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One of the most famous movie cars of all time – James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 – sold at auction Thursday night for $6.4 million.
The car, one of just three surviving examples commissioned by Eon Productions for the early Bond films and fitted with all the M16Q Branch gadgets, was sold by RM Sotheby's during the Pebble Beach car week. It sold just above its auction estimate of between $4 million to $6 million. RM Sotheby's declined to comment on the buyer.
"No other car in history has played a more important leading role on film and in pop culture," says Barney Ruprecht, a car specialist with RM Sotheby's, which specializes in high-end collectible vehicles.
This particular car didn't wind up in any Bond films. It was used for promotional purposes for "Thunderball" — the 1965 film that was the fourth in the series and starred Sean Connery. But the car has all the gadgets made famous by the car's appearance in "Goldfinger."
Painted in snow-shadow gray, the car is equipped with theatrical front and rear hydraulic over-rider rams on the bumpers, a Browning .30 Caliber machine gun in each fender, wheel-hub mounted tire-shredders, a rear bullet-proof screen, an in-dash radar-tracking scope, dispensers for oil and smokescreens out the bach, revolving license plates and, of course, the passenger-seat ejection system famously used on Goldfinger's henchman.
It also has a telephone in the driver's side door and a hidden compartment that can store weapons.
First purchased by British collector Lord Anthony Bamford, the car was later bought by the Smokey Mountain Car Museum in Tennessee, where it was on display for 35 years.