Aston Martin DB5
Now it’s time a thrilling ride through the iconic relationship between the Aston Martin DB5 and James Bond. For over half a century, both James Bond and the DB5 car have been a symbol of British elegance, power, and sophistication, making them a perfect team.
This stunning car has been a significant part of the James Bond universe, since appearing for the first time in Goldfinger (1964). Since then it has made an appearance in nine more Bond films and has become an irreplaceable part of the 007 legacy.
As we explore the various appearances of the Aston Martin DB5 throughout the years, we’ll dive into the fascinating world of gadgets, modifications, and jaw-dropping car chases that have left audiences on the edge of their seats.
From Sean Connery‘s groundbreaking role as the first James Bond to Daniel Craig‘s modern take on the character, the DB5 has evolved and adapted, continuously capturing the imagination of moviegoers worldwide.
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Join us as we relive some of the most memorable moments in James Bond history, where the unparalleled combination of high stakes, luxurious automobiles, and daring escapades has made the Aston Martin DB5 an enduring symbol of 007’s indomitable spirit.
Whether you’re a die-hard Bond fan or a car enthusiast, this blog post is a must-read for anyone looking to dive into the captivating world of espionage, glamour, and exhilarating automotive action.
Bond Films The Aston Martin DB5 has Made an Appearance
The Aston Martin DB5 is the James Bond car, and has figured in 10 different Bond films. Some more prominent than others, and it even had a 30-year hiatus, but since returning, it really has become a central figure in the Bond franchise.
The Aston Martin DB5 made its grand debut in Goldfinger (1964) with Sean Connery behind the wheel as James Bond. The Silver Birch DB5 was packed with numerous hidden gadgets – a mix of pure imagination and features that would eventually become common in modern cars.
The DB5 features a plethora of gadgets including retractable front and rear over-rider rams, front-mounted .30 caliber Browning machine guns, retractable tire slashers, a retractable rear bulletproof screen, a concealed radio telephone, a radar scanner, a passenger ejector seat, an oil slick ejector, triple spiked nails (caltrops), a smoke screen cartridge, rotating number plates, a hidden armaments drawer, and bulletproof front and rear screens.
There was a total of four DB5’s used for filming, but only the effects car, DP216/1, was fitted with the movie’s special features by the film production company. DB5/1486/R was primarily a standard road car used for most driving sequences.
However, due to the enormous demand for the 007 DB5 to make appearances worldwide for promotional purposes, the road car, DB5/1486/R, eventually had the 007 extras installed by the Aston Martin factory.
Once again, the Aston Martin DB5 takes center stage with Sean Connery as James Bond in Thunderball (1965). This time, the car is equipped with new gadgets such as a rear-facing water cannon and a jetpack.
The DB5 appears in the pre-credits sequence as Bond makes a thrilling escape with the jetpack, during which the rear-facing water cannon is activated (a gadget not featured in Goldfinger), seamlessly transitioning into the film’s aquatically-themed credits sequence.
After a thirty-year hiatus, the Aston Martin DB5 makes a triumphant return in GoldenEye (1995), with Pierce Brosnan taking the wheel as James Bond. The film features an exhilarating race between the DB5 and a Ferrari F355 driven by Xenia Onatopp (played by Famke Janssen), along with a hidden champagne cooler as a classy addition.
For the film, three cars were used: one in perfect condition for close-up and interior shots (DB5/2187/R), and two more used for stunt cars for the driving scenes in the Monte Carlo area (DB5/1484/R and DB5/1885/R). The stunt cars, initially in relatively poor shape, underwent a rapid restoration specifically for the film.
When James Bond was reunited with the car in GoldenEye, the car was given the registration number BMT 214A, as if it had come from the same fleet as the first car. It is believed that BMT 216A couldn’t be used for legal reasons, although it was later used on the BMW 750i in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997).
One of the stunt cars, DB5/1885/R, was sold at auction in 2001. Max Reid bough it for £157,000, and it became the most valuable piece of Bond memorabilia ever sold.
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
In Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), the Aston Martin DB5 makes a brief appearance, once again driven by Pierce Brosnan as James Bond. The iconic James Bond car is spotted parked in front of the University of Oxford, and we see Bond driving it in a transitional scene as he arrives at the Ministry of Defence in London.
The World is Not Enough (1999)
The DB5 can be seen parked at the funeral of Sir Robert King in The World is Not Enough (1999). Later in the movie, a thermal image of the car is briefly displayed, showcasing the car’s enduring presence in the James Bond franchise.
Casino Royale (2006)
In Casino Royale (2006), the Aston Martin DB5 makes an appearance when Daniel Craig, portraying James Bond, wins the car in a high-stakes poker game. Initially owned by villain Alex Dimitrios (played by Simon Abkarian)in the Bahamas, this DB5 is devoid of any special modifications or gadgets, showcasing the car’s raw elegance and power.
In Skyfall (2012), the DB5 makes a return, again driven by Daniel Craig as James Bond. The gadget-filled Aston Martin DB5 makes a memorable comeback, with the front-firing machine guns seeing action for the first time since Goldfinger (1964).
The car is also equipped with the rotating registration plates and the ejector seat, which Bond jokingly threatens to use on M if she doesn’t stop complaining.
In Spectre (2015), the DB5 returns once again with Daniel Craig as James Bond behind the wheel. Initially, the car from Skyfall is discovered in Q’s lab, in the process of being rebuilt. By the end of the film, the DB5 is completed, and Bond drives it away from MI6 as the film is ending.
No Time To Die (2021)
By No Time To Die the Aston Martin DB5 is fully restored, and Bond uses it to travel to Matera, Italy with Madeleine (Léa Seydoux) for a vacation. When they’re ambushed by Spectre assassins, Bond and Madeleine make their escape in the car.
In this film, the DB5 is equipped with several new gadgets, including M134 miniguns hidden in the front headlights, a mine dispenser on the rear bumper, and the classic smokescreen device.
Aston Martin DB5 Gadgets
The DB5 has been fitted out with many different gadgets as it became the James Bond car of choice over the years. let’s take a look at them..
Machine Guns — The DB5 features two front-firing Browning .30 caliber machine guns hidden behind each front light, which flip down during use. These are used in both Goldfinger and Skyfall. After the DB5 is reconstructed for Craig’s Bond films, they’re relocated to the top of the rear light clusters and replaced in the front by a pair of M134 miniguns in No Time to Die.
Tire-shredding Blade — Concealed in the hubcap of the car’s rear wheel is a chariot-style retractable blade. It’s used to shred Tilly Masterston’s Ford Mustang in Goldfinger.
Bullet-proof Rear Shield — The Aston Martin DB5 comes equipped with a bullet-proof rear shield in Goldfinger and Thunderball. Controlled from the center console, a sheet of metal rises from the boot to form a protective barrier across the window.
Tracking Equipment — A precursor to modern GPS devices, the scanner displays the position of a Homing Beacon on a monochrome display concealed behind the dashboard. The device has a stated range of 150 miles, and in Goldfinger, Bond uses it to follow Auric Goldfinger‘s Rolls-Royce Phantom III.
Ejector Seat — The DB5 is equipped with an ejector seat for unwelcome passengers. The trigger is concealed beneath a flip-cap on the gear stick. When pressed, a section of the roof is jettisoned, along with the passenger seat and passenger. It’s used in Goldfinger and Bond jokingly threatens M with it in Skyfall after she complains about the car being uncomfortable.
Oil Sprayer — An oil sprayer is concealed behind the nearside rear light. The oil slick severely reduces road traction, allowing Bond to evade pursuers in Goldfinger. It’s operated by toggles and switches in the center armrest.
Smoke Screen — A thick smoke screen fired through the car’s exhaust pipes, reducing visibility for those following. As with the oil slick, 007 uses it in Goldfinger during his escape from Auric Enterprises.
Bullet-proof Glass — In Goldfinger, the DB5’s windshield is reinforced with bullet-proof glass to withstand the impact of firearms. In No Time To Die, the DB5 is equipped with reinforced glass too.
Revolving Registration Plates — The classic Aston Martin DB5 comes with rotating number plates, some of which include: BMT 216A (UK), 4711-EA-62 (France) and LU 6789 (Switzerland).
Water Cannons — For Thunderball, two high-pressure water cannons are added to the underside of the rear of the DB5.
Alpine 7817R — In GoldenEye, the Aston Martin DB5 features an Alpine 7817R radio and CD player which acts as a communication device. It also doubles as a color printer/fax machine for receiving intelligence from MI6, dispensing printouts from the disc slot.
Reinforced Chassis — After the DB5 is rebuilt, the car’s chassis is reinforced to withstand high impact damage from other vehicles and conventional firearms, making the car’s body and windows impervious to bullet damage.
Dispenser — In No Time To Die, while driving through Matera’s winding streets, the DB5 dispenses a large cluster of small mines from a hidden compartment behind the car’s rear bumper. The mines explode as the SPECTRE agents are chasing Bond.
The Aston Martin DB5’s Impact on Popular Culture
The Aston Martin DB5’s association with the James Bond franchise has had a profound impact on popular culture, solidifying the car’s status as an emblem of luxury, sophistication, and British craftsmanship. As a result, the DB5 has become one of the most recognized and sought-after cars in the world.
Automobile Industry: The James Bond films have significantly contributed to the prestige and desirability of the Aston Martin brand. The DB5’s numerous appearances in Bond movies have boosted the car’s sales and influenced the design and marketing strategies of other luxury automakers who strive to capture the same allure.
Film and Television: The DB5’s presence in Bond films has led to the car being featured in various other movies and television series as a symbol of style, wealth, and exclusivity. Films like The Cannonball Run and TV series such as The Saint and The Persuaders! have all showcased the DB5, further cementing its cultural significance.
Marketing Campaigns: The Bond-DB5 connection has been utilized in numerous advertising campaigns, both for Aston Martin itself and other brands looking to tap into the iconic image. From watchmakers to clothing brands, the DB5’s association with James Bond has proven to be a valuable marketing tool, attracting customers who want to experience a taste of the 007 lifestyle.
Merchandise and Collectibles: The DB5’s fame has also led to a thriving market for scale models, toy cars, LEGO DB5s, and other collectibles. Enthusiasts of all ages can enjoy miniature replicas of the classic car, and companies like Corgi, Hot Wheels, and Scalextric have produced highly detailed versions that capture the DB5’s elegance and charm.
Influence on Other Franchises: The success of the James Bond films and the DB5’s pivotal role in the series have inspired other franchises to incorporate high-end, technologically advanced cars as integral elements of their storylines. Films like The Fast and the Furious and Mission: Impossible have followed suit, using stylish and powerful cars to add excitement and glamour to their narratives.
The Aston Martin DB5 and Bond
Of all James Bond cars, the Aston Martin DB5’s numerous appearances in the James Bond franchise have left an indelible mark on the film franchise and on popular culture more so than any other.
Its association with the world of espionage, luxury, and cutting-edge technology continues to captivate audiences and shape the way we perceive high-end automobiles. And no doubt it has done a lot for Aston Martin brand that continues to lead the luxury car industry.