It’s one of only 12 ever built and one of only 4 left-hand-drive examples.
This month, one of the most famous cars in the world is going under the hammer: the Aston Martin DB5 driven by James Bond in Goldfinger and Thunderball. It’s one only a few surviving examples and even comes with working gadgets, and it’s expected to fetch between $4-$6 million. If, however, you fancy owning a more unusual DB5, this very rare shooting brake is going up for sale at the same auction.
It was built as a more practical variant of the DB5 because David Brown wanted a car that could fit his polo gear and stop his dog from chewing up the leather.
Rumor has it that the boss presented his hunting dog to engineers during a board meeting and said: "Build me something for him to sit in." The result was a stunning shooting brake based on the DB5 chassis.
Demand was so high that Brown requested Harold Radford’s new coachbuilding business, known today as the Radford Shooting Brakes, to build more examples. In total, only 12 DB5 shooting brakes were built, only four of which were left-hand drive. And guess what? The example heading to auction is one of the rare left-hand-drive examples, which makes it even more desirable.
Since most of the car had to be rebuilt, production cost around twice the average price of an English house at the time. The tubular structure of the roof was cut away and extended with steel fabrications, and a single-piece rear hatchback was fitted. Inside, the cargo was extended to more than 40 cubic feet with the rear seats down. Despite the modifications, DB5 shooting brake was still capable of hitting a top speed of 150 mph and braking from 100 mph to a standstill in just six seconds. And this particular DB5 shooting brake was fitted with a range of optional extras.
It was originally sold to a customer in Switzerland in 1965 who specified the car with a power-operated radio aerial, two safety belts for the front seats, a detachable headrest for the passenger front seat, and his initials inscribed on each door. The owner used the car as his daily driver for 30 years and had it repainted in Cumberland Grey in the 1980s.
In 2003, the car’s second Swiss owner had the rare DB5 shooting brake completely restored by Aston engineering. The body was refinished in Grigio Quartz, and the original DB6 taillights were replaced by DB5 lights to match David Brown’s original shooting brake.
At the same time the engine was upgraded to a 4.2-liter unit, while the original automatic transmission was replaced with a five-speed ZF gearbox. The car’s current owner also gave the DB5 a comprehensive overhaul in 2009, upgrading the engine to a 4.7-liter unit fitted with triple SU HD8 carburetors, upgrading the suspension, and fitting 15-inch wheels.
Auction estimates suggest the DB5 Shooting Brake will sell for as much as $1.4 million when it goes under the hammer at RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction this month. So if you like what you see, better head to Pebble Beach with your finances in order.