James Bond’s Goldeneye DB5 set for £1.2m sale

| 23 May 2018
James Bond’s Goldeneye DB5 set for £1.2m sale

For would-be James Bonds, owning an Aston Martin has long been the easiest way to imitate the world’s most famous spy. This July, though, one lucky bidder will be able to go one better and buy Bond’s actual DB5.

Yes, come 13 July, the very model used by Pierce Brosnan in 1995’s Goldeneye will be going up for auction at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Fancy yourself as an international bidder of mystery? You'll need to be a rich one too, because it's expected to make at least £1.2m.

James Bond’s Goldeneye DB5 set for £1.2m sale

Sean Connery drove a DB5 in 1964’s Goldfinger (credit: Alamy)

Aston Martin has long been synonymous with Bond; the spy’s relationship with the stunning DB5 began way back in 1964, when Sean Connery drove a Silver Birch in that year’s Goldfinger.

An instant cinematic icon, the legendary (and deadly) DB5 continued to crop up in subsequent flicks across the next several decades – including Thunderball, Tomorrow Never Dies, Spectre and, of course, Goldeneye.

Few viewers could have missed the magnificent Aston Martin’s presence in that latter movie: it opened with Brosnan flinging the DB5 around the hills above Monte Carlo, in an effort to escape from the chasing Ferrari F355 of Xenia Onatopp.

There were actually three DB5s used for the filming of Goldeneye, but it was this very DB5 – DB5/1885/R – that was piloted by Brosnan in the now iconic mountainside duel.

James Bond’s Goldeneye DB5 set for £1.2m sale

Pierce Brosnan during the filming of Goldeneye (credit: Alamy)

The car was one of two DB5s purchased especially for the film to be used for the racing sequences. Both were comprehensively restored and prepared ahead of production by Stratton Motor Company.

And mercifully, unlike the DB5 which meets its dramatic demise in Spectre, this evocative 1965 machine survived its time with Bond at the wheel. Nor was it discarded after filming wrapped.

In fact, once Brosnan had handed back the keys, the DB5 was cleaned up and used for promotional purposes – first to generate publicity for the film, and then by Aston Martin to drive sales of its DB7. It also took part in motor shows in both Detroit and Los Angeles, where it was driven on to its stands by none other than racing legend Sir Stirling Moss.

Fittingly, it then returned to Britain for a one-of-a-kind sale: in 2001, Christie’s auctioned some 250 pieces of Bond memorabilia, with the DB5 among the lots up for grabs.

It eventually sold for £157,750 and was recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the most expensive item of Bond memorabilia ever sold, although that figure has since been passed a couple of times, not least by the Goldfinger DB5, which itself went for $4.1m in 2010.

James Bond’s Goldeneye DB5 set for £1.2m sale

Max Reid paid £157,750 for it in 2001

Even at that price, though, the winning bidder – leasing entrepreneur Max Reid – felt he’d got a good deal. “I think I got the Aston Martin for a bargain, a great price and I would have paid much more for it,” he said at the time.

Did the new owner intend to make like Bond and pilot his DB5 around Sheffield, where his business was based? “I had two reasons for the purchase,” he stated. “It’s a great present for my wife and it’ll be wonderful publicity for my business as well.”

Quite how much his wife got to drive the DB5 isn’t clear, though: the machine went on to be exhibited at Beaulieu’s Bond exhibition, before going on display variously at The London Film Museum, The National Motor Museum and, more recently, the ‘Bond in Motion’ exhibition in Covent Garden.

James Bond’s Goldeneye DB5 set for £1.2m sale

James Bond’s Goldeneye DB5 set for £1.2m sale
James Bond’s Goldeneye DB5 set for £1.2m sale

The DB5 is resplendent in Silver Birch, with leather interior

Not quite finished with its show streak, the stunning DB5 will be displayed once more, at Bonhams' dedicated Aston Martin sale at Englefield House near Reading on 2 June.

It won’t be auctioned on that date, though; instead, it'll go under the hammer at Bonhams' Goodwood Festival of Speed sale on 13 July, alongside scores of other highly desirable cars including a DB4GT Zagato.

Still resplendent in the Silver Birch paint job first made famous in Goldfinger, together with a beautiful black leather interior fit for Bond, it remains every bit the stunning runaround. It's likely still a nippy number, too: its 4-litre engine with triple carburettors and twin overhead camshafts is good for 282bhp and 150mph. Not bad for an ageing coupé.

Fancy yourself as the next custodian of this piece of cinematic history? Well, you might just need to stage a heist worthy of Bond to take this one home on 13 July: it’s estimated to sell for between £1.2m and 1.6m.


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