Regardless of the incarnation, James Bond is inexorably linked to Aston Martin. While in the books the fictional spy started off with a Blower Bentley, on the silver screen he’s been behind the wheel of multiple Astons. And few are as iconic as the Aston Martin DB5 seen first in Goldfinger. Which, incredibly, has been resurrected in the form of a continuation car. One that’s seemingly been touched by MI6’s own Q.
The Aston Martin DB5 Continuation is the closest thing to a real-life Goldfinger clone
First, a bit of clarification.
The ‘new’ Aston Martin DB5 cars are officially continuation models. They’re not restomods and they’re not exactly replicas like the ones Pur Sang makes. Instead, they’re “’ meticulously detailed authentic reproductions,’” Petrolicious reports. Though not of the original, road-going Aston Martin DB5. No, Aston Martin Modeled the Continuations after the car Bond drove in Goldfinger. And that includes the gadgets.
You read that right. Each Aston Martin DB5 Continuation has almost all of the same gizmos demonstrated by the Goldfinger star car, Hagerty reports. No, there’s no ejector seat or functioning Browning machine guns mounted behind the headlights. But each DB5 Continuation does have retractable gun barrels with flashing LEDs, mechanical recoil, and a built-in soundtrack, Car and Driver reports. And Aston Martin faithfully recreated the other gadgets.
Like in the Goldfinger film, the Aston Martin DB5 Continuation has its gadget controls mounted on a panel between the seats. There’s a functional oil-slick system (really dyed water), rotating number plates, bumper battering rams, a pop-out rear bullet-resistant shield, and the previously-mentioned guns, Top Gear reports. And while there’s no ejector seat, there’s still a red button in the shifter and an optional removable roof panel.
Aston Martin has also outfitted the DB5 Continuation with a deployable smokescreen and a Bluetooth-enabled telephone in the door pocket. The car even has the map display seen in Goldfinger, only it genuinely functions as a modern GPS, Road & Track reports. And while the tire slashers are static, not pop-out, they’re still present, albeit mounted on separate wheels.
But gadgets only go so far. Is there any substance behind the Bond car flash?
What’s it like driving a recreation of James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5?
Behind the tech, these Continuation models are genuine Aston Martin DB5s, MotorTrend reports. They’re built in the same shop as the originals, for one. And the automaker scanned original blueprints and DB5s to build the Continuations. Admittedly, the automaker’s engineers and designers made a few improvements for the sake of easier running. But mechanically, the Continuation is virtually identical to the original.
That means each Aston Martin DB5 Continuation has a 4.0-liter six-cylinder engine rated at 290 hp, linked to a 5-speed manual, Hagerty reports. That manual has the same gear ratios as the original, and it sends power to the rear wheels via a mechanical limited-slip differential. The DB5 Continuation also has period-style 4-wheel disc brakes, and even vintage-style cross-ply tires made to the original specs by British brand Avon. As a result, driving the Aston Martin DB5 Continuation is a vintage experience, but in a good way, Car reports.
The shifter requires some effort to move, R&T reports. And the disc brakes, while effective, are unassisted. Ditto the somewhat-slow steering. Plus, those tires are less grippy than their modern equivalents. But Aston Martin designed the DB5 Continuation to drive like the original, MT reports. In that regard, the marque more than succeeded.
Even today, the DB5 Continuation makes a good GT car. It’s not fast, per se, but “it flows nicely down the road,” MT reports. The lower grip levels from the tires mean slides are beautifully simple to initiate, but it’s easy to control them. While the steering is heavy at first, at speed it lightens up, and the ride quality is “pillowy soft,” Top Gear reports. And not only does the engine have an old-school song, but it also has good low-end torque. Little wonder the filmmakers wanted one for Goldfinger.
An original model might be cheaper and easier to find
Naturally, Bond’s wheels don’t come cheap. Each DB5 Continuation costs the equivalent of $3.73 million, Motor1 reports. Though admittedly, the actual Goldfinger Bond car sold for $6.38 million at a 2019 auction, Hagerty reports. So, it’s kind of a bargain.
But good luck finding one of the Continuations. Aston Martin made just 25 examples, and only the prototype is road-legal. And even so, Aston Martin sold every single one.
However, an original DB5 may actually be easier to obtain. Including the convertible and shooting brake variants, Aston Martin made over 1000 DB5s, Hagerty reports. And while they’re not exactly cheap, they’re cheaper than the Continuation models. A good-condition DB5 typically goes for about $726k, Hagerty reports. And a few examples have sold on Bring a Trailer for less than $750,000.
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