No, that's not another period DB5 with cooling problems, rather the first finished example of the Aston Martin Works DB5 Goldfinger Continuation series. Using the same controversial, if highly profitable model as the DB4 GT and DB5 Zagato continuation cars, AMW has this time applied its stunning workmanship to James Bond's DB5 from the film classic.
Each of the 25 examples to 4500 hours to complete, with almost every component entirely bespoke. Even its power plant matches the original, with a 4.0-litre naturally-aspirated inline six-cylinder sending 290bhp to the rear wheels. A five-speed ZF manual gearbox and a mechanical limited-slip differential are also included to enhance the driving experience.
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Clive Wilson, Heritage Programme Manager, said: ‘Obviously we have not, as a business, made a new DB5 for more than 50 years, so to be involved in the building of these cars, which will go on to form part of Aston Martin’s history, is something I’m sure all of us will be telling our grandkids about!’
Alongside EON Productions’ Oscar-winning special effects guru Chris Corbould OBE, Aston Martin has been working tirelessly to fit a handful of working gadgets into each of the 25 continuation cars, including revolving number plates, a rear smoke screen, and replica machine guns. Don’t worry, though, you won’t be blinded by a smoke screen on your Monday morning commute, as none of the models will be permitted to drive on the road.
The cars seen in Goldfinger had a vast array of gadgetry from Q Branch, some of which simply aren’t practical, or possible, to include in cars destined for the public. However, it does look as if some rather nifty gadgets will make their way into the continuation cars...
Each car will feature rear smoke screen and simulated oil slick delivery systems, front and rear triple revolving number plates, simulated twin front machine guns, a bulletproof rear shield and battering rams. A simulated radar screen, gear knob actuator button, under-seat hidden weapons/storage tray and an optional ejector seat teaser, to name a few, will also feature inside.
Corbould explained: ‘The main challenge has been to recreate the gadgets from the film world and transfer them into a consumer product. We have licence in the film world to ‘cheat’ different aspects under controlled conditions. For instance, we might have four different cars to accommodate four different gadgets. We obviously don't have that luxury on these DB5s as all the gadgets have to work in the same car all the time.’
Though it’s easy to get distracted by the James Bond side of things, the creation of 25 new-build DB5s alone is a rather impressive feat – each will roll off the same Newport Pagnell production line that all 898 DB5s did 55 years previously.
This isn’t the first time Aston Martin has plundered its archive to find a car to recreate. In 2016 the firm announced it would build 25 DB4 GT Lightweights. Just like the new Bond DB5, the continuation GT Lightweights are faithfully based on the original cars, with a few appropriate upgrades, and are not road legal. However, Aston Martin has created a selection of trackdays around the world so owners of the new DB4s can use them appropriately.
Whether a similar programme will be created for the Bond DB5 has not yet been revealed, but we hope they will be enjoyed as toys should be, rather than joining collections and kept in ‘new in box’ condition.
Each of the DB5 continuations will be finished in the same Silver Birch, black leather specification as seen in Goldfinger, and will set you back £2.75m plus taxes. First customer cars are set to be delivered in the second half of 2020.