All that glistens isn't gold. Replica parts of the stolen Goldfinger Aston Martin DB5 go up for auction this weekend with misleading lot descriptions...

Buyer Beware - Aston Martin DB5 Parts Auction
12th March 2008

The story of the Aston Martin DB5 cars used in Goldfinger and Thunderball and subsequent PR events is such a complex tale it was the subject of the book "The Most Famous Car In The World". This week, a new twist in the 45 year-old saga will take place at an auction house in Las Vegas, USA.

There were four cars involved in the original Bond saga (in ascending order of value):

  • "DB5/2008/R" and "DB5/2017/R" were a pair of Thunderball promotional cars dispatched to the USA for promotional use. The former was sold in 2006 by RM Auctions at Arizona Biltmore for $2.09m, whilst the latter is part of the Louwman Collection in the Dutch National Automobile Museum.
  • "DB5/1486/R" was the Goldfinger screen car used for high-speed driving scenes, now privately owned by Jerry Lee in the USA.
  • "DP/2161/1" was the original Goldfinger screen car fitted with gadgets.

It is this latter car (DP/2161/1) which is considered the most valuable of the four. It was originally loaned to Eon Productions and kitted out with all the onscreen gadgets and gizmos by special effects wizard John Steers. After filming on Thunderball wrapped, it was returned to Aston Martin, who inexplicably stripped out all of the original 007 equipment in 1968. Aston Martin then sold it as a regular road car to Gavin Keyzar in the UK. A year later, and having seen the other cars shoot up in value, Keyzar had replica movie equipment re-installed, later selling it on to Richard Loose in Utah in 1971.

The car would make one final big screen appearance in 1980's "The Cannonball Run" with Roger Moore. Six years later, it was sold at Sotheby's in New York for $275,000 to Anthony Pugliese, Boca Raton, Florida. After years of promotional tours, the car was reported stolen from a hangar at Boca Raton Airport sometime between 4pm Wednesday June 18th and 7am Thursday 19th 1997. An insurance settlement of 80% of the cars valuation of $4.2m was reached. The car has never been seen since.


Above: One of the pair of promotional Aston Martin DB5 cars used by EON Productions to promote the James Bond films in the USA.

The last owner of the vehicle, Anthony Pugliese, is now selling selected parts from the stolen car at auction in Las Vegas on Saturday 15th March 2008. What Guernsey's Auctions does not make clear to potential bidders though, is that the parts for sale are the replica gadgets that Keyzar had created in the late 1960's. Pugliese had replaced them some years before the car was reported stolen 'complete with gadgets'.

The items for auction are not the parts used by the film production, and their value is therefore greatly reduced. The listings on the auction website intimate they were used during filming. Descriptions use words such as "original" despite the parts being replicas designed and built by Keyzer. Furthermore, some items descriptions are incredibly misleading: Lot 67 claims to be "original license for the Aston Martin DB5 used in the filming of Goldfinger", but it is dated October 1970, at least five years after Aston Martin stripped the car following Thunderball.

The lot descriptions below are quoted from the Guernsey's Auctions descriptions:

Lot 66 - James Bond DB5 LOA Signed by Sir David Brown (Estimate $400 - $600)
Original letter signed by Sir David Brown authenticating the Aston Martin DB5 used in the filming of "Goldfinger." Letter was signed approximately one year prior to Brown leaving Aston Martin.

Lot 73 - James Bond DB5 Prop Bulletproof Shield (Estimate $2,500 - $3,000)
Prop bulletproof shield from James Bond's Aston Martin DB5. The retractable rear shield was featured in "Goldfinger," in which Bond used the shield to deflect enemy fire during a chase scene.

Lot 63 - James Bond DB5 Original Shifter Knobs and Key Ring (Estimate $1,500 - $2,500)
Set of two gear shifter knobs from James Bond's Aston Martin DB5, one of which houses a red button used to activate the ejection seat. Includes one key (which originally came with the DB5), on a Bugatti key ring with an Aston Martin ornament.

Lot 62 - James Bond DB5 Tire Splitters (Estimate $5,000 - $6,000)
Original set of Ruote Borrani tire splitters taken from James Bond's Aston Martin DB5, complete with lead mallet.

Lot 74 - James Bond Prop Map (Estimate $300 - $500)
Original Prop map of the Aosta Valley region of Italy, used in the James Bond film series.

Lot 59 - James Bond DB5 Tail Lights (Estimate $800 - $1,200)
Prop tail lights from James Bond's Aston Martin DB5, used to conceal the machine guns.

Lot 57 - James Bond DB5 Custom Control Panel (Estimate $2,500 - $3,500)
Custom control panel from James Bond's Aston Martin DB5. Used to control functions such as "oil spray," "machine gun," and "smoke screen."

Lot 64 - James Bond DB5 Wheel (Estimate $2,000 - $4,000)
Chrome-plated spoke wheel, complete with tire, taken from James Bond's Aston Martin DB5.

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