Goldfinger gadgets revealed. DB5 continuation to feature replica ‘Machine Guns’. Words Peter Tomalin. Photography Aston Martin.
Let’s be honest, there’s a little part of all of us that would love to be Sean Connery in a certain Silver Birch DB5.
A very select few with extremely deep pockets may even be anticipating the chance to live out that fantasy at the wheel of their own Bond DB5, thanks to Aston Martin’s decision to build a run of 25 Goldfinger DB5 continuation cars, complete with working replicas of the famous gadgets. And now Aston has revealed what some of those gadgets might be – with accompanying pictures of them being tested in prototype form.
Technicians at Aston Martin Works in Newport Pagnell have been working with Chris Corbould, the Oscar-winning special effects supervisor on the James Bond films, to produce the prototype gadgets as part of the engineering process on the continuation model. So far, Aston has revealed that these include revolving number plates, a rear smoke screen and – most excitingly for the ten-year-old in all of us – replica machine guns.
The DB5 in Goldfinger included all manner of non-standard equipment supplied by Q Branch, from battering rams that emerged out of the front bumper to a retractable bullet-proof rear screen and oil slick delivery system.
The continuation cars are set to feature a similar array of ‘extras’ – all standard- fitment on the new cars, of course – which Chris Corbould’s team are perfecting. Subject to final engineering approval, these will include the aforementioned revolving plates, smoke screen and machine guns, plus a simulated oil-slick delivery system, rear shield, and ‘battering rams’ front and rear. Inside, the cars will have a simulated radar screen, telephone in the driver’s door, armrest and console- mounted switchgear, under-seat weapons storage, and gearknob ‘actuator’ button (but, unsurprisingly, no ejector seat).
‘The guns appearing from the front lights were a particular challenge,’ said Corbould, ‘as in the film world we are able to use flammable gas mixtures combined with an ignition system to produce a flame and noise effect. Clearly this is not practical in untrained hands, so we have devised a new system to achieve a realistic effect.’
The Goldfinger DB5 is the latest in a series of continuation cars to be developed at Works – which, of course, is where DB5s were originally built in the
1960s. The programme started with the DB4 GT, while the facility is currently building the 19 DB4 GT Zagato Continuations, each of which will be paired with a DBS GT Zagato to form the DBZ Centenary Collection. But there’s little doubt that the DB5 has the widest appeal – even at an eye-watering £2.75 million plus taxes.
A footnote to the press release that accompanied the photos mentions that the car will not be road-legal. Which is a bit of a blow to those planning on acting out their Bond fantasies. But we imagine that it will not be beyond the ingenuity of owners and specialists, in some markets at least, to have a car individually approved for road use; after all, it’s happened with the Vulcan, originally a track-only car.
Then it really will be licensed to thrill…
Above: Prototype gadgets under development at Aston Martin Works include simulated smoke screen and ‘oil slick’ delivery systems, plus replica machine guns behind the sidelights, all inspired by the movie car (above right)