Here’s Your Chance To Own What Ian Fleming’s ‘007’ Drove
Photography Courtesy of Bonhams
Declared the most famous car in the world, it’s not secret the Aston Martin DB5 was made internationally famous by the devilishly cool James Bond played by Sean Connery in Goldfinger—still one of the best 007 flicks, FYI. Yet, despite what Hollywood Bond drove, Ian Fleming’s original novels had the license-to-kill hero drive a DB Mark III—much like this 1959 Aston Martin DB Mark III.
Sean Connery’s character was issued a DB5 because, at the time of film production, it was Aston’s newest model and the DB III had long been out of production. In Fleming’s Goldfinger paperback, 007 wheeled a DB Mark III, which is more commonly referred to in text simply as a DB III—not to be confused with the DB3/S race car.
So, if you want to be a James Bond hipster, you could buy this final year DB III and remind everyone this is the “real” 007 Aston, but that’s a bit pedantic. No need to discredit or take away from the DB5. This face lifted specimen is finished in “Snow Shadow,” an off-white refined primer tone more vintage racer than gadget-y espionage.
You could rock a Savile Row conduit cut in this, but you’d probably look more natural behind the wheel wearing a race suit and helmet—especially if you ditched the bumpers and slapped some digits on the flanks. Goodwood, anyone? Either route works, it’s just refreshing to see such a unique color over the typical metallic colors—did you notice the blue spokes? Marvelous.
This car is powered by the long-produced Bentley 3.0-liter straight-six but remastered by Tadek Marek to the tune of 178 ponies with the factory optioned twin-pipe exhaust. Over the earlier iterations, this redesigned engine features a stronger block, a more robust crank, and a revised head with larger valves, all conducted through a four-speed manual gearbox with overdrive.
In addition to its sporting looks, the fastback design lends additional space for the two-plus-two black leather stitched cabin. Occupants ride on front independent and live rear axle suspension that was criticized for its harsh ride upon initial review, but can be chalked up to “old car problems” today. Front disc and rear drum Alfin drum brakes help keep the lid-side-upright, which will come in handy with a 120 mph top speed.
Chassis 1789 was first delivered to Brooklands Motors and sold shortly after to the Arnhem Timber Co. Ltd. Based in Moorgate, London. Later, a Mr. Chris Drake sold the car to a Belgian enthusiast who hired Aston Martin specialist, JMB Services, to carry out a complete restoration in 2008. In 2013, the current owner added this ghostly GT to his collection. The Aston has since been maintained and most recently had its steering box rebuilt.
Included in the sale are comprehensive restoration invoices and a copy of the factory build sheet. Although it’s not exactly Sean Connery spec, when you’re inevitably asked, “Is this James Bond’s car,” you technically could say, “Yes.”
– Final year model for the DB Mark III
– Restored by JMB Services in 2008
~178 horsepower, 3.0-liter straight-six cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, independent front and rear straight axle suspension, front Girling disc brakes and rear Alfin drum brakes. Wheelbase: 99 in.
Chassis no.: AM/300/1789