The 1964 Aston Martin DB5 that James Bond drove in the movies Thunderball and Goldfinger has been sold at auction for $4.6 million in London.
The car was owned for the last 40 years by a Philadelphia businessman, Jerry Lee, , who is using the money to support his anti-crime foundation, including the school of criminology at the University of Pennsylvania that he founded and funded. 007 would approve.
Lee told me recently, when the car was on display at Sotheby's in New York City, that he would miss the car, even though he rarely drove it. Lee took greater pleasure in showing off the car's gadgets to his guests.
Those include rotating license plates, machine guns that pop out from the headlights, a bullet-proof shield that pops up from the trunk, knife-sharp tire shredders that pop out from the front wheels, and the ability to spread an oil slick or a bed of nails from the rear. Plus, of course, the red ejector button that launched Sean Connery through the roof to safety.
The new owner is Henry Yeaggy, who is not identified further than that by the auction house, RMAuctions. Lee told me in September that he hoped if the buyer turned out to be a private collector rather than a public museum that he hoped the new owner would let him visit the car occasionally.
Perhaps in exchange, Lee will let Yeaggy take a ride in the high-speed driving simulator that Lee says he intends to put in his suburban home to replace the DB5. For sure, that will keep his guests both stirred and shaken.