The DB5’s Film Debut
James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 made its debut in the 1964 film, Goldfinger. The model was so new, the film crew used the original DB5 prototype, with another standard car used for stunts.
The grand touring car was designed by Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera. It was powered by an all-aluminium 4.0-liter engine that produced 282 bhp. The DB5 could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 8 seconds on the way to its top speed of 145 mph.
Bond was first introduced to his new car by Q, played by Desmond Llewelyn, in the MI6 underground laboratory, famed for creating gadgets for the 00 agents. Bond asks about his car
Bond: Where's my Bentley?
Q: Oh, it's had its day, I'm afraid.
Bond: Well, it's never let me down.
Q: M's orders, 007.
Q: You'll be using Aston Martin DB5…with modifications. Now pay attention, please!
Q then goes on to explain each of the car’s features in detail.
The Bond Car’s Gadgets
While the stylish DB5 already had a stunning design and enough features to set it apart from the competition, the modifications made to Bond’s car made it especially unique.
The car had dashboard GPS. As with modern GPS, the DB5 had a mapping system and the capability to track a homing device placed in Goldfinger’s Rolls Royce.
Controls set in the DB5’s arm rest gave Bond fingertip control of the car’s defence and arms systems.
Flipping open the top of the gear lever revealed a little red button, which Q tells Bond to not touch. Q explains that it releases a section of the roof and engages and fires the passenger ejector seat. Bond is suitably impressed. (Many of us would have liked to have one of those at one time or another!).
To defend the car from pursuers, Bond could deploy a smoke screen, an oil slick, tyre slashers and a rear bullet-proof screen. Machine guns that emerge from behind the front indicator lights could also be activated from the arm rest.
To give the DB5 a touch of anonymity, it had rotating number plates with UK, French and Swiss registration numbers. Having local plates attracted less attention and could throw the enemy off the scent. We’re not sure that would work today as the ANPR cameras would be flagging up alerts in all three countries!
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