Aston Martin has started building its iconic DB5 again, 55 years after the last one left the factory.
But the new cars aren’t any ordinary DB5 (as if such a thing exists), they are Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation cars - a run of 25 “continuation” cars inspired by the 1964 James Bond film that made the model so famous.
The new cars are being built at Aston’s Heritage Division headquarters in Newport Pagnell, using authentic DB5 chassis and body panels combined with modern engineering and a suite of working gadgets developed with Bond special effects guru Chris Corbould.
They are being produced in collaboration with Bond production company EON to celebrate the brands' long-running association and include detailed recreations of many of the special features the cinematic secret agent used.
Among the working gadgets are a rear smoke screen delivery system; battering rams front and rear; a bullet resistant rear shield, simulated oil slick system; simulated front machine guns, simulated tyre slashers and an optional removable panel above the passenger seat.
Inside, the ejector seat button beneath the gear knob is present but, sadly, there’s no working ejector seat. There is, however, a phone in the driver’s door; a simulated radar tracking screen, hidden switchgear beneath the armrest and a remote control for activating the gadgets.
Each car will take around 4,500 hours to construct using techniques applied to the 900 original cars built between 1963 and 1965. Beneath the instantly recognisable skin is a 4.0-litre naturally aspirated inline six-cylinder engine producing around 290bhp mated to a five-speed ZF manual transmission. The rear-wheel-drive DB5 now also features a mechanical limited slip differential, there are servo-assisted disc brakes and coil over springs at the front, although the steering remains unassisted.
Sadly, though, for those lucky enough to have £3.3m to buy one of the continuation cars they aren’t road legal, thanks to those Bond gadgets.
Aston Martin heritage programme manager Clive Wilson said: “Seeing the first customer car move painstakingly through the intricate production process we have created really is quite a thrill.
“Obviously we have not, as a business, made a new DB5 for more than 50 years, so to be involved in the building of these cars, which will go on to form part of Aston Martin’s history, is something I’m sure all of us will be telling our grandkids about.”