James Bond’s car selection has changed even more often than the actors portraying him. But one brand has always been a staple: Aston Martin. And in the pantheon of iconic movie cars, the Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger arguably stands at the top. It’s such a part of the films’ lore that it’s returned to star in the Daniel Craig movies, including No Time to Die. And it also inspired the subject of Jay Leno’s latest video: the Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation.
Aston Martin resurrected the DB5 in all its Goldfinger gadget-laden glory
|Spec||1964 Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation|
|Engine||4.0-liter triple-SU inline-six|
|Torque||288 lb-ft (Car and Driver)|
|Curb weight||3200 lbs (approximate, MotorTrend)|
|0-60 mph time||7-8 seconds (estimated)|
In Ian Fleming’s original books, James Bond started out with a Blower Bentley before getting an Aston Martin DB3. When the first Bond movies came out, the directors couldn’t afford to rent or borrow an Aston at all. But by the time Goldfinger was in production, the films’ success convinced Aston Martin to lend the crew a DB5. Or rather, it lent out four, one of which got the famous gadgets. And the rest is movie and automotive history.
The connection between Bond and Aston Martin has only grown in the following decades. But even as the spy gained access to newer cars and more advanced gadgets, that DB5 has stayed special. So, with many high-end car companies making continuation versions of their classic icons—including that Bentley Blower—Aston Martin decided to join in, too. And after recreating the DB4 GT and Zagato, it started working on the DB5 Goldfinger Continuation.
Note, the Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation isn’t a replica or restomod. It’s a brand-new DB5 built to the exact specs as the original. That includes the period-correct bias-ply tires, ZF transmission, and Girling four-wheel disc brakes. The gear ratios are the same, too, as are the shocks, mechanical limited-slip differential, and unassisted steering. And all of the DB5 Continuation’s aluminum body panels were hand-shaped.
But remember, this is the Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation. So, it has the same gadgets as the movie car—and they work. Well, the front-mounted machine guns have blinking LEDs instead of bullets, and there’s no ejector seat. But the reborn classic does have a deployable smokescreen, oil slick (dyed water) sprayer, bullet-resistant rear screen, and extending bumper battering rams. Plus, a functioning GPS system that mimics the one in the film, revolving number plates, and detachable (non-functional) tire slashers. And while there’s no ejector seat, the roof still retracts.
Jay Leno relives his youth in the Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation
The movie industry has given the world plenty of automotive icons, but the Goldfinger Aston Martin DB5 might be “the most famous,” Jay Leno says. And with the movie-accurate gadgets, the DB5 Continuation is extra special, he notes. Also, remember that only one of the four DB5s Aston Martin lent out had functioning gadgets back in the day.
While Aston Martin couldn’t safely replicate all of the movie car’s features, that doesn’t make the DB5 Goldfinger Continuation any less fun. “You get to have an experience with this thing that’s impossible to recreate,” Jay Leno reports. Yes, modern supercars have features like active aero and electronically-controlled wings. But how many of them have switches for oil slicks and smokescreens? And while Lamborghini’s missile-launch-style push-button start is cool, there’s nothing quite like flipping back the gearshift and pressing a big red button.
Plus, underneath the Goldfinger gadgets, this is still an Aston Martin DB5. “A brand-new DB5,” Jay Leno points out. The steering is heavy at low speeds but lightens up as you go faster, communicating all the time. That ZF manual is crisp and satisfying, Car and Driver says, and the inline-six is torquey enough to keep up with modern traffic. And it flows over curving back roads with aplomb, MotorTrend reports.
At the end of his drive, Jay Leno simply said, “I love it. The combination of nostalgia, history, and the fact that in its day it was one of the most powerful cars you could buy.” And it let him fulfill a dream his 13-year-old self would’ve never believed could come true.
An original DB5 might be cheaper and easier to find
Unfortunately, only a handful of well-off people will get to experience such a feeling. Aston Martin only made 25 DB5 Goldfinger Continuations and they’re all sold. And not only does each one carry a $3.5 million price tag, but these cars aren’t road-legal. Hence why Jay Leno’s drive took place on a closed lot.
Compared to that, an original DB5 is something of a bargain. You could buy two pristine DB5s for the price of one Continuation, Hagerty says. Though to be fair, they won’t have deployable machine guns.
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