Productions, the company behind the Bond film franchise, and will be built at Aston Martin Works in England’s Newport Pagnell. As “continuation editions”, they will be manufactured and numbered as if new off the line in the ’60s. The DB4 grand touring of the same era was recreated most recently in the same way.

All 25 new/old DB5s will feature Silver Birch paint, just as Bond’s movie original did. Mechanical specifications will be similar to the original, with “sympathetic modifications to ensure the highest levels of build quality and reliability”, according to Aston Martin.

First deliveries to customers will commence in 2020, but no, they will not be street legal. “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 Aston Martin president and chief executive officer Andy Palmer in statement on Monday.

The original 1964 DB5 featured in Goldfinger and Thunderball — complete with guns protruding from tail lights, rotating plates and a removable ejector roof — sold for US$4.6 million at auction in London in 2010. A 1965 DB5 original featured in the 1995 Bond film GoldenEye sold at auction in July for US$2.5 million (RM10.25 million), no gadgets included.

The DB5 has featured in the franchise six times since its first outing in Goldfinger, including in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), Casino Royale (2006) and Skyfall (2012).

News of the special edition recreation comes as the luxury carmaker weighs an initial public offering in London. Aston Martin fans not beholden to Bond’s allure can spend decidedly less money and pick up the all-new US$300,000 V12 DBS Superleggera Coupe, which made its US debut in June. — Bloomberg