Thursday, 5 December 2013

Skyfall DB5

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

Ready for a confusing 007 story? OK, here goes...
The Aston Martin DB5 you see here isn't the original BMT 216A that appeared in Goldfinger. In fact, it's a thorny issue to say exactly which DB5 is. SuckSqueezeBangBlow tackled the heritage of Bond's silver Aston in this post, but in a nutshell it's this:
Eon Productions originally bought a pair of DB5s, wearing body numbers DB5/2008/R & DB5/2017/R. They were both kitted out with all the famous weapons and extras, but were show cars rather than being used in any actual films. These cars travelled around the USA on a promo tour - but there was also an effects car and a road car.
The effects car - no. DP/216/1 - was the one with all the gizmos that was filmed in close-up detail shots for Goldfinger. 'DP' signifies that it was a developmental prototype rather than a production model, which adds to the uniqueness. It was apparently stolen from a Florida warehouse in the nineties and nobody seems to know where it is now. This was the car originally registered BMT 216A, the famous Bond number plate that reappeared in Goldeneye.
DB5/2008/R was a press car that was road-tested by various mags and journos before being prepped for filming - it cost £25k to build, at a time when a new DB5 was £5k-ish. It was only ever on loan, and once returned to Aston was converted back to standard spec. It was then sold on to an unwitting punter under reg. no. 6633 PP, while BMT 216A was transferred to the other show car.
The fourth car? That was originally registered FMP 7B, having BMT 216A fitted for filming. It was the road car that Sean Connery drove in Goldfinger and Thunderball, which had no gadgets fitted. However, all of the gizmos were fitted to it retrospectively prior to it being sold to an American named Jerry Lee, who bought it in 1969.

Now, the car we see here was built specially for Skyfall. While it wears the BMT 216A plates, it isn't at all related to any of the aforementioned DB5s. In fact, the base of the project was a rusty and delapidated DB5, registered COJ 483C. It had been sold by RM Auctions for £224k in 2010 and was awaiting restoration at Newport Pagnell (by coincidence, one of the original Goldfinger cars, FMP 7B, had been sold at the same auction for £2.9m); the green car's serial number is DB5/2007/R, its 007 element making it eminently appropriate for movie work...
The Skyfall DB5 is privately owned and, contrary to what the film would have you believe, survived the shooting intact: three 1/3-scale plastic models were 3D-printed for use in the scenes where the DB5 gets destroyed, so no real Astons were harmed in the making of the picture

So there you go. There are a few James Bond DB5s, all of them claiming BMT 216A at some point or other, and this is the most recent of them. Simple.

Spotted at the 2013 Aston Martin Centenary event at Kensington Gardens - click here for more photos.

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