1000 were produced, one of the most sought after vehicles of its time. Produced at Aston Martin’s “Newport Pagnell” facility close by to Pinewood Studios, Bucks, and fitted with engine number; “400/P/4”, and chassis; “DP/216/1 “, this silver birch Aston Martin DB5 was destined to become “The Most Famous Car In The World”. It would be become the vehicle of choice for British secret service agent; James Bond.
- Manufacturer: Aston Martin
- Model: DB5
- Top Speed: 145.2 mph (232.3 km/h)
- Acceleration: 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) in 7.1 seconds
- Engine Capacity: 3995cc
John Stears, a special-effects expert approached the Aston Martin car company about using one of their cars in the next James Bond film; Goldfinger. However he had to explain to them that Eon productions, the makers of the film, could not afford to purchase one from them. Still, Stears asked if Eon could borrow one for the filming of the movie; but Aston Martin refused them, informing Stears that they “are not in the lending business”. However, they would still be happy to sell them a car.
After much negotiating they struck a deal; Aston Martin offered them a prototype car based on a much modified DB4. This was on the condition that it was returned at the end of the production, and they could use it for their own promotional and publicity purposes. The car was his! Stears and his crew now set about turning this luxury British sports car into a four wheeled arsenal of weaponry and gadgets.
Although two cars were given to Stears, only one was fitted with the working gadgets, however it was later adapted for Aston Martin’s publicity deal with matching gadgetry to the other car, and later went on to star in Thunderball.
The DB5 featured some of the most amazing gadgets ever to appear in a James Bond car and has since been dubbed by fans; “The Bond Mobile”. Among its arsenal were rotating number plates to avoid the car being identified as foreign, and also to confuse pursuers, into thinking it was a different vehicle. The gear stick housed a little-red button (which has since been spoofed in films such as; “Men In Black”), when pushed the button released a section of the roof, and activated a passenger side ejector seat.
Housed in the trunk/boot of the car was a bulletproof shield, this aided James Bond by blocking him from enemy fire from the reverse of his Aston Martin. These gadgets were all controlled by a control panel hidden beneath the forward arm-rest (this was later replaced with a champagne refrigerator). The console also controlled two .30 calibre Browning machine guns, which were located behind the front-side indicators. Next to these, were a section of the car’s bumper that could be used as hydraulic battering rams, perfect for knocking through doors or causing damage to an enemy vehicle.
Moving to the rear-end of the DB5, behind the light’s cluster were a jet-powered oil release system, and also defence mechanism to disperse pronged calthrops to burst the tyres of any pursuing nemesis. Other smaller details included, a gun tray hidden beneath the drivers seat, a telephone system that was concealed within the door-panel of the driver’s side, and lastly radar equipment located below the radio that was used to track Auric Goldfinger in Switzerland.
The DB5 remains the “most famous car in the world”, and Stears and his team did an amazing job, implementing the many gadgets that helped create a long and brilliant tradition of spy-cars in both the Bond films, and the genre in general. The “Bond mobile”, remains the object of desire to James Bond fans at shows throughout the world, and the most significant vehicle in the history of the British sports car manufacturer who built her, all those years ago.