James Bond Aston Martin sells at auction for record-breaking £5.26 million

Harriet Brewis

An Aston Martin with retractable machine guns, tyre slashers and a revolving licence plate has sold for £5.26 million, making it the most expensive James Bond car ever sold at auction.

The DB5, based on the car in Goldfinger and built as a promotional model for Bond producers, fetched £5.26 million ($6.39 million) this week in Monterey, California.

It was never used in the 1964 blockbuster, meaning its engine and gadgets were in better condition than the one driven by Sir Sean Connery for the film.

That model set the Bond car record when it sold for £2.9 million in London nine years ago, but was trumped by its twin on Thursday.

The auction house described the DB5 as 'the world's most famous car' (RM Sothebys)

The DB5 was the subject of a four-and-a-half-minute competition between six parties, eventually selling to an unnamed bidder in the room, The Times reported.

The sleek silver car, with chassis number DB5/2008/R, was described by RM Sotheby’s as the “world’s most famous car” and the Bond vehicle with the most gadgets.

The auction house said the Aston Martin, which can legally be driven on the roads, was “a highly desirable acquisition for the serious marque collector . . . or secret agent.”

In a short video shared by Sotheby’s in the run-up to the auction, the car was shown to have bulletproof windows, a homing device and tracking display, a smoke screen, oil slick, a rear bulletproof screen and an ejector seat.

Some of the gadgets were said to still work, although the machine guns can only produce a bang.

The gadgets were designed by the late John Stears, the film’s special effects technician, after he visited Aston Martin’s Newport Pagnell plant in 1963.

Two modified cars were built to be used in Goldfinger; one for stunt driving and chase sequences and the other for interior shots and close-ups.

The model also had a telephone for communication with MI6 and a compartment under the driver’s seat for weapons.

The success of Goldfinger led to a surge in Aston Martin sales.

Eon Productions modified two more DB5 saloons and shipped them to the United States to promote Thunderball in 1965.

Sir Sean, 88, who played Bond in seven films, described the cars as “increasingly iconic”.

“In fact, I bought a very fine DB5 myself relatively recently,” he added.