Royal Navy Commander Paul Haines with colleague Commander Pat Douglas at the unveiling of the “real Bond car” at Ian Fleming's old office.
Tuesday 20th May, London – A 1954 Aston Martin DB 2/4, which is understood to have been the inspiration for James Bond’s Aston Martin, was unveiled by international auctioneers Coys at the Old Admiralty Building, where Ian Fleming had his office.
The car, which will be auctioned at Coys’ traditional Blenheim Palace sale on 12th July, is believed to have been the inspiration for the Aston Martin featured in the original novel Goldfinger.
This model is a Vantage specification 1954 DB 2/4 Mk I, bearing the registration JBW 974. For many years it sat idle, collecting dust and rust, until a father and son purchased it for restoration. It was during the restoration that a set of unique special modifications came to light, along with the car’s connections to the British Intelligence Service and the creator of Bond himself, Ian Fleming.
These one-off features seem to be the same as the fictional Bond car in Goldfinger, including reinforced steel bumpers, concealed lockers, heavy-duty anti-interference ignition system, driver’s seat connections for two-way radio and/or a homing device, and a Halda Speed Pilot device, which accurately computes time and distance in relation to a pre-selected average speed.
ChrisRoutledge, Managing Partner of the auction house, said: “The story around this car and its discovery is phenomenal. It was supplied new on 4th July 1955 to the Honourable Sqdr. Ldr. Phillip Ingram Cunliffe-Lister DSO, whose father was Lord Swinton, a close confidant of Winston Churchill and head of MI5 and the Security Executive during WWII. Moreover, the vehicle was regularly at Ian Fleming’s direct next-door neighbour in Kent, and indeed it was the next-door neighbour’s house which was also used as inspiration in the Bond novels, this time as Sir Hugo Drax’s residence in the novel Moonraker.
He added: “This could be one of the most important discoveries of all time, confirming the link between the undoubtedly most famous spy in history and possibly the world’s most iconic sports car marque.”
The car will be on show at the Stratstone of Mayfair Aston Martin showroom on Park Lane, 113 Park Lane, London W1K 7AJ, until the end of the week. It will then go on display at the foyer of the Grange St. Paul’s Hotel, 10 Godliman St, London EC4V 5AJ.