Few classic cars are so associated with Hollywood that their very value is dictated by the movies in which they appeared. The 1964 Aston Martin DB5 is known as the “James Bond car” because of its starring roles in Goldfinger and Thunderball. In 2010, one of the DB5s that was actually used on-screen in a Bond movie sold at auction for $4.61 million. Three years later, one of the DB5s that was used to promote a Bond movie was on the private market for nearly $4.7 million. But is there more to the 1964 DB5 than just being a James Bond sidekick?

The Mechanics

The 1964 Aston Martin DB5 was able to top out at 143 miles per hour with a 282-hp engine. But thanks to its innovative independent front suspension and rear axle, the DB5 was able to maintain a smooth and manageable ride even at top speed. The DB5 was manufactured between 1963 and 1965, but it was the 1964 version that became known for the perfect balance of speed and comfort.

A Rare Find

In all, only 148 1964 Aston Martin DB5s were imported into the United States. This includes the convertible version, which was not nearly as widely available as myth would have us believe. The 9164 DB5s came as either 4-speed manual or 3-speed automatic transmissions, with the manual transmission eventually expanding to 5-speed before the DB5s ended production in 1965.

The small footprint of the DB5 also creates a low center of gravity, which helps to keep the vehicle under control at high speeds. The DB5 was a sports car that came only in two-door models and had a 98-inch wheelbase to help make controlling the car even easier.

But It All Comes Back To Bond

There are four DB5s that are considered to be part of the group of genuine James Bond cars. The DB5 was brought back in the 2012 movie Skyfall, which helped to re-ignite interest in the vehicle and pump up prices. The most expensive DB5s available are the four James Bond cars, and the other 1964 Aston Martin DB5s on the market are not even close in value to the James Bond cars.

If you want a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 that looks like it was in a Bond movie but was not, then you will probably pay closer to $450,000 for DB5s in good condition. The Bond cars all have the little gadgets seen in the movie, which makes them easy to spot for collectors.

The 1964 Aston Martin DB5 made its mark as a movie star, and now its high value is tied to it’s on-screen performances. Even the vehicles that did not make it to the screen but were used to promote James Bond movies are worth millions of dollars to collectors. It is unusual that a classic car’s value is so closely tied to a movie, but that is the financial fate of the 1964 Aston Martin DB5.

Outside of a movie set, the 1964 DB5 is a highly sought vehicle for its innovative engine and precise engineering. The ability for the driver to maintain complete control of the DB5 at top speeds and still enjoy a luxuriously smooth ride is the primary reason why these cars are so popular all over the world.