An Aston Martin DB5 used to promote the James Bond film Thunderball has sold for $6.4 million (Dh23.5m), becoming the world's most expensive DB5 in doing so.
The sale was made at the world’s biggest classic car auction in California this weekend, Monterey Car Week. The DB5 was one of the star lots, though it exceeded expectations when it surpassed its auction estimate.
The car was once owned by British billionaire and Tory party donor Lord Bamford.
Barney Ruprecht, of the auctioneer RM Sotheby’s, said in a statement: “We are beyond thrilled with tonight's fantastic result and proud to have set a new record for the most valuable DB5 sold at auction. Beyond this new auction record, the enormous amount of interest in the car and excitement surrounding it ahead of the auction solidifies its status as the ‘most famous car in the world’, along with the collector car hobby’s great respect for the Aston Martin brand.”
The car in question was not actually the one used in filming, but an almost exact replica commissioned by British production company Eon Productions to use for promotional events for Thunderball.
However, attention to detail was clearly just as important to the replica as it was for the real thing: 13 modifications made for Bond were included in the fake, including a machine gun in each bumper, tyre slashers mounted on its wheel hubs and a bulletproof rear screen.
Monterey Car Week was this year expected to generate sales of at least $380m, with over 100 cars expected to have the hammer fall for more than $1m each.
It's long been one of the most exciting events on the motoring calendar, and full of exciting events, auto shows, rallies, concours and car auctions.
Excitement had also been building at Monterey around arare road-legal silver McLaren F1 car, which was expected to sell for up to $23m. If the McLaren were to sell for more than $22.5m, it would make it the most expensive British car ever sold.
The original DB5, revealed in London in 1963, was powered by a 4.0-litre straight-six engine, with 282bhp and a top speed of 238kph.
The DB5 has appeared in seven Bond movies: Goldfinger (1964) Thunderball (1965), GoldenEye (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), Casino Royale (2006), Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015)
The year after the release of Goldfinger, a Corgi die-cast model of the car sold 2.5 million units.
Sean Connery, who drove a DB5 in two of the 007 films, loved driving it himself so much that he bought one himself.
And don't despair if you narrowly missed out at Monterey.
Earlier this year, there was news out of England that Aston Martin was making 25 DB5s for the most die-hard, deep-pocketed 007 fans.
The Goldfinger DB5 continuation edition, which shot to fame in 1964 Bond film it is named after, will be limited to just 25 cars, in collaboration with Eon Productions, the company behind the spy movie franchise.
Best of all? They are not only actual running cars based on the 1964 model, but they are teased as having working spy gadgetry as well.