George Harrison was the owner of quite a few prized possessions. And one such prized possession was his iconic Aston Martin DB5. George purchased one of these iconic AMs in 1965.
Apart from the fact that it was owned by George, the Aston Martin DB5 was iconic in more than one way. The British luxury grand tourer was designed by the Italian coachbuilder, Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera. It is also popularly remembered as the best James Bond car of all time: not an easy feat by any means.
The Aston Martin DB5 is one of the greatest British luxury grand-tourers ever made. Produced between 1963 and 1965, the car was available in three variants: either as a 2 door 2+2 coupe, or as a 2-door convertible, or lastly, as a 2-door shooting brake model. The AM wonder car was built with a predominant all-aluminium DOHC straight-6 engine. Three SU carburetors were installed to further enhance the engine. With a 282 Horsepower capacity, the engine was able to propel the ace car to a top speed of 145 mph (233 km/h). The front-engine, rear-wheel-drive form of layout, further added to the appeal of this gem. The DB5 came standard with a new 5-speed ZF transmission, with the optional BorgWarner 3-speed automatic transmission available too.
The car was equipped with top-quality reclining seats, and full leather trim in the cabins to add to the comfort of long rides. Wool pile carpets were installed to ensure the rides were warm and cozy. The DB5 also sported electric windows, a rare feature for a car from a by-gone era. The vintage car fared well in the safety quotient, with twin-fuel tanks to increase longevity, and chrome wire wheels for maximum control and grip. Stylish, well-crafted, safe, and fast, this classic car aced almost every department and stood out compared to its peers.
Special-effects expert John Stears took up the task of modifying the DB5 for the 1964 James Bond film, “Goldfinger”. Two specimens of the iconic Bond-car were showcased at the 1964 New York World Affair – where the new bond car was dubbed “the best car ever made”.
The first DB5 Goldfinger prototype bore the chassis number DP/216/1. Aston Martin later stripped off the weaponry and gadgetry installed in the car for the movie’s shoot and then resold it. The subsequent owners, however, reinforced the car with non-original weapons before the car re-appeared in the Bond film, “Cannonball”, where Roger Moore took to the wheels. In time, the Aston Martin DB5 established itself as the trademark vehicle for the James Bond character. The vintage car reappeared in the Bond movie, “Thunderball” a year later.
After a considerable gap thereafter, the prodigal car came back to wow the audiences in a few more Bond movies. The car took to the 2006 Bond hit, “Casino Royale” with a tangy twist this time. The classic AM beast – which was showcased to be Bond’s favorite for decades – was snatched like a trophy and given to the villain, Alex Dimitrios.
The DB5/1896/R was originally supplied to George Harrison on the 1st of January, 1965 through Brydor Cars of Brooklands in Surrey. A decade after the Beatles star passed away, his vintage AM was sold at an auction in London. The classic vintage was auctioned off for a mammoth price (reportedly around $550,000) at the COYS of London Auction in 2011.
Held at the Royal Horticultural Halls in Westminister, the COYS “True Great Auction” saw intense bidding from telephone callers globally. The vintage AM was eventually sold for at least $235,305 more than figured at the pre-auction estimates, thanks to the fierce popularity of the Beatles, all around the globe. The buyer was an unnamed Beatles fan from Houston, Texas, who vowed to use the iconic car to raise money for charity.
The Aston Martin DB5 is indeed a legendary car.