- In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Aston Martin is back in production in England, building a limited run of Goldfinger-inspired DB5 cars.
- Workers under strong health precautions and social-distancing protocols will spend about 4500 hours to build each of the Aston Martin Continuation DB5s.
- Production will be limited to 25, most of which are already sold, and the price is around $3.4 million.
Aston Martin has already lost its CEO this week, but that doesn't mean the beleaguered English sports-car maker is down and out. Some more cheerful news has come from Aston's former HQ in Newport Pagnell, now the base for the company's Heritage division. The company has restarted limited production of the iconic DB5, 55 years after the last of the original run of cars was built.
These are the first of the Goldfinger continuation cars, built with replicas of the gadgets that turned the DB5 driven by Sean Connery's James Bond in that movie into arguably the most famous film car of all time. While the replicas won't be street legal in most parts of the world, the company says it has already sold the vast majority of the limited-to-25 run, despite an "ex-works" price of about $3.4 million at current exchange rates. According to an Aston spokesperson, there are only a couple still up for grabs.
In this time of coronavirus, enhanced precautions are being taken by those working on the DB5, as made clear by the images the company has released of mask-clad workers working well apart from each other. The U.K. is still under shelter-in-place lockdown, but factories are reopening under social-distancing protocols, and Aston Martin's Gaydon and Saint Athan plants have also restarted limited production.
The DB5 Goldfinger is the latest of Aston's Continuation models, following on from the DB4 GT and DB4 GT Zagato, with the construction of each car taking around 4500 hours. We've already experienced some of the car's many Bond-inspired gadgets up close, many of which were designed by a team led by Chris Corbould, the Oscar-winning special effects director who has worked on 15 films featuring the famous secret agent. (Separately, Aston produced eight carbon-bodied DB5 replicas for stuntwork on the most recent Bond film, No Time to Die, which has been delayed until the fall.)
For the Goldfinger cars, the list of additional equipment includes a smokescreen, revolving license plates, battering rams, and a removable passenger-seat roof panel for the infamous ejector seat. It also gets non-lethal replicas of the twin Browning machine guns that deploy through the film car's front turn signals, an oil-spray system that actually fires water, and a simulated tire slasher. Functions can be operated from within the car—which is mechanically almost identical to an original DB5—or via a remote control to enable owners to better see them in action.
Deliveries to the first customers—many of whom, we expect, live in hollowed-out mountains stroking white cats—will begin early in the second half of the year.