Spy Secrets: Exploring the Mystique of GoldenEye & 007’s Aston Martin DB5

If you're searching for a sleek 1965 Aston Martin DB5 to outgun a Ferrari F355 on the hills above Monaco, you’re in luck! The coveted GoldenEye DB5 is part of the electrifying SPYSCAPE museum & experience.

SPYSCAPE NYC shows off the GoldenEye DB5 used for 007’s cat-and-mouse chase above Monaco



When 007’s Aston Martin was auctioned in 2001, the iconic vehicle entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the most valuable piece of Bond memorabilia ever sold. More than 20 years later, we consider it a priceless part of cinematic history.

Join us behind the scenes with James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) and some of the memorable GoldenEye moments.

Pierce Brosnan stars as 007 in his first Bond movie, GoldenEye (1995)


1. GoldenEye Firsts

GoldenEye was Brosnan's first Bond movie and the first time 007 was behind the DB5’s famous three-spoke steering wheel since Sean Connery’s Thunderball (1965), a special occasion that burnished the Aston Martin DB5 as Bond’s signature car. 

There were actually three DB5s used during filming. The SPYSCAPE Aston Martin Chassis no. DB5/1885/R - known on set as the ‘hero’ car - is the DB5 piloted by Brosnan in the iconic mountainside duel with a Ferrari F355.

Two other DB5 'stunt cars' also raced around the hills above Monte Carlo (DB5/1484/R and DB5/1885/R). They were bought in relatively poor shape (or ‘much loved’, depending on your perspective), quickly restored in England before filming, and shipped to France.

All three GoldenEye cars are completely different vehicles to the two used in making Goldfinger and Thunderball.

Famke Janssen

2. GoldenEye’s road accident

The first draft of the GoldenEye script consisted of a cold open of an Aston Martin car chase aboard a high-speed train, but co-producer Barbara Broccoli was concerned the screenplay lacked structure so it was reworked, Matthew Field writes in Some Kind of Hero: 007. The result was one of the most iconic Bond post-credits opening scenes in history with Bond enticed into a head-to-head race in the hills above the Côte d’Azur with the mysterious Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen) driving a Ferrari F355 racing animal.

The action behind the scenes was just as memorable. The stunt was meticulously planned but Rémy Julienne - who lent his precision stunt driving talents to six Bond movies - found it hard to maintain complete concentration during GoldenEye. “Famke was seated in the Ferrari, and I had to drive the Aston so as to remain next to her,” Julienne recalled, according to Bond Cars. “She was smiling at me with a smile that would blow the buttons off one's shirt, and on the first bend I was foolishly looking at her, and I almost missed it."

During one take of the sliding vehicles, the two cars collided when the Ferrari briefly lost control and pirouetted right in front of the Aston as it exited a hairpin. Both cars suffered cosmetic damage. Aston's support team repaired the DB5 overnight while the Ferrari was sent to the Monte Carlo dealer. 

Spy Secrets: Exploring the Mystique of GoldenEye & 007’s Aston Martin DB5

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If you're searching for a sleek 1965 Aston Martin DB5 to outgun a Ferrari F355 on the hills above Monaco, you’re in luck! The coveted GoldenEye DB5 is part of the electrifying SPYSCAPE museum & experience.

SPYSCAPE NYC shows off the GoldenEye DB5 used for 007’s cat-and-mouse chase above Monaco



When 007’s Aston Martin was auctioned in 2001, the iconic vehicle entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the most valuable piece of Bond memorabilia ever sold. More than 20 years later, we consider it a priceless part of cinematic history.

Join us behind the scenes with James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) and some of the memorable GoldenEye moments.

Pierce Brosnan stars as 007 in his first Bond movie, GoldenEye (1995)


1. GoldenEye Firsts

GoldenEye was Brosnan's first Bond movie and the first time 007 was behind the DB5’s famous three-spoke steering wheel since Sean Connery’s Thunderball (1965), a special occasion that burnished the Aston Martin DB5 as Bond’s signature car. 

There were actually three DB5s used during filming. The SPYSCAPE Aston Martin Chassis no. DB5/1885/R - known on set as the ‘hero’ car - is the DB5 piloted by Brosnan in the iconic mountainside duel with a Ferrari F355.

Two other DB5 'stunt cars' also raced around the hills above Monte Carlo (DB5/1484/R and DB5/1885/R). They were bought in relatively poor shape (or ‘much loved’, depending on your perspective), quickly restored in England before filming, and shipped to France.

All three GoldenEye cars are completely different vehicles to the two used in making Goldfinger and Thunderball.

Famke Janssen

2. GoldenEye’s road accident

The first draft of the GoldenEye script consisted of a cold open of an Aston Martin car chase aboard a high-speed train, but co-producer Barbara Broccoli was concerned the screenplay lacked structure so it was reworked, Matthew Field writes in Some Kind of Hero: 007. The result was one of the most iconic Bond post-credits opening scenes in history with Bond enticed into a head-to-head race in the hills above the Côte d’Azur with the mysterious Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen) driving a Ferrari F355 racing animal.

The action behind the scenes was just as memorable. The stunt was meticulously planned but Rémy Julienne - who lent his precision stunt driving talents to six Bond movies - found it hard to maintain complete concentration during GoldenEye. “Famke was seated in the Ferrari, and I had to drive the Aston so as to remain next to her,” Julienne recalled, according to Bond Cars. “She was smiling at me with a smile that would blow the buttons off one's shirt, and on the first bend I was foolishly looking at her, and I almost missed it."

During one take of the sliding vehicles, the two cars collided when the Ferrari briefly lost control and pirouetted right in front of the Aston as it exited a hairpin. Both cars suffered cosmetic damage. Aston's support team repaired the DB5 overnight while the Ferrari was sent to the Monte Carlo dealer. 

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3. Brosnan’s DB5 Debacle

There was a six-year gap between License to Kill (1989) and GoldenEye (1995) so expectations were high when filming started in February 1995. Brosnan’s arrival on set was met by a movie crew of 160, all appraising the ‘new guy’. Brosnan said he was up for the challenge but confessed to having his own issues with the DB5 during GoldenEye.

"I drove it outside of the casino in Monte Carlo,” Brosnan recalled. “I actually screwed up the handbrake on it. Really. We did about eight takes, and they said, 'What is that smell?’ And I said, ‘I don't know.’ I had the handbrake on, and I had been driving up the mountain, and reversing."

No matter. 007's relationship with Aston Martin would prove to be one of Bond’s longest-lasting.

4. Brosnan’s Early Love Affair with the DB5 

Irish-born Brosnan grew up idolizing 007. The first film he saw in London as a boy was Goldfinger (1964) - and he fondly recalls his first Aston Martin DB5 toy car with an ejector seat. Brosnan didn't have Bond aspirations at the time (he dropped out of school at 16 and was a circus fire-eater before winning his first acting role) but by 1995, Brosnan was 41 and ready to jump behind the wheel for GoldenEye. His Aston Martin DB5 had just turned 30. It was a match made in heaven.

GoldenEye’s DB5 has a six-cylinder, 4.0-litre engine that can get up to 150 mph. Built in 1965, it gets a 4.0-litre straight-six underneath, 282bhp, silver birch paint, and black leather interior. Ferrari’s F355, in comparison, had a 3.50-litre V8 engine that remains one of Ferrari's greatest mechanical triumphs. Still, the DB5 tugs at the heartstrings.

"We were afraid to hurt it (the DB5),” stunt car coordinator Rémy Julienne recalled. “Each time we force it, my heart becomes weak because this vehicle for me is something mythical. Super-light in structure, the shape... It's a dream car.” 

5. Q’s Workshop

Although Brosnan and Roger Moore were friends, Brosnan’s favorite 007 was actually Sean Connery. “He’s the only one that I looked to.” 

One of the key differences between Pierce Brosnan's DB5 and the Aston Martin driven by Connery is that the center console, which previously contained the switches and buttons that activated the car's arsenal, was replaced with an ice cooler to chill a bottle of Bollinger champagne.

And while the new DB5 did not have the machine guns, revolving number plates, extending rams, or ejector seats of the original, it went one better with a communication system that was the epitome of 1995 chic: a built-in fax machine disguised as an Alpine 7817R CD Tuner.

Various Aston Martin DB5 models appear in Goldfinger, Thunderball, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, Casino Royale, Skyfall, Spectre, and No Time To Die. It remains the car that defies expectations and it left an indelible mark on Brosnan.

When Brosnan was asked about the best part of playing 007 after filming GoldenEye, he responded: “You can do anything you want. You can get the woman. You win. You get to drive the cars.”

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