In 1959, Ian Fleming penned Goldfinger and inserted his secret agent hero, James Bond, into a 1959 Aston Martin DB-3. There was a lag between the story’s release, however, and the motion picture that shared its name. By the time Sean Connery was prepared to take out Goldfinger, the DB-3 seemed dated. James Bond got behind the wheel of a 1963 Aston Martin DB-5 and made it the most famous sports car in the world.
Sports cars are wonderful, but the Bond car had a few special features that made it already more alluring to moviegoers. It was outfitted with bulletproof glass, machine guns, and other assorted gadgetry. Its understated color scheme fit the Bond character perfectly, and the car’s role in the film afforded it meaningful screen time. Within a few years, there would be no better-known sports car in the world.
The Aston Martin DB-5 was a fine car independent, but the popularity of Goldfinger and Thunderball (in which it also appeared) elevated it to a global occurrences. already today, after countless intervening James Bond movies, when someone says they want a Bond car, the mind races back to the DB-5 made famous over forty years ago.
An American ultimately purchased the original Bond car and kept it in superb condition, using it chiefly for special appearances and events. In 1999, the DB-5 was stolen from outside a Boca Raton, Florida airport. The would-be thief didn’t blend into traffic well in the Aston Martin and was apprehended.
The exceptional performance of James Bond’s DB-5 was no doubt aided by Q and the other technicians at headquarters. Movie feats such as outracing a Ferrari were beyond the limitations of the real DB-5. Although a fine sports car, the DB-5 was really designed more as a touring means than as a speedster. It possessed a six-cylinder engine that topped out at approximately 280 bhp. It’s top-end speed was approximately 140 mph, and it took over 8 seconds to unprotected to speeds in excess of 60 mph from start.
Although the DB-5 was by no method considered a clunker, it was not the top performer in its class. Ferrari, Jaguar and others were producing sports cars at the same time that outperformed the Aston Martin by a important margin. These cars, however, faded into history as the uniquely British styling of the DB-5 and its use by one her majesty’s best secret service agents elevated it to worldwide popularity.
The ever-popular DB-5 has been reproduced countless time in miniature, with the famed Danbury mint nevertheless offering a small-extent replica of the famous sports car. Items relating to the DB-5 are popular crossover collectibles, desired by fans of film and British sports cars alike.
There are many other famous sports cars. The Ferrari Testarossa from Miami Vice, Steve McQueen’s Mustang from Bullitt, the Spider in which James Dean met his fate and other sports cars all proportion places in our collective memories. But the Aston Martin DB-5, propelled by two incredibly successful films and attractive independent, remains the world’s most famous sports car.