Admit it: how many times did you think when you saw the Bond film Goldfinger that you would want to launch a passenger through the roof? What, not the right car? The English sports car builder Aston Martin builds 25 very expensive replicas.
Goldfinger is the 1964 film, with Sean Connery as James Bond, in which the Aston Martin with its ejector seat became legendary. The brand first appeared in this third Bond film. Aston Martin produced a total of 900 copies, all hand-built.
The spy gimmicks that were used in the film car came from the shaft of production designer Ken Adam. He was inspired by his experiences in the British Air Force during the Second World War.
The 25 replicas are faithful copies of the original film car. Aston Martin calls the model DB5 Goldfinger Continuation. DB5 stands for the model series, Continuation refers to the sequel that the sports car manufacturer gave to the 007 service car.
Fans of Aston Martin or James Bond could get hold of a copy. All 25 have now been sold, despite the exorbitantly high price of 2.5 million euros (excluding taxes). The first car will soon be handed over to the lucky buyer.
Probably among the 25 new owners are people who would like the original. Now such an original DB5 from Goldfinger is very difficult to obtain. In 1964, only four film cars were made, three of which are still known. One is in the Louwman Museum in The Hague.
In 1965, Aston Martin converted two DB5s for the next Bond film, Thunderball. One was auctioned off some time ago for the astronomical sum of $6.4 million. About fifteen years ago, a copy from Goldfinger yielded just over two million dollars.
Now there are 25 new ones coming to life. Aston Martin has its classic department recreate James Bonds iconic official car, on exactly the same soil as where the DB5 was born in the 1960s: Newport Pagnell. EON Productions is involved in the decoration. That company is responsible for the production of the Bond films.
The DB5 Goldfinger Continuation may have the gadgets the secret agent had, but that shouldnt be taken literally. As soon as you press the button on the back of the oil spraying system, nothing happens. Quite the opposite, because who wants an oil track on the road?
The rotating licence plate holder for three number plates, the front machine guns (without bullets…), the upward sliding bulletproof plate and the extendable wheel nuts are all present.
What you had to indicate separately on your wish list was the removable panel in the roof above the front passenger seat, which makes it look as if the car has the ejection seat. A Handy Harry can think of a system to actually launch that seat, cant he?
The DB5 Goldfinger Continuation also features a radar screen, a telephone in the drivers door, an upward hinging gearshift knob, buttons in the armrest and centre console and a storage drawer under the front seat.
The finishing touch, of course, is the exact colour of the film car. Aston Martin paints it in the Silver Birch colour as the original had on the aluminium, hand-knocked bodywork.
Under the bonnet hangs a 4.0 litre six-cylinder petrol engine with the chambers in line, three carburettors, an oil cooler and about 300 hp. Aston Martin attaches a manual five-cylinder gearbox from ZF to the engine.
The men in Newport Pagnell spend no less than 4500 hours building the Continuation. Thats longer than Goldfingers total film shots, which were taken in 19 weeks.
Too bad, Roger…
Aston Martin can be seen in twelve James Bond films. For example, Timothy Dalton drives a V8 Vantage Volante, Pierce Brosnan a Vanquish. The car even appears in the only film in which George Lazenby played 007, On her majestys secret service from 1969. The only Bond that never drove an Aston Martin, at least not on the silver screen, is Roger Moore.