Gadgets galore come with this James Bond Aston Martin V-8

Erik Fuller Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

“Be careful 007 it’s just had a new coat of paint.” So says Q, as he hands over the keys to this Aston Martin V-8 in 1987’s The Living Daylights.

Bond, of course, pays his quartermaster no heed and the Aston Martin ends up with more than a scratch as he comes to the rescue of Kara Milovy, played by Maryam d’Abo.

“I’ve had a few optional extras installed,” quips Timothy Dalton’s 007 as he proceeds to blast his way through a road block, deploys skis and a rocket engine to escape his pursuers on a frozen lake, before crashing it into a snow bank and, ultimately, blowing the car up himself using its self-destruct system.

Fortunately no real Astons were destroyed during filming, and one of the cars built for the movie will be up for auction at RM Sotheby’s in Monterey on August 18, with an estimate of $1.4-$1.8 million.

The car has quite the backstory. When Aston Martin boss Victor Gauntlett made a deal to supply cars to the Bond franchise again, he overlooked the fact that there was an 18-month waiting list at the factory and no new vehicles would be available. Instead, Aston Martin bought four used models from existing owners, which were updated to look like the latest examples.

The car now for sale is actually a 1973 V-8, originally delivered in Tudor Green with an automatic transmission. In the hands of EON Productions it was fitted with a manual gearbox, fuel-injection, and modified bodywork sculpted from fiberglass. It was also fitted with the rocket booster and skis for the lake chase scene.

After filming finished EON kept the V-8 until 1995, when it was sold to the Cars of the Stars Museum in England’s Lake District, and then, in 2004 an American collector took ownership. The current keeper acquired it in 2021 and set about making it roadworthy again. A Vantage specification V540 engine was installed, together with a ZF five speed stick shift, all corrosion was repaired and the Q-Branch switches were put into a removable center console. The rear rocket booster is now able to shoot real flames as well.

Of the four Aston Martins used in filming The Living Daylights, two are in a private collection, with EON keeping hold of another, making this a truly unique opportunity to buy up one of the best-ever Bond cars.

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    I’m a Bond kind of guy (no, not handsome, suave, clever and deadly – like many a child of the ’50s and ’60s, I just like Bond stuff), so this story interests me. For instance, I had no idea about the 18-month waiting list problem that necessitated patching up older cars. Guess that lends credence to the comment about a fresh coat of paint, eh what? Anyway, this car, much like Dalton Bond, is far from being the coolest, but it’s kind of neat that it’s been restored to “movie correctness”. The cars were often as big in the stories as the stars and the plot, so they deserve to be admired.

    Dalton played a good Bond. Smoking was still OK then. You could tell he was more of a Shakespearean actor..
    Better car than the spiraling Hornet!

    Actual Bond car: a Bentley Continental that Bond bought totalled, then had to cultivate the friendship of a works mechanic to afford rebuilding on his paltry Civil Service salary. Boy those books would make great movies but nobody would believe it.

    What!?! And you’re dismissing all those awesome ’73 Chevy Impalas in Live and Let Die? Outrageous!

    For me:
    Sunbeam Alpine (because it was first and was an actual car!)

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