Written by: Anthony Lim
Four decades after it was bought by an American radio broadcaster, the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 driven by James Bond is going on sale - the car is slated to be auctioned at the annual Automobiles of London event in the UK on Oct 27 and is expected to achieve a selling price in excess of US$5mil.
Bearing its original UK registration number, FMP 7B, the car is one of only two, and the sole remaining, original ‘007’ DB5s featured on screen with Sean Connery behind the wheel in Goldfinger and Thunderball.
With its modifications originally conceived by Oscar-award-winning special effects expert, John Stears, the Bond AM 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 centre arm-rest.
The DB5 was originally loaned to EON Productions for the filming of the two Bond movies, and returned to the Aston Martin Lagonda factory after its subsequent promotional tour. Jerry Lee, an American radio broadcaster based in Philadelphia, convinced the factory to sell FMP 7B to him for US$12,000 in 1969, thereby making him its first and only ex-factory owner. It has remained in his possession and has rarely been seen publicly over the past 40+ years.
The car recently underwent a careful recommissioning programme by RM Auto Restoration, which returned it to running condition after the many years of static display in Lee’s home.
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.