… for the right price.
There are plenty of cars that we might term as "famous,” but only a handful whose fame extends beyond the cadre of enthusiasts and into mainstream pop culture. And most of them, we'd venture, have the movies to thank for it. Cars like the DeLorean from Back To The Future, the Trans Am from Smokey and the Bandit, the Ferrari from Ferris Bueller's Day Off, or the Mustangs from Bullitt or Gone in 60 Seconds. But if you had to pick just one as the most famous car in the world, which would it be?
If you answered the Aston Martin DB5 that James Bond drove in Goldfinger and Thunderball, you're in good company. RM Sotheby's, at least, thinks it is. And what's more is that it's selling off one of the original cars to the highest bidder later this summer.
Set to headline its Monterey auction this August is one of just three surviving DB5s that Eon Productions had made for one of the most iconic of Bond movies, and it comes complete with working gadgets – including Browning .30-caliber machine guns, hydraulic bumper rams, hub-mounted tire-slashers, revolving license plate, and passenger-side ejector seat.
This car was built for the filming of Thunderball, and went on a promotional tour once production as complete. It was then purchased (together with another) by Lord Anthony Bamford (a noted collector) before landing in the Smokey Mountain Car Museum in Tennessee, where it remained on display for 35 years. RM then offered it for sale in 2006, and in the baker's-dozen years since, has undergone a comprehensive restoration in Switzerland. Now it's offering it again as part of "An Evening with Aston Martin” at Pebble Beach, where it's expected to fetch a good $5 million (give or take a million).
"No other car in history has played a more important leading role on film and in pop culture than the Aston Martin DB5,” asserts RM Sotheby’s specialist Barney Ruprecht. "The DB5 is the iconic cornerstone of a marketing relationship that still exists to this day - with the model’s collectible status rooted largely in its 007 fame - and we look forward to exciting car and film enthusiasts alike in the lead up to the auction. This is an unbelievably rare chance to play secret agent in a car that offers incredible performance and style in its own right and we’re honoured to offer the Bond DB5 alongside our partners at Aston Martin.”