James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5, first driven by Sean Connery in Goldfinger (1964), quickly established itself as the most famous car on Earth. Major Boothroyd - or Q, as he’s known in Goldfinger - offered an unforgettable introduction to the iconic and much-loved vehicle.
Sadly, the Goldfinger DB5 disappeared from a Florida airport hangar in 1997 in a mysterious whodunnit with more twists and turns than a Bond villain chase scene. The missing car is the focus of SPYSCAPE’s The Great James Bond Car Robbery podcast series, hosted by actress Elizabeth Hurley, which encourages listeners to help solve the mystery and, just maybe, claim the $100,000 finders fee along the way.
Luckily, Bond’s original DB5 gadget car is preserved on screen for movie-goers. Who could forget Q’s classic introduction? “You’ll be using this Aston Martin DB5 with modifications. Now, pay attention please. Windscreen - bulletproof. As are the side and the rear windows. Revolving number plates, naturally. Valid, all countries.”
Well, not quite all countries. The DB5 had UK, French, and Swiss plates that allowed Bond to slip across borders without attracting attention.
The Silver Birch DB5’s radar let Bond tail Goldfinger across Europe. The 1963 Aston Martin was fitted with a dashboard GPS with a mapping system that tracked a homing device in Goldfinger’s Rolls Royce - operating at a range of 150 miles.
The DB5’s armrest acted as the control center for an impressive set of defense weapons to defeat enemy agents - a smokescreen, an oil slick sprayer, tire slashers, a nail spreader, and two machine guns hidden behind the front indicator lights.
The armrest hid controls for the extendable overriders built into the DB5 bumpers. Oil pumped into the hydraulic cylinders drove the pistons and pushed the overriders into their extended position.
The pièce de résistance, of course, was the mesmerizing red button Q warned Bond not to touch, ramping up the audience’s expectation that Bond wouldn’t rest until he flipped open the gear lever and pressed the red trigger. The button released a section of the roof and fired the passenger ejector seat in one of the most memorable scenes in Goldfinger.
The Goldfinger DB5 also appeared in Thunderball (1965) with a jetpack in the trunk and rear-firing water cannons.
By 1968, Connery’s beloved gadget car, chassis DP216/1, was returned to Aston Martin Works so the special effects could be removed prior to its sale. An English coachbuilder bought the vehicle and promptly restored the gadgets.
The DB5 was eventually bought by American businessman and car collector Anthony Pugliese III but it was stolen in June 1997 from an airport hangar in Boca Raton, Florida.
How did the audacious heist take place and where is the world’s most famous car now? Listen to SPYSCAPE’s thrilling eight-part series, The Great James Bond Car Robbery podcast, to find out more and win the $100,000 reward.