‘You ex­pect me to balk?’ ‘No, Mr Cus­tomer, I ex­pect you to buy!’

CAR (UK) - - Insider -

THE BOND FILMS are full of mad schemes. But few can match this: As­ton Martin is build­ing 25 DB5s to the spec­i­fi­ca­tion of James Bond’s gad­get-laden spy car from Goldfin­ger. Yes, re­ally. As­ton Martin has worked with Eon Pro­duc­tions and Os­car-win­ning spe­cial ef­fects bof­fin Chris Cor­bould to create the new cars, built at the DB5’s orig­i­nal home in Newport Pag­nell and painted in the same Sil­ver Birch as the real thing. Like the re­cent DB4 GTs, they’re ‘con­tin­u­a­tion’ cars – newly built to old spec­i­fi­ca­tions, rather than re­stored orig­i­nals.

The Goldfin­ger DB5s are said to in­clude func­tion­ing gad­gets, but the only one con­firmed is the re­volv­ing num­ber plates. Much as we’d love to see the movie car’s oil slick squirter, ejec­tor seat and ma­chine guns, we’re not ex­pect­ing them. Still, at least it’ll be fun to drive with a 282bhp 4.0-litre straight-six and 7.1sec 0-62mph launch time, right? Ex­cept the cars are not road le­gal, so they’ll be con­fined to pootling around your pri­vate coun­try es­tate, race­track or su­per-vil­lain is­land hide­away when de­liv­er­ies of the £2.75m (plus taxes) cars start in 2020.

Mean­while, back in some­thing more closely re­sem­bling the real world, As­ton Martin has con­firmed that it’s about to float on the Lon­don Stock Ex­change. The plan is ex­pected to in­volve the com­pany be­ing val­ued at around £5bn and a £1 bil­lion stake be­ing of­fered, al­low­ing in­vest­ment in new prod­ucts. As­ton has been bank­rupt seven times in its 105-year his­tory, but is now – with back­ing from big Ital­ian and Kuwaiti in­vestors – healthily prof­itable. Daim­ler is ex­pected to re­tain its 4.5 per cent hold­ing. JAKE GROVES

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