BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- When Agent 007 returns to movie theaters later this year in "Spectre," he'll be driving the latest and greatest Aston Martin. Actually, a concept car dubbed the DB10 not available to the public. The British company created 10 cars just for the movie.
Of course, most people remember the classic Aston DB5 that started it all, debuting in the Sean Connery-Bond era, and making a return in "Skyfall," only to meet an untimely demise in the film, getting blown up toward the end.
What Bond fan wouldn't want to own their own classic "Goldfinger" Aston Martin? Now you can, brand new. There's just one catch: it's a lot smaller than the original.
That original 007 Aston Martin DB5 went on to become arguably the most famous car in the world, and similar cars fetch at least $1 million today.
"I don't think it was really an option for the movie producers to go ahead and actually destroy a fully functional DB5," said Stuart McIntosh, general manager of Aston Martin Beverly Hills.
With blowing up a real million-dollar DB5 out of the question, a company called Prop Shop UK stepped in and built a precise, one-third scale model to take the hit. They're now building 100 examples for collectors, with every detail amazingly precise, inside and out.
The famous gadgets even work, controlled by a remote control done up in a 1960s secret agent look. The revolving license plates, bulletproof rear shield and front machine guns all spring into action when their respective switches are activated.
As for the famous ejector seat, the red button on the top of the gear shift is there, though the builders stopped short of making the system functional. But detail after detail after detail will amaze anyone who sees it up close. The car is mounted on a pedestal which features rollers to spin the real wire wheels and authentic period-correct tires.
As one example of the painstaking detail, special lead-based paint was mixed up in the correct color called silver birch. But they didn't just use automotive paint, as the particles that give the metallic sheen would be too large, so they scaled down the particles to look right on the model.
Each of the 100 examples are hand-built and take the firm nine months to complete, and that's why the price for this ultimate Bond souvenir is $45,000. Yes, more than most new cars, but a fraction of the price of the real car that Sean Connery drove into movie immortality 50-plus years ago.
"Later driven by Pierce Brosnan and also driven by Daniel Craig, so it's an iconic part of the Bond history," McIntosh said.
The car is currently on display in the window of the dealership's showroom at 125 S. Robertson Boulevard, and is getting lots of attention from passers-by.