We knew the sale price of a verified 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Bond car was likely to exceed RM Sotheby’s pre-auction estimate of $4M–$6M, but frankly, we thought it would go much higher. As a result, we’re more stirred than shaken, but no matter how you slice it, $6.38M is one stiff drink—and the most expensive DB5 ever sold at public auction.
Prerequisite Bond pun out of the way, let’s take a closer look as why this DB5 movie car—chassis 2008/R—captured so much attention at RM’s 2019 Monterey sale.
Most striking is that this Aston is one of only four examples built in Goldfinger-spec, During the production of Goldfinger (1964), film company Eon Productions sourced two DB5s—one for driving and one for tighter shots featuring a few of the franchise’s most iconic gadgets. Cue oil slick.
Goldfinger was a smashing success. When Eon doubled down to produce Thunderball in 1965, it ordered two more DB5s from Aston Martin for promotional use. Unlike the DB5s used in the filming of the Bond movies, these cars had real, working gadgets. One of these promotional models was DB5/2008/R.
DB5/2008/R was owned by Lord Bamford for a spell, before it was sold stateside to the Smokey Mountain Car Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, where it lived for 35 years. During that time, in 1997, one of the four DB5s disappeared off the map, making the remaining three that much rarer.
Unlike Sean Connery, the car looks like it did during the filming the release of Thunderball—another reason why it fetched massive dough. After DB5/2008/R sold in 2006 for $2.09 million, it underwent a four-year restoration by the Roos Engineering in Switzerland. Roos is an Aston Martin-appointed Heritage Specialists, which means they’re one of 13 certified authorities in marque restoration. Damn. Also, RM Sothebys’ verified that all of the Bond modifications were restored to full functionality as originally built.
It’s one thing to see this car in pictures, but in person it is sublime. Stunningly, perfectly restored, and awash in the mystique of England’s most debonair secret agent. You can’t help but feel like a kid standing next to this car.
The new owner, we’re sure, will enjoy that singular pleasure with great satisfaction when this Aston arrives at its new home. Diamonds are forever, but so are the DB5’s smashing good looks.