The DB5 Aston Martin rapidly became the very essence of the hand-built English classic car. Very expensive, built in tiny numbers by dedicated craftsmen, it was also an apt choice of mount for the suave secret agent James Bond. Equally deft was the director's decision in 1995 to hark back 30 years, nostalgically providing a DB5 for Bond's use in "Goldeneye".

No less than three different Aston Martins were employed during filming and this fourth example was used by renowned French special effects man Remy Julienne during the preparation of the high-speed car chases and stunts in "Goldeneye."

M. Julienne has stated of this car, "The Aston Martin served as a guinea pig to test the solutions that we then had to adapt to the (identical) vehicles used during the filming." After filming, the DB5 retired from the heady world of the filmmaker to be used as a normal road car.

Existing documentation shows that between 1990 and 1996 it was maintained by respected Midlands Aston Martin specialists, Four Ashes Garage. During this period all rusted sills, box sections, outriggers, bumper mountings, rear radius arm locating point and jacking points were replaced with new metal. Corroded aluminum panels were also replaced, after which the body was stripped to the bare metal and refinished. All body seals and weather strips were renewed and a new windscreen was fitted. Mechanical work included replacing the engine's timing chains, overhaul of the water pump, reconditioning the suspension dampers and fitting a new clutch. New wheel centerlock spinners were fitted. The interior was given new Wilton carpets, the leather upholstery refurbished and much other interior trim recovered. The external chrome fittings were replated and polished.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1964 Aston Martin DB5
Years Produced:1963-1965
Number Produced:1,021 (886 of them coupes)
Original List Price:$12,500
SCM Valuation:$50,000-$80,000
Tune Up Cost:$300
Distributor Caps:$45
Chassis Number Location:Engine compartment on shroud support
Engine Number Location:Stamped on right side of engine
Club Info:Aston Martin Owners Club, Mr. R. Burt, 8 Elm Ridge Rd. Princeton, NJ, 08450

Let me see if I have this straight. This car was never actually driven by any movie actor playing James Bond, either in the original “Goldfinger” in 1964 or the “Goldeneye” version in 1996. Nevertheless, the over-market price of $75,075 for which this car sold at Christie’s London auction November 30, 1998 must be attributed as much to that original gadget-laden movie car as to the underlying mechanical attributes and design artistry of the Aston Martin DB5.

Don’t get me wrong; DB5s were very fine automobiles, probably the best that the engineers and craftsmen at Newport Pagnell ever built. David Brown (the DB in DB5) and his small company had refined the body design, originally done for the DB4s by Touring of Milan, in subtle ways such as fairing in the head lamps with plexiglass. They replaced the DB4 brake system with a new dual-cylinder, dual-servo system by Girling, added tinted glass, and installed an alternator. Most important, they made standard the optional DB4 Vantage engine to provide more power (its triple 2-inch SU carburetors and 8.9:1 compression produced 282 bhp) and solved the over-heating problems of the early DB4s.

Only 886 of these coupes were built from July of 1963 to September of 1965. They were built for young English aristocrats, seen in the forecourts of the best clubs, and driven close to their 140-mph capability on the new high-speed motorways between London and country estates.

On the negative side, their bodies of hand-rolled aluminum panels over steel tubing can be expensive to rework, and they are prey to those peculiarly English electrical and mechanical problems that develop if the cars aren’t conscientiously maintained. Aston Martin is now owned by Ford, so the good news is that the craftsmen of Newport Pagnell -or their sons and apprentices-still ply their crafts in that charming little town in England. Restoration assistance is still available at the source, though it might be a bit pricey.

At the end of the day, this particular car, modified and tested at its limits by a French movie stunt driver and then afterwards used as a “normal road car” with no further restoration documented, may be a suitable addition to some provincial museum of movie memorabilia. However, for an automotive enthusiast, that wouldn’t justify its premium over the more typical $50 – 60,000 that a similar condition #3 Aston DB5 should fetch.-Gary Anderson, Editor, British Car Magazine

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