There are three, maybe four cars that every person recognizes, car enthusiast or not. Of course, the VW Beetle stands tall. As does the AMC Delorean. So too, does the VW Bus. But there is no car more recognizable to any human being than the Aston Martin DB5. It’s the James Bond car, and will always be an icon of the Silver Screen. However, it would appear that Mr. Bond’s child support has caught up to him, leaving him no choice but to get practical.
Aston Martin’s DB5 is a legend
First, it’s time for a little history lesson. The DB5 as it appears above, in coupe form, was first introduced in 1963. The car was intended to be a Grand Tourer, in the heyday of the activity. Grand Touring consisted of wealthy Europeans driving cross-continent from say, London, to Monaco or some such other destination for a weekend. The hitch was, Grand Touring was done as fast as possible, inspired by races that did the same.
The DB5, of which only 1,059 units were made, was designed to get wealthy Europeans from one end of the continent to the other in comfort and style. Of course, this isn’t what the car is known for. It has been James Bond’s iconic ride since its debut in “Goldfinger” in 1964. Some convertibles were also made, but the coupe was the most well-known because of the film. Still, fewer shooting brakes were made, and now, one of them is up for auction at R.M Sotheby’s.
A long tradition of Shooting Brakes
Aston Martin does have a history of making the odd shooting brake, one that continues to this day. The Zagato-designed Vanquish Shooting Brake continues that tradition. But why not just call it a wagon? There is a subtle difference between the two terms, if not just a technicality. Think of a shooting brake as a dressed-up station wagon.
The term was used for wagons that accompanied hunters on trips, carrying guns, and hunting spoils. It’s certainly a term suited to the Bond-associated brand. This DB5 shooting brake is certainly special enough for Bond, as one of only 12 factory-manufactured Shooting Brakes build by Aston Martin. The one up for auction now is also a spectacular example of the model.
What about the money?
This particular DB5 Shooting Brake is about as pristine as it gets. The car has a matching numbers motor, meaning all major parts are original. Coachbuilder Radford assisted in the production of this model, built for David Brown, the company’s owner. According to Sotheby’s, Brown wanted something for his hunting dog to sit in, and this was the result.
That’s not all that makes this DB5 (as in David Brown) special. This model is an exceptionally rare left-hand drive version, uncommon in the UK, where most cars are right-hand drive. Now, on to the subject of money. The car has sold for a massive $1.7 million. Moreover, if the owner is stateside, they will have to pay a 2.5% importation fee. That fee alone is $44,125, almost the cost of a new Toyota Supra. Big money for a very special car. If a Mr. Bond is the owner, he’ll at least have something to cart his illegitimate children around in now.