INTERNATIONAL - A vintage Aston Martin DB5 equipped with all the James Bond gadgets used in the 1964 classic Goldfinger film has sold at auction for a staggering $6.4million (£5.3million).
The 1965 model was kitted out with with several of 007's greatest tools, including pop-out machines guns, a bullet-proof shield and and tyre slashers.
The vehicle - described as 'the most famous car in the world' - went under the hammer earlier today as part of a special Aston Martin event at RM Sotheby's Monterey sale and became the most expensive DB5 ever sold at auction.
Bidders from around the world on Wednesday evening were vying for ownership of some of the jewels in the British sports car brand’s heritage crown - though the film-car DB5 was the highlight of the sale.
Although the car was never seen in Bond films, it matches the one that was driven by Sean Connery in the cult movies Goldfinger and Thunderball.
The vehicle was commissioned by filmmaker Eon Productions and used at promotional events for Thunderball in the United States, the auction house said.
It includes 13 modifications created for Bond, including a Browning 30-caliber machine gun in each bumper, tyre slashers mounted on its wheel hubs and a bulletproof rear screen that can be raised and lowered from behind the rear windscreen.
Speaking about the sale, Andy Palmer, president and group CEO Aston Martin Lagonda, said: 'The interest among collectors and enthusiasts worldwide underscores the enduring global appeal of this great British sports car company.
'Aston Martin Lagonda has stood tall at the pinnacle of the British automotive world for over a century.
'Recognised today for our excellence in design, engineering, craftmanship and style, we of course would not stand in this position without a rich history of iconic models that have helped shape and define what this brand means today.
'Thanks to RM Sotheby’s, this event has been, without question, a highlight on the Aston Martin heritage calendar in 2019 and I, for one, look forward to seeing many more sales in the future, in partnership with our exceptional heritage division, Aston Martin Works.'
Barney Ruprecht, car specialist, RM Sotheby’s added: 'It was an honor to offer the iconic James Bond 007 Aston Martin DB5 alongside our partners at Aston Martin and Aston Martin Works. We are beyond thrilled with tonight’s fantastic result and proud to have set a new record for the most valuable DB5 sold at auction.
'Beyond this new auction record, the enormous amount of interest in the car and excitement surrounding it ahead of the auction solidifies its status as the 'most famous car in the world', along with the collector car hobby’s great respect for the Aston Martin brand.'
The Bond modifications made to the DB5 had been 'properly refurbished to function as originally built,' and has had three private owners over 50 years.
Mr Ruprecht had previously said that no other car in history had 'played a more important leading role on film and in pop culture than the Aston Martin DB5'.
'The DB5 is the iconic cornerstone of a marketing relationship that still exists to this day - with the model's collectible status rooted largely in its 007 fame - and we look forward to exciting car and film enthusiasts alike in the lead up to the auction,' he had commented before the sale.
'This is an unbelievably rare chance to play secret agent in a car that offers incredible performance and style in its own right and we're honoured to offer the Bond DB5 alongside our partners at Aston Martin.'