The 1964 Aston Martin DB5 is one of our favorite movie cars of all time. This timeless sportscar has appeared in more 007 films than any James Bond actor. We were thrilled the pretty Aston get a proper chase scene in No Time To Die. But it is never a good time for an original DB5 to die; we were relieved to find the movie car getting roughed up was an official Aston Martin replica powered by an E46 BMW M3 engine.
The ‘No Time To Die’ Aston Martin DB5
Daniel Craig’s James Bond is a bit of a classic car buff. A Series Land Rover, Radwood Aston Martin, and Land Cruiser are among James Bond’s many classic cars.
But it all started with his 1964 Aston Martin DB5. Back in Casino Royale, 007 won the car in a poker game. Then, in Skyfall, he revealed the DB5 had some Connery-era gadgets. Finally, at the end of Spectre, Bond and Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) escape for a vacation in the beautiful Aston Martin.
Building the BMW-Powered ‘No Time To Die’ DB5 Replica
Concours-level 1964 Aston Martin DB5 cars regularly fetch more than a million dollars at auction. So when No Time To Die director Cary Fukunaga conceived of a chase sequence with a DB5, he knew he would need a special replica.
The Eon Productions film crew turned to Aston Martin Lagonda limited to help build eight stunt-ready cars. Aston Martin’s special operations team scanned an original 1964 DB5. Then they poured a full complement of replica panels out of carbon fiber. They recreated every bit of glass and chrome trim to within millimeters of original specifications.
Once Aston Martin had completed the bodies, they shipped them off to Auto Action Development’s custom shop. Eon Productions tasked the customizers with building out drift-ready replicas on reliable drivetrains that looked and sounded every bit like the old Grand Tourer. You can see the DB5’s stunt double in action below:
Auto Action built space frame chassis for the bodies. They outfitted each with a roll cage, racing seats, and six-point harnesses. For stunts, the cars have double-wishbone suspension, Ohlin dampers, and hydraulic handbrakes.
Auto Action needed a drivetrain that could produce 300 horsepower while sounding similar to the original 1964 Aston Martin’s inline-six engine. So they chose naturally-aspirated I6 engines and manual transmissions out of the E46 BMW M3. At just 2,200 pounds, the final stunt vehicles were well-dressed racecars.
The Matera chase scene in the 1964 Aston Martin DB5
The No Time To Die film, and Spectre, catch up with Bond and Madeleine in Matera, Italy. Lucky for Bond, his Aston Martin is ready for a fight. He helps Madeleine into the car and the two race off across the cobblestone streets.
The bad guys in a pair of Jaguars slam into the car, but Bond always stays one step ahead. Whenever they cut him off, he drifts around a corner and continues in another direction. Whenever the bad guys close in, he drops mines or a smokescreen.
Finally, the bad guys corner Bond and Madeleine in a courtyard. As gunfire rocks the bulletproof car, it seems all hope is lost. But, cool as can be, Agent 007 reveals rotating mini-guns beneath his headlights. He launches his DB5 into a series of donuts while shooting up the henchmen. Then James Bond disappears in a cloud of smoke.