The Daily Telegraph
In its day it was the ultimate James Bond gadget. Driven by Sean Connery in the film Goldfinger, the car had built-in machine guns, a bullet-proof shield, and revolving number plates.
Now the Aston Martin DB5 is due to accomplish another feat. It is expected to fetch 4-million pounds (about 5.8 million US) when it comes on the open market for the first time.
The silver car has “some rather interesting modifications,” as Q explained in the 1964 film.
These include a tracking device, removable roof panel, oil slick sprayer, and smoke screen. However, the most memorable of the extras, the ejector seat, does not work. But the buyer will find a canopy in the roof above the passenger seat, as well as a red button on top of the gear stick used by 007 to activate the seat.
The secret devices were deployed by Bond when he was being pursued by Goldfinger’s henchmen in the film. Most of the other gadgets are in working order, although the machine guns do not fire.
It was also used during a game of cat-and-mouse in the vehicle with a Ford Mustang in the Alps.
The car, which also featured in the 1965 film Thunderball, was bought from Aston Martin in 1969 by an American radio broadcaster for $12,000.
Mr Lee is selling the vehicle at auction in London on Oct 27 and hopes to use the proceeds to fund a foundation he runs that focuses on crime prevention.
The car, which has its original British registration number FMP 7B, is said to be in perfect working condition and has about 30,000 miles on the clock.
It is the only surviving DB5 used in the films. Another model used during filming mysteriously vanished from an airport hangar in Florida in 1997.
Peter Haynes, of RM Auctions, which is selling the car, said: “After the car was used in Thunderball, Aston Martin sold it to Mr Lee who has owned it ever since. He had to really persuade Aston Martin to sell it to him, and they did on condition they could use it for promotional purposes whenever they wanted.”
He added: “The car is up and running. You can use the smoke screen and oil slick discharge, the revolving number plates and activate the bullet-proof shield at the back. The machine guns obviously don’t work – they never have done – but you can still press a button inside and it moves them into position.”
Mr Lee, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, said: “The James Bond car has brought me much enjoyment for some 40 years.
“Even as I sell it, the car will continue to give me great pleasure as it furthers the mission of the foundation to do good around the world.”