It is the ultimate boy’s toy. But the fan who picked up James Bond’s iconic Aston Martin last night needed a couple of million to get his hands on it.
The DB5 used by Sean Connery in the Goldfinger and Thunderball movies was sold at auction for £2.6million in London.
It took just four minutes and two bidsa, before the car went to Ohio property tycoon Harry Yeaggy.
Sitting in his new motor, he said: ‘I’m going to drive it tonight, I can’t wait. This is the most famous car in the world, not the best, but it is very special.’
The DB5 sold by Sotheby’s for well below its estimate of £3.5million, but Mr Yeaggy – who has a collection of 25 classic cars – said: ‘I don’t think it was cheap, it was more than I was expecting to pay.’
There won’t be any Bond girls for Mr Yeaggy, or any vodka martinis as he does not drink.
But he will be taking his wife for a spin and he will certainly be able to impress her with an array of gadgets.
The oil slick sprayer, nail spreader and smoke screen at the rear all still work, as does the revolving number plate.
Luckily for Mrs Y there is no ejector seat, which was a special effect for the Bond films. The car is capable of 145 mph and 0-60 in 7.1 seconds and has only 30,000 miles on the clock.
For the films, two regular Astons were fitted with ‘all the usual refinements’, as Q described them: pop-out machine guns, tyre shredders, bullet-proof screen, revolving number plates and ejector seat. But only this one – FMP 7B – survives.
American broadcasting boss Jerry Lee bought the 1964 car for $12,000 in 1969, and since then it has spent much of its time in the U.S., spending most of its life on display in his house and having never been restored.
So it’s reassuringly tatty. The grey leather seats graced by the young Connery are worn to a beautiful patina, and the long, heavy tyre shredder – which doesn’t pop out, but needs to be attached by hand – lies casually tossed in the back, along with the lump hammer needed to fix it in place.
Knowing its next owner would want to drive it, RM Auctions – which sold it on behalf of Lee – gave the car and its gadgets a makeover.
So the 282hp, four-litre straight-six engine starts instantly, makes a hard, loud howl when worked, and provides acceleration that still feels fairly urgent by modern standards.
As you drive, your thumb keeps flipping up the lid that covers the ejector seat trigger in the gearknob; fortunately for your passenger, it’s one of the few gadgets that doesn’t work.
The phone hidden in the door won’t get you through to M, but the ‘radar scanner’ hidden behind a panel in the dashboard at least gives a beep and a flash when you reveal it.