Good Oil: James Bond’s spare Aston Martin DB5 for sale
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Wait, what’s this!? An Aston Martin DB5 with actual James Bond cinematic pedigree going under the hammer this weekend? Why has this icon of movie cars not made more of a splash? It’s a 007 DB5 after all; short of Steve McQueen’s Bullitt Mustang, you can’t get much more instantly linked than this.
The finer print reveals all. It’s not a DB5 from Sean Connery’s run as the world’s least subtle secret agent; it is in fact — and somewhat improbably — from the time when, ugh, Pierce Brosnan played Ian Fleming’s signature character. So much promise, so little delivery.
This Aston Martin DB5 was actually one of three used in the 1995 film GoldenEye. We’re struggling to remember the scene (or indeed any elements of the entire movie) ourselves, but apparently the DB5 was one of three interchangeable Astons featured during a car chase between Brosnan’s Bond and Famke Janssen’s Xenia Onatopp (oh … maybe we do remember this film).
Onatopp is driving a Ferrari F355 in the sequence, with James in hot pursuit above the hills of Monaco. Two of the DB5s used were for stunts while a third was used only as a close-up car with the Irish 90s pin-up poster boy for the middle-aged set himself in the driver’s seat. The car going to auction was one of the stunt cars.
According to information from auction firm Bonhams, the maker of GoldenEye, Eon Productions, contacted Aston Martin Lagonda for assistance in procuring the cars.
“AML instructed Stratton Motor Company to purchase two DB5s to be used for the driving sequences, while a third was borrowed for static filming in Monaco,” Bonhams says.
“Stratton prepared all three DB5s to identical cosmetic specification to avoid any continuity issues, while the driving-sequence cars were further modified to cope with the high-speed on-road stunts. The driving-sequence cars carried the registration BMT 214A.”
Just because it isn’t the Goldfinger car, don’t be expecting a bargain for that Bond-themed man cave. When this Aston last changed hands in 2001, it became the most valuable piece of Bond memorabilia to pass over the auction block.
It has also had a genuine racer’s backside in the driver’s seat; Sir Stirling Moss drove this DB5 on stage at the Detroit Motor Show when Aston Martin used it (possibly as a distraction) in unveiling the DB7.
The DB5 has appeared in more recent Bond films. Eon Productions can’t seem to shake the catnip this car represents to Bond nostalgists.
A classic DB5 made an appearance in three Daniel Craig-era Bond films, as well as another couple from the Brosnan years. Will that dilute its impact as an exclusive rarity at auction this weekend? We seriously doubt it.
The Cannonball Run remake no one wanted
Staying with cinema, it appears there is a new Cannonball Run movie in the works. Why, no one can tell.
Warner Bros. has apparently enlisted the help of Night at the Museum writers Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon to form a script, while Dodgeball director (yes, they’re really bringing out the big guns) Rawson Thurber is tipped to direct.
Rather than a “next chapter” scenario, it is believed the new Cannonball Run will reboot the sort-of franchise. But of course. So, think Fast & Furious with toilet humour.
There were three Cannonball Run movies in the 1980s, each consecutive release featuring a depleted cast of stars.
Things had started well in 1981 with all manner of Hollywood notables signing up for the high-speed highway farce; Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett, Frank Sinatra, Dom DeLuise, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis jnr, among others.
According to Autoweek, the real life “Cannonball Run” races lasted from 1971 until 1979, until publicity grew to a point where it became difficult to conduct the races in semi-secrecy from various law enforcement agencies along the route, the start and end points of which varied each year.
Most commonly, the run was from New York City to the Portofino Inn in Redondo Beach, California.
No cast members have been named for the remake, although it’s inevitable that someone creeping into their middle years, but still with a rogue-ish twinkle in the eye, will take on the Burt Reynolds character.
Arachnophobes, beware of LDV’s incoming SUV
If even the thought of eight-legged creepy-crawlies give you the heebie-jeebies, you may want to avoid Chinese brand LDV’s incoming SUV.
It’s called the Tarantula.
Surely not. What marketing department would sign off on such an audience-dividing nameplate?
Okay, we’re probably not giving the full story here: the concept the LDV SUV is based on was called the Tarantula Concept; the production vehicle — our spidey senses tell us — will be named something far less hair-raising.
Name notwithstanding, the mid-sized SUV will be a good thing for the brand. It made a big splash in the New Zealand market with its range of el cheapo vans and has doubled down on the formula — while making great strides in terms of robustness and reliability — with its ute range, launched last year.
In addition to the SUV, a van-based people-mover will also be launched, although there is no word yet on whether an appetite exists in the NZ market for that. As long as it isn’t badged the LDV Funnel Web, they might find some sales ...