Sean Connery, the Scottish actor whose portrayal of James Bond was considered by many to be definitive, died over the weekend at age 90.
As Agent 007, Connery set the tone for many of Bond’s most famous attributes. He loved Martinis (shaken not stirred), his preferred weapon (a Walther PPK), tailored suits, and (of course) fancy cars.
Connery helped introduced the world to a memorable series of gadget-laden Bond cars. Over the course of seven movies, Connery’s Bond was often defined by the car he drove. He drove a Bentley Mark IV in the film From Russia with Love and a Ford Mustang Mach 1 in the movie Diamonds Are Forever.
Aston Martin Stands Above The Rest
However, the most famous Bond car that Connery drove was an Aston Martin DB5. It was memorably used in the film Goldfinger. The DB5 proved to be so famous that the manufacturer reproduced it as a “continuation series” in 2018 — at a cost of $3.5 million each.
Aston Martin produced a limited run of new DB5 models, built to the exact specifications as the famous Bond car. They even included a full set of (non-lethal) gadgets that 007 used to complete his missions. The gadgets helped to account for the multi-million-dollar cost of the replicated cars.
The gadgets include a bulletproof screen that rises behind the rear window, a smokescreen system, and the ability to lay down an oil slick behind the DB5. There’s also the infamous rotating license plates, to avoid detection. The revised DB5 also boasted .303 machine guns behind its front turn signals and an offset sunroof for a passenger ejector seat. However, both of these were set-up as merely props (in the movies and the 2018 version).
Mechanically, the replicated DB5s were identical to the original used in Goldfinger. It boasts a 4.0-liter inline-six engine, triple SU carburetor that produced 280-horsepower. When first unveiled in the 1960s, the DB5 was one of the fastest cars in the world. It had a top speed of 148 mph and the ability to hit 60 mph in just 7.1 seconds.
Connery is still the most iconic version of James Bond. With his passing, we remember how to brought the suave British spy to life on the movie screens with such skill. And we remember his elegant, tricked out sports cars that helped a generation of young Bond fans fall in love with driving.