Monday, 16 January 2012

The most famous car in the world

Sean Connery and Aston Martin DB5

When Ian Fleming wrote Goldfinger in 1959, he placed his hero behind the wheel of an Aston Martin DB Mark III, but by 1963 the Mark III had been replaced by the DB4, and a new car, the DB5, was about to be introduced.

Eon Productions had approached Aston Martin for a car to be driven by Bond in the 1964 Goldfinger film, and eventually, after much persuasion, the prototype DB5 was provided to them as an "effects" car along with a similar production model for driving sequences.

In part due to Oscar winning special effects genius John Stears (also known as 'the real Q'), the gadget filled Silver Birch DB5 became "the most famous car in the world". It was used again a year later in the next Bond film, Thunderball, followed by different DB5s making cameo appearances in Goldeneye (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), and Casino Royale (2006).

The original car, complete with pop-out gun barrels, bullet shield and revolving number plates, was bought from Aston Martin in 1969 for $12,000 by American radio DJ Jerry Lee. He used to drive it around in the 1970s but then held it in storage until October 2010, when it was sold to fellow countryman and car collector Harry Yeaggy for over $4million.

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