James Bond's iconic Aston Martin from Goldfinger and Thunderball - boasting hidden machine guns, tire slashers and an ejector seat - sells for a record $6.3m at auction
- A 1965 Aston Martin DB5 - fully kitted with James Bond gadgets - has been sold Sotheby's in California
- The DB5 - dubbed the 'most famous car in the world' - sold on Friday for a record-breaking $6.3 million
- The custom model has tire slashers, machine guns, revolving number plates and a bulletproof rear shield
The classic Aston Martin DB5 featured in the James Bond films Goldfinger and Thunderball has been auctioned off for a record-breaking $6.3m (£5.2m) - making it the most valuable DB5 ever.
The stunning 1965 DB5 - dubbed 'the world's most famous car' - features machine guns, tyre slashers, revolving number plates and passenger ejector seat.
It is one of four DB5s with working gadgets that were built by Aston Martin.
Auction house RM Sotheby's had expected the 'extremely rare and pristine' vehicle to fetch between $3.6million (£3m) and $6million (£5m) when it went under the hammer in Monterey, California, on August 15.
But the supercar easily raced past those figures on Friday, beating the previous record by almost $2m.
The classic Aston Martin DB5 featured in the James Bond films Goldfinger and Thunderball has been auctioned off for a record-breaking $6.3m (£5.2m) - making it the most valuable DB5 ever
The model, which is now over 50 years old, is complete with several Bond features including a bullet-proof shield covering the back window, and other mechanisms hidden in the tires and chassis of the car
The first James Bond Sean Connery stands in front of a DB5 that is believed to have been used in the Goldfinger and Thunderball films, which followed on from the success of Dr No and From Russia With Love
The DB5 was the subject of a four-and-a-half-minute competition between six interested parties, eventually selling to an enthusiastic bidder present in the auction room.
Barney Ruprecht, car specialist at RM Sotheby's, said: 'It was an honour to offer the iconic James Bond 007 Aston Martin DB5 alongside our partners at Aston Martin Works and Aston Martin Lagonda.
'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 hobby's great respect for the Aston Martin brand.'
Two were used in 1964 during the filming of Goldfinger – one for stunt driving and chase sequences, the other for interior shots and close-ups.
Two more, including the one being sold, were commissioned by bosses at the film-makers, Eon Productions, and shipped to the US to promote Thunderball in 1965.
The snow-shadow grey vehicles were fitted with gadgets including front and rear hydraulic rams on the bumpers, replica Browning .30 calibre machine guns behind the indicator lights, tyre slashers in the wheel hubs, a retractable rear bullet-proof screen, smoke dispensers, revolving number plates and a passenger-seat ejection system.
The lot was described as 'a highly desirable acquisition for the serious marque collector... or secret agent'.
The stunning interior has been given a full refurbishment of the upholstery and dashboard. Included in the auction lot will be a solid prop Mauser C96 pistol (pictured on the seat), and a plastic knife and grenade
No space for luggage: The DB5's boot is packed with technology, including gas canisters and the bullet proof shield which springs up
The gadgets were designed by special effects whizz John Stears after he visited Aston Martin's Newport-Pagnell plant in late 1963.
Two modified cars were built to be used in the iconic bond flick Goldfinger; one for stunt driving and chase sequences, and the other for interior shots and close-ups.
As Q explained to 007, the DB5 was equipped with front and rear hydraulic over-rider rams on the bumpers, a Browning.30 caliber machine gun in each fender, wheel-hub mounted tire-slashers, a raising rear bullet-proof screen, an in-dash radar tracking scope, oil, caltrop and smoke screen dispensers, revolving license plates, and a passenger-seat ejection system.
It was also equipped with a telephone in the driver's door to communicate with MI6 headquarters and a hidden compartment under the driver's seat for weapons.
The success of Goldfinger was also a success for Aston Martin, which saw DB5 sales surge to unprecedented levels.
Bosses at Eon Productions took notice of the potential marketing opportunities and ordered two more DB5 saloons in preparation for Thunderball's release.
There are a total of 13 modifications created for Bond by the MI6 weapons-master Q, including a Browning .30 caliber machine guns that fitted behind lightbulbs in each fender
The gear stick can be flipped open to reveal the iconic red button for the ejector seat - Bond used it in Goldfinger to eject a would-be assassin from the car
These cars were fitted with all the Goldfinger modifications and shipped to the United States to promote Thunderball.
It is one of these which was sold at auction.
Sean Connery, who originally portrayed James Bond on film in both Goldfinger and Thunderball, said: 'These DB5s are amazing.
'I remember the Furka Pass tire shredding as well as the promotional events with these cars - they have become increasingly iconic since Goldfinger and Thunderball.
'In fact I bought a very fine DB5 myself relatively recently.'
Scenes in Goldfinger such as the one where Bond, played by Sean Connery, shreds Tilly Masterson's tyres during a car chase in Furka Pass in the Swiss Alps helped spark a surge in sales of normal DB5s.
One of the interior control panels in the original Aston Martin DB5 car, one of just three surviving examples, fitted with James Bond specifications and gadgetry
Ahead of its time in 1964, Bond even had an in-dash radar tracking scope which displays a map of the home counties beside a series of knobs and switches
The DB series of Aston Martins is named after one-time owner David Brown, who bought the company for $36,000 (£30,000) in 1946 after test driving the Atom
DB5 models had an all-aluminium 4.0-litre engine, a new robust ZF five-speed transmission and was capable of 145mph
Barney Ruprecht, Car Specialist, RM Sotheby's said: 'No other car in history has played a more important leading role on film and in pop culture than the Aston Martin DB5'
The other DB5 used for promotion work was stolen in 1997 and has never been traced.
RM Sotheby's car specialist Barney Ruprecht said: 'No other car in history has played a more important leading role on film and in pop culture.'
Last year Aston Martin announced a limited run of 25 replica DB5s, with some of the gadgets, priced at $3.34, million (£2.75 million) each.
Though probably not advisable to make use of, the front bumper contained hydraulic battering rams which Bond made good use of in the films
'This is an unbelievably rare chance to play secret agent in a car that offers incredible performance and style in its own right and we're honoured to offer the Bond DB5 alongside our partners at Aston Martin,' continued Mr Ruprecht