A rare Aston Martin DB5 could see a James Bond fan fork out nearly £5m when it goes to auction.
One of just three surviving examples of the iconic car commissioned by Eon Productions, it will be sold by RM Sotheby's at its 2019 Monterey auction on August 15.
Two were created for 1964's Goldfinger in which 007, portrayed by Sean Connery, had a DB5 as his spy car of choice. Each was fitted with an array of gadgets, including a Browning .30 calibre machine gun on each front wheel arch, hub-mounted tyre slashers, revolving registration plates, a bullet-proof screen, in-car radar tracking, an oil spill function, an ejecting passenger seat and smoke screen dispensers. One of them, though, was stolen in 1997 and remains lost.
Box office success for Goldfinger saw a surge in sales for Aston Martin, and the firm's cars would go on to be a mainstay in the franchise. The next film in the series was 1965's Thunderball, for which Eon Productions commissioned two more Goldfinger-spec DB5s to use in marketing the film.
The car offered by RM Sotheby's is one of those vehicles and was used in North America to promote the film. It never appeared on screen but boasted an identical specification to the starring vehicles. It was then bought by a private collector, who eventually sold the car to B H Atchley, owner of the Smokey Mountain Car Museum in Tennessee, USA.
The DB5 was displayed as the museum's centrepiece for 35 years before being sold again in 2006 – through RM Sotheby's – in an unrestored state. Swiss firm Roos Engineering, an Aston Martin-appointed heritage specialist, then painstakingly returned the car to its original condition.
When it heads to auction in two months, it's expected to fetch up to $6m (circa £4.7m) and will play a starring role in RM Sotheby's 'An Evening with Aston Martin' event during the sale, which will see more than 30 cars from the firm go under the hammer.
If you miss out on this chance to grab a piece of cinema history though, fear not, as Aston Martin plans to make a limited number of replica Goldfinger DB5s.
To be sold for £2.75m a piece before tax and delivered in 2020, the facsimiles will come finished in the iconic Silver Birch paint job and feature a working revolving licence plate. However, these 25 examples won't be road-legal.