Aston Martin DB5 from Skyfall
There are probably not any film franchises as iconic as James Bond. 007 is arguably the most urbane, inventive spy that ever was. You can debate who is the best Bond – Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnon, Roger Moore or Daniel Craig. But it would be hard to debate the best Bond car. Although Bond drove many of the world’s finest automobiles – Jaguars, Alfa Romeos, Bentleys, Audis and more, it is the Aston Martin DB5 that many believe is the true Bond car.
First introduced as a Bond car in 1964’s Goldfinger, the Silver Birch Aston Martin DB5 was a grand touring car designed by Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera. Many believe it is the most beautiful car ever produced. After its introduction in Goldfinger, the DB5 was used in Thunderball (1965), Goldeneye(1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), Casino Royale (2006) and most recently in Skyfall (2012). While Bond’s DB5 was equipped with two machine guns, battering ram bumpers, revolving license plates and an ejector seat, these were not standard equipment on a new DB5.
The DB5 came equipped with an all aluminum 4.0 L engine, a 5 speed manual transmission, and three carburetors. It had reclining seats, electric windows, chrome wire wheels, two fuel tanks, wool pile carpets, and leather trim in the interior. It even had a fire extinguisher, but it didn’t have the ability to create an oil slick that caused any cars following it to crash. It could go from 0 to 60 in 8 seconds, which was actually slower than the Jaguar E-type and the 1964 Mustang.
While one of the 1023 original Aston Martin DB5 could be bought for $12,500, one of the 2 cars used in Goldfinger sold for $4.6 million in 2010. You could likely get a DB5 (one not used in the movie) for about $450,000 today. With prices like that, the producers of Skyfall certainly weren’t going to take any chances with the DB5 during filming. The car had to go through a series of explosions, finally exploding in flames. In order to protect the original car, they commissioned a German print company to create a 3D model, a third the size of the original car. Even in close ups, these replicas were indistinguishable from the original. One of these models recently sold at a Christie’s auction for $100,000.
In Skyfall, David Craig as Bond drives M to Scotland in the silver birch DB5. At one point in the film, irritated at M for something she had done, Bond contemplates using the infamous ejector seat on her. He refrains from doing so. We hope that in future films he also refrains from driving a different car, and stays with the elegant, iconic Aston Martin DB5.