Daniel Craig just did his fifth and final Bond film, No Time To Die, and it's perhaps the first Bond film that can make fans cry. But Craig has admittedly brought in emotional intensity to Bond, the likes of which none of the stellar actors who played the British MI5 agent could ever bring about... or were asked to bring in, for that matter.
And playing a small part in all that emotion is the Aston Martin DB5, brought back as Bond’s choice of ride one last time. We know of Bond’s fate in the movie, but as far as the DB5 is concerned, the end may not have come yet.
It has been called “The Most Famous Car in the World” and it's not incorrect, because you may forget how Bond takes his drink, shaken or stirred, but you cannot forget that he rides in an Aston Martin DB5. Be it Connery, Moore, Brosnan, or Craig. So here are some things you may not have known about the Bondian car, and others you may have forgotten about very unforgettable Aston Martin DB5.
10 The Aston Martin DB5 Was A Modernized DB4
The story of the DB5 does not start with itself. Rather, it’s a climb up, from the antiquated DB2, DB2/4, and DM Mark III. Then came the 1958-63 Aston Martin DB4 that came with a way more modern chassis tech and a new inline-six that made a minimum of 240 horses.
The DB4 set the spiritual and aesthetic framework for the DB5, and the Beautiful British classic carried on the good name, from 1963 to 1965 before being replaced by the Aston Martin DB6.
9 The Aston Martin DB5 Debuted A New Engine
The DB5 ran on the same platform but now had an updated inline-six engine, now made of aluminum and expanded from 3.7-liters to 4.0-liter. The ratings improved as well and the DB5 made 282 horses and 288 lb-ft of torque.
It also came with a new five-speed manual transmission (over the four-speed MT) and a three-speed Borg-Warner automatic transmission with more plush on the inside. Later more power options and convertibles were also released.
8 A New Vantage Power Package
Once the DB5 craze caught up, a high-performance Vantage power package came to be with better cams and carburetors, now jetting 325 horses. Out of the 1,059 total units made from 1963 to 65, only 65 were Vantage coupes.
The DB5 sprinted 0-60 MPH in 8.0 seconds, at top speeds of 145 MPH. The Vantage was quicker, reaching 62 MPH from a standstill in 6.5 seconds, pretty impressive even now.
7 Bond Turned Aston Martin DB5 Into A Legend
The DB5 has a dirty little secret. Despite the immense popularity of the car and the belief that it was the de-facto Aston Martin to have, it looked the same as the DB4. And even the DB6 did not look very different unless you know your generation and are an Aston Martin DB5 connoisseur.
But since it was the DB5 that crashed onto the screen in Sean Connery’s Goldfinger, and became a Bond staple in many more Bond movies, it's gone down in history as the Bond’s choice. Period.
6 The Aston Martin DB5 Was A Serendipitous Choice
Goldfinger was the third installment for the Bond franchise starring Sean Connery and at the time, production was looking at red Jaguar E-Type to be Bond’s cup of wheeled tea, so to speak. Production designer Ken Adam just happened to pass by a silver Aston Martin DB5.
The Jaguar E-Type was forgotten almost instantly, and although the novels called for an Aston Martin DB Mark III, the DB5 was more current and interesting. But there was one problem. At more than $12,000, the DB5 cost a ton of money.
5 The First Aston Martin DB5 Was “Borrowed”
The film’s producers could not afford to buy a DB5, so they went to Aston Martin and asked to borrow one for the movie. Back in the ‘60s, product placement was an unheard-of concept, and it was the film producers who had to beg, borrow, and cut a deal for the cars they wanted.
Aston Martin was not keen on the same, but someone finally got convinced and decided to loan the film a car. And the rest, as they say, is history.
4 The Aston Martin DB5 Is A Prolific Movie Star
The Aston Martin DB5 first debuted as Bond’s car of choice in the 1964 Goldfinger and then repeated its role in the ’65 Thunderball. It took a sabbatical then, finally coming 30 years later in Pierce Brosnan's GoldenEye in 1995 and then reappearing in Tomorrow Never Dies and The World is Not Enough in ’97 and ’99.
Daniel Craig’s Bond used it in 2006, in Casino Royale, and then repeated in 2012’s Skyfall and 2015’s Spectre. Finally, it’s there in Daniel Craig’s last, No Time to Die.
3 The DB5 Has Bond’s Gumption
Despite the beautiful looks of the car, the DB5’s beauty is more than just skin deep. It’s practical and has racing antecedents, with the DBR1 winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959.
In what we know of Bond’s last movie, No Time to Die, the DB5 is a hero car but comes bearing weapons in a disciplined manner, there’s nothing outlandish or unbelievable about it. The blacked-out glass can throw out some tiny mines, and the guns behind the headlamps convincingly do their job.
2 What The DB5 Means To Bond
The Aston Martin DB5 has meant different things in different Bond movies, and to the different actors Bond was being played by. For Sean Connery, it was an escape vehicle, with bits of sex symbol thrown in. For Brosnan, it was a weapon of destruction and something that could be driven on snow.
For Daniel Craig’s Bond, it's nearly fatherly, a start and an end. Craig’s Bond may have come to an end, but the Aston Martin DB’s Bondian journey is likely to continue.
1 Revisiting The DB5 Continuation, And As A Classic
If you want an Aston Martin DB5 classic, they are likely to come expensive. The movie cars we see in No Time To Die are replicas. They look like the DB5 and feel like the DB5 but if pop the hood, they are not the DB5 at all.
In 2020, Aston Martin revisited the DB5, as a Goldfinger Continuation Car, and it comes priced at a whopping $3.67 million, excluding taxes. Each of these 25 cars took 4,500 hours to make, so the price is justified, as per Aston Martin.
Sources: AstonMartin, Forbes