5 Things About “The Most Famous Car in the World”

1965 Aston Martin DB5 – the "James Bond Car"

When Eon Productions approached Aston Martin to provide the car that would become James Bond’s iconic, gadget-equipped sports car in the film Goldfinger, few could have foreseen the enormous impact the Bond/Aston Martin partnership would have. Since then, the Aston Martin DB5 has become known as the most recognizable Aston Martin ever built – Sotheby’s calls it “The Most Famous Car in the World.”

Here are “5 Things” you may not know – or may have forgotten – about one of the most significant cars in popular culture:

1. The DB5 pictured at the top of the page is the third of four cars Aston Martin built according to Goldfinger production specifications.

2. This DB5 is also one of only two purchased for use in the follow-up film, Thunderball.

3. In one of the most memorable scenes in the entire the Bond franchise, Q introduces 007 to the innumerable gadgets and spyware devices that have been added to the DB5. The car’s complete refurbishment ensured that all thirteen of the original special-effects modifications were fully functional.

4. The special-effects expert who served on both Goldfinger and Thunderball films was John Stears, a name many will recognize as the winner of the Academy Award for Best Special Effects for his work on Star Wars a decade later.

5. Among the features Stears equipped Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 with:

  • Front and rear hydraulic over-rider rams on the bumpers
  • A Browning .30-caliber machine gun in each fender
  • 18-inch wheel-hub-mounted tire-slashers
  • A retractable rear bulletproof screen
  • An in-dash, radar-tracking scope
  • Oil slick, caltrop, and smoke-screen dispensers
  • Revolving license plates (England, France, and Switzerland)
  • A passenger-seat ejection system
  • A driver-door telephone used to communicate with MI6
  • A hidden weapon compartment under the driver’s seat

Bonus fact! In August, 2019, Sotheby’s auctioned “The Most Famous Car in the World” for a cool $6.3 million. Clearly, the new owner was someone who really wanted a beautiful car with a .30-caliber machine gun. But then, who wouldn’t?

Photos: Sotheby’s.