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Meet the newest owner of James Bond's DB5

29-Oct-2010 • Collecting

The name is Yeaggy, Harry Yeaggy, and he’s now the proud new owner of what may be the world’s most famous car -- writes Chris Nicholson for the NY Times

The 1964 Aston Martin DB5 was used by 007, played then by a young Sean Connery, in “Goldfinger,” “Tomorrow Never Dies.” More recently, it appeared in “Casino Royale.” There were just 983 produced, and only two with an ejector seat activated by a little red button in the gear shift. The cost: $4.6 million.

Windscreen, bulletproof, rotating number plates, naturally, and a variety of lethal modifications including matching machine guns all make the silver roadster a legend.

While the car is a classic, Mr. Yeaggy himself may need an introduction to DealBook readers. While the auction house describes him rather enigmatically as an “American businessman,” Mr. Yeaggy is, among other things, a banker.

He helped lead Union Savings Bank, a U.S. Bancorp subsidiary based in Cincinnati. He is also a director of Janus Hotels & Resorts since it merged with Beck Hospitality, in which he has held a major stake, and where he has served as chief operating officer.

Mr. Yeaggy is tied, through both Union and Janus, to Louis Beck, a multimillionaire from Cincinnati who was once his neighbor. The two were born within days of each in 1946, and became business partners in the 1980s, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Mr. Yeaggy told the auction house that his plan was “to display it in my private car museum in Ohio just as it is.”

That museum has seem some other fabulous automobiles come through, including a 1967 Ferrari 412P so sleek it qualified as a work of beauty worthy of the Cincinnati Art Museum. But sleek isn’t everything when you’re an international man of mystery. Whatever you do, Mr. Yeaggy, don’t press that button.

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