It was a 1964 Aston Martin DB5, just the sort of car that British secret agent James Bond drove in the 1960s films in which he was played by Connery.
The Bond character has been played by a number of actors and has driven many different cars in the more than two dozen films in the series. They’ve included everything from BMWs and Bentleys to Chevrolets and Fords. But the 1964 is still the best known “Bond car.”
The one that Connery first drove in the 1964 film “Goldfinger” was an Aston Martin DB5 replete with gadgets like machine guns, an ejector seat and an oil slick maker. More than 50 years later, Connery purchased a 1964 DB5 for himself — though it lacked the movie car’s guns and gadgets — in early 2018. Connery died almost two years later at the age of 90. It was only DB5 he ever actually owned.
At $2.4 million, which included fees to the auction company Broad Arrow, the car fetched more than originally projected. The company had expected it to sell for between $1.4 million and $1.8 million at its collector car auction in Monterey, California. The buyer was not named. The auction is one of a number of collector car sales during Monterey Car Week, an annual series of classic car events on California’s Monterey Peninsula.
A 1964 Aston Martin DB5 in this car’s pristine condition would typically be worth about $1 million, according to the classic car insurance and event company Hagerty, which recently took full ownership of Broad Arrow.
During his life, Connery had often told his children of his fond memories of driving the Aston Martin in films, his son Jason Connery said in an interview. When they were grown they suggested to their father that he buy one, but he was resistant to the idea.
“He’d say, ‘I don’t want to because it feels a bit obvious, you know, with me,'” Jason Connery said. “I said, ‘But forget it, it’s not about that.'”
Barney Ruprecht, an Aston Martin specialist with Broad Arrow who had also consulted with Connery on making the purchase, advised Connery against getting a car in need of restoration since the work would probably take a couple of years, he said. Instead, he and Connery sought out a car that was in as near-perfect condition as possible. The car remains in very nearly that condition, according to Ruprecht, with only some creases in the seat leather as evidence it has been sat in.
Once Connery purchased the car, he had it repainted from black to Snow Shadow Gray, the color closest to that of the movie car.
But after that work was done, there was little time left to actually drive it.
“Unfortunately as he got older, traveling, especially to Europe [became difficult] and then COVID hit and…,” said Jason Connery. “You know, unfortunately, he never really got to enjoy the car that he’d bought.”
The car was kept by Connery at his home in Switzerland, according to Jason Connery. He was so fond of the car, he kept a photo of it on his desk.
A substantial portion of the proceeds from the sale will go to support the Connery Family Philanthropy Fund, according to the Broad Arrow Group. In addition to the car itself, the winning bidder will receive a ride in the car from the famous retired Formula 1 racing driver Jackie Stewart.
Stewart, like Connery, is from Scotland, and the two were longtime friends.