Arguably the world’s most famous car, the actual 1964 Aston Martin DB5 driven by James Bond – Sean Connery – in both Goldfinger and Thunderball will be on display for four days this month in New York City as it is readied to be the lead attraction for RM Auctions’ annual Automobiles of London event October 27th at the Battersea Evolution.
Presented by RM, in association with Sotheby’s, this DB5 is expected to bring more than $5 million during the auction, which would be the most ever paid for a “movie” vehicle. From September 14 to 17 the DB5 will grace the lobby of Sotheby’s building here at 1334 York Avenue.
Well-known around the world by its original UK registration number, FMP 7B, this Aston Martin is one of two, and the sole remaining, of the original ‘007’ DB5s featured on screen in the two Bond films. (The other was sold twice at auction before being stolen in 1997 from a Florida airport. It was never recovered.)
The DB5 was originally loaned to EON Productions for the movies’ filming and returned to the Aston Martin Lagonda factory after its subsequent promotional tour. Jerry Lee, a radio broadcaster based in Philadelphia, convinced the factory to sell FMP 7B to him in 1969 for $12,000, thereby becoming its first – and only – owner. The car, with very limited public appearances, has remained in his possession for more than 40 years.
With its ‘rather interesting modifications’ originally conceived by Oscar-award-winning special effects expert, John Stears, this authentic Bond movie car is factory-fitted with the full complement of operational ‘Q-Branch’ gadgets, including machine guns, bullet-proof shield, revolving number plates, tracking device, removable roof panel, oil slick sprayer, nail spreader and smoke screen, all controlled from factory-installed toggles and switches hidden in the center arm-rest.
“Like ‘Q’, we never joke about our work, which is why RM is consistently entrusted with the sale of the world’s most significant collector cars like the REAL 007 Aston Martin DB5 movie car,” said Don Rose, Car Specialist, RM Auctions. “RM is known for world-record-setting results and we expect nothing less for 007’s iconic DB5.”
Lee plans to use the proceeds from the sale of FMP 7B to further the charitable work of The Jerry Lee Foundation, a multi-national initiative dedicated to solving social problems associated with poverty, with an emphasis on crime prevention.
The Foundation supports programs at the University of Pennsylvania and Cambridge University (UK), as well as in Washington, D.C., Australia and Norway. It is also responsible for the establishment of the Stockholm Prize in Criminology, for which Lee received a Swedish knighthood in 2008. (http://jerryleefoundation.com/)
“The James Bond car has brought me much enjoyment for some 40 years,” said Lee. “Even as I sell it and use the proceeds to fund the Jerry Lee Foundation, the car will continue to give me great pleasure as it furthers the mission of the Foundation to do good around the world.”
FMP 7B is presented in highly original condition following a recent careful re-commissioning program by RM Auto Restoration, returning it to running condition after the many years of static display in Lee’s home.
RM Auctions is the world’s largest collector car auction house and specializes in investment-quality automobiles, holding four of the top five world record prices for motor cars sold at auction.
With over three decades of experience in the collector car industry, RM’s vertically integrated range of services, coupled with an expert team of car specialists and international footprint, provide an unsurpassed level of service to the global collector car market. RM’s restoration division has achieved unprecedented accolades earning “Best of Show” honors at the world’s top concours events. (www.rmauctions.com)