Shaken not stirred: 007's Aston Martin goes up for auction

Wed Sep 8, 2010 9:42am EDT
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By Helen Massy-Beresford

PARIS (Reuters Life!) - James Bond fans with deep pockets will soon have the chance to get their hands on the ultimate piece of 007 memorabilia, as the martini-sipping, daredevil spy's Aston Martin DB5 goes up for auction next month.

The sleek silver sports car, driven by the British secret agent played by Sean Connery in "Goldfinger," kicked off the gadgetmania for which the Bond films, based on Ian Fleming's novels, later became known.

The DB5 being sold is factory-fitted with gadgets including the machine guns, revolving number plates, oil slick sprayer and smoke screen that helped 007, aided by Bond Girl Pussy Galore, outwit gold smuggler Auric Goldfinger in the 1964 blockbuster.

The gadgets are all controlled by toggles and switches hidden in the center arm-rest, said collector car auction house RM Auctions, which is presenting the car with Sotheby's.

The DB5 also featured in the 1965 Bond film "Thunderball," as Bond battled to track down two stolen atomic bombs and foil a plan to blow up Miami as the world was held to ransom.

RM expects the car to raise over $5 million at the Automobiles of London event in Battersea, south London, on October 27. That would be the most ever paid for a vehicle from a film, it said.

The DB5 is one of two originals featured on screen in the two Bond films, RM said. The other, sold twice at auction, was stolen in 1997 from an airport in Florida, and never recovered.

The remaining DB5 is being sold by Philadelphia-based radio broadcaster Jerry Lee, who bought it for $12,000 in 1969. Proceeds will go toward The Jerry Lee Foundation, an organization dedicated to solving social problems.

(Reporting by Helen Massy-Beresford; Additional Reporting by Gilles Guillaume, editing by Paul Casciato)

<p>The original Aston Martin DB5, driven by actor Sean Connery in the James Bond films "Goldfinger" and "Thunderball", is seen parked in front of a hotel in London July 21, 2010. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett</p>