James Bond’s actual Aston Martin DB5 as driven by Sean Connery in Goldfinger and Thunderball is to be auctioned in London on 27th October 2010. James Bond fans, enthusiasts and collectors from all over the world are rushing to register for the international auction of one of the most significant automotive icons of the 20th century. RM Auctions in association with Sotheby’s have announced it will be the star lot at its annual ‘Automobiles of London’ event at the Battersea Evolution, where it is available for sale for the first time and is expected to achieve in excess of £3.5 million.
Well-known around the world by its original UK registration number, FMP 7B, this Aston Martin is one of only two, and the sole remaining of the original ‘007’ DB5s as featured onscreen with Sean Connery behind the wheel in the enormously popular Goldfinger and Thunderball movies. With its ‘rather interesting modifications’ originally conceived by Oscar-award-winning special effects expert, John Stears, this authentic Bond movie car is factory-fitted with the full complement of operational ‘Q-Branch’ gadgets, including machine guns, bullet-proof shield, revolving number plates, tracking device, removable roof panel, oil slick sprayer, nail spreader and smoke screen, all controlled from factory-installed toggles and switches hidden in the centre arm-rest.
“Like Q, we never joke about our work, which is why RM is consistently entrusted with the sale of the world’s most significant collector cars,” said Max Girardo, the managing director of RM Europe. “RM is known for world-record results and we expect nothing less for Bond’s iconic ride.”
The DB5 was originally loaned to EON Productions for the filming of the two Bond movies and returned to the Aston Martin Lagonda factory after its subsequent promotional tour. Jerry Lee, an American radio broadcaster based in Philadelphia, PA, convinced the factory to sell FMP 7B to him for $12,000 in 1969, thereby becoming its first and only ex-factory owner. It has remained in his possession and has rarely been seen publicly over the past 40 years.
Lee plans to use the proceeds from the sale of FMP 7B to further the charitable work of The Jerry Lee Foundation, a multinational initiative dedicated to solving social problems associated with poverty, with an emphasis on crime prevention. The foundation supports programs at the University of Pennsylvania, Cambridge University in the UK, as well as initiatives in Australia and Norway.
“The James Bond car has brought me much enjoyment for some 40 years,” said Jerry Lee. “Even as I sell it and use the proceeds to fund the Jerry Lee Foundation, the car will continue to give me great pleasure as it furthers the mission of the foundation to do good around the world.”
Today, FMP 7B is presented in highly original condition and recently underwent a careful re-commissioning program by RM Auto Restoration, returning it to running condition after the many years of static display in Lee’s home.
For more information and to register to bid at the auction, please visit the website.