For some, the Aston Martin DB5 is the single coolest car to have ever put rubber to tarmac. Made famous by Sean Connery’s portrayal of James Bond, the DB5 has indelible link with Ian Fleming’s super smooth spy. And it’s one of the more famous examples of “cars with gadgets” thanks to Goldfinger, where it offered neat ways to dispatch henchmen on a mission to off him on the fly. Now some of those gadgets will be a reality, and here’s how.
We’ve known Aston is bringing back 25 gadget-laden DB5s identical to the car from Goldfinger for a while. It’s coming in the form one of its Continuation cars — Aston Martin’s greatest hits rereleased for a modern, and minted, audience. Plus, the gadgets that make the Goldfinger cars so awesome are being designed partly by Aston Martin Works’ engineers, and also by Chris Corbould and his team.
Corbould is a Bond movie special effects guru, so ideally placed to design gadgets as close to real as possible.
Since announcing the car was going to be a thing work has been underway to make the gadgets a reality, and we’ve been shown a glimpse of how the Corbould and team is getting on.
Each of the $5 million, Goldfinger DB5 Continuation cars will look movie accurate thanks to Silver Birch paint, and come with a decent selection of gadgets (which are still subject to engineering approval and country-specific legislation, so could change).
The exterior gizmos fitted to the car include a rear smoke screen delivery system, rear simulated oil slick delivery system, revolving number plates front and rear, simulated (thankfully) twin front machine guns, bullet resistant rear shield, and battering rams at either end of the car.
Inside, owners will have access to a simulated radar screen tracker map, a phone in the driver’s door, gear knob actuator button, arm rest and centre console mounted switchgear, storage space for weapons/stuff under the seats, and an optional ejector seat teaser (not an actual ejector seat one hopes).
So why does Aston Martin need a specialist like Corbould on site? Well, since when has making a decent replica machine gun or oil slick dispenser been an automotive engineer’s day to day?
“The main challenge has been to recreate the gadgets from the film world and transfer them into a consumer product,” Corbould said. “We have licence in the film world to ‘cheat’ different aspects under controlled conditions. For instance, we might have four different cars to accommodate four different gadgets. We obviously don’t have that luxury on these DB5s as all the gadgets have to work in the same car all the time.”
Also, isn’t it just cooler to have some input from the actual team behind James Bond’s gadgets on a replica James Bond gadget car?
Corbould’s involvement has been mainly to do with the machine guns, smoke screen, and oil slick: “The guns appearing from the front lights were a particular challenge as, in the film world, we are able to use flammable gas mixtures combined with an ignition system to produce a flame and noise effect. Clearly this is not practical in untrained hands, so we have devised a new system to achieve a realistic effect.”
Here’s Corbould talking about, and showing off, some of his work:
Corbould and the team from Aston Martin Works aren’t simply slapping a $5 water gun on the back and calling it an “oil slick device”, but are actually making these gadgets work for real. When you think about it, that’s kinda rad.
Sadly, the gadget-equipped Goldfinger car isn’t actually road legal, so you can only drive it on tracks and private land. But it’s still the closest any mortal will get to driving James Bond’s actual car, which is pretty cool.
The first engineering car is still in build, but customers can expect their very own Goldfinger DB5s to shake, stir, and other Bond cliché-them in 2020.