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Rare Aston Martin's and Goldfinger test car sell at auction

24-May-2010 • Collecting

Classic car bidders were salivating over their dry Martinis on Saturday (May 22) at Bonhams' Aston Martin car sale - which included classic autos driven by James Bond, 007, himself - reports Paul Fraser Collectibles.

Although collectors were left unstirred by the 1976 Aston Martin V8 Coupé - an unused production model from Timothy Dalton's 1987 outing as Bond, The Living Daylights, still awaits a buyer - the sale was still a roaring success.

Top lot in the auction was Aston Martin's 1974 revival of the then-defunct Lagonda brand, the Lagonda Series 1 7.0 litre Saloon. Luxurious even by Aston Martin's standards, the car updated the existing V8 (as used in The Living Daylights) into heavy yet powerful four-door beast.

Launched at the London Motor Show in October 1974, only seven examples of the new Lagonda were made after production was thwarted by the Middle East oil crisis. Two, including this example, had automatic transmission. It sold for £337,000 including buyer's premium.

Naturally, no Aston Martin sale would be complete without the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 Sports Saloon. Boasting Touring's Superleggera body construction and a 3,995cc engine, the DB5 - of which another example famously featured in the Bond adventure, Goldeneye - sold for £194,000.

Elsewhere, another blast from 007's past was a single owner "barn find" 1962 DB4 Aston Martin. The historic automobile was once used as a "test mule" by the Bond special effects department, and boasts an interesting story behind its claim to fame.

The car was purchased by the seller in December 1963 (it was originally built the previous year for the press tycoon Max Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook), who also happened to be a special effects designer at Pinewood Studios, where Bond's adventures are produced.

After a consignment of factory DB5s for the film was delayed, the red DB4 was drafted in as a replacement "test" car. The production staff measured it for the various gadgets (ejector seat, machine guns, etc) that would later be used by Sean Connery onscreen, in his iconic silver DB5 in 1964's Goldfinger.

Having remained locked in a garage since 1974, the almost famous DB4 sold for £84,000 inclusive of buyer's premium.

Bonhams' sale was held at the Aston Martin Works Service, Newport Pagnell, UK.

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