There’s Steve McQueen’s Bullitt 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback. What about “Wet Nellie”, the 1975 Lotus Esprit S1 which the studio turned into a submarine for $500k and then gave the lead role in The Spy Who Loved Me? It was driven underwater by retired Navy SEAL Don Griffin, not Roger Moore, and bought for a lazy $1 million by Electric Elon Musk. The 66 Ford Thunderbird from Thelma & Louise? The 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT Pursuit Special from Mad Max? The 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 from Back to the Future? Jalopnik’s Patrick George nominates the original Volkswagen Beetle. Top Gear’s Richard Hammond says James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 is the most famous car in the world.
RM Sotheby’s agrees with Dicky Hammond.
RM Sotheby’s is putting one of the three surviving 1965 Aston Martin DB5s fitted with MI6 Q Branch specifications from Goldfinger up for auction in Monterey in August. Friends and readers, this is one for those of us who are tired of putting up with incompetent and angry drivers. Those of us who want to channel Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino and Peter Finch in Network (“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more”). The DB5 comes complete with a fully functioning Browning .30 calibre machine gun in each fender, wheel-hub-mounted tyre-slashers, smokescreen dispensers, a nail spreader, tyre shredders, revolving licence plates and an ejector seat for when the fun police finally catch up.
Fifty years ago, media boss Jerry Lee paid Aston Martin $16k for a 1964 ex-Goldfinger and Thunderball DB5. In 2010 he had RM auction it in London with reasonable expectations of close to $8m. But the bidding war between Ohio hotel and bank owner Harry Yeaggy and Scotland’s Stephen Shabbir only lasted 10 minutes with Harry slamming five big ones on the table. “I decided to come over on Friday to buy it, so yes it was a spur-of-the-moment thing,” he told The Telegraph. Steve said he panicked. “I had my limit and in my heart I saw that for $4.5m that car would be mine”.
Last year, another Aston Martin DB5 went for $3.6m at the Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed auction. It was sold to the New York spy museum, SPYSCAPE. This was the one Piers Brosnan drove in the opening scenes of GoldenEye. Pierce with his MI6 colleague Caroline in the navigator’s seat races Xenia Onatopp in her Ferrari F35 along the Grande Corniche towards Monaco. The chase ends when Caroline orders Bond to stop and Jimmy produces a bottle of Bollinger from a custom-made Champagne holder (included with the car).
If you’d like to write in with your nomination for the most famous car of all time, please do. We can’t give prizes any more but you have the chance of getting your name in the paper, or not if you prefer.
If you’re looking for some guidance on what to buy (not that I would recommend you buy anything till we get through this upcoming great recession) our friends at Hagerty (the Shannons of the US) have just released their list of the 25 hottest collector vehicles heading into the northern summer.
To show you what the Trumpster has done to a great country can I tell you the list includes the 1963 to 1977 Ford Bronco and the 1963 to 1983 Jeep Wagoneer. But in better news it also rates the 1977 to 1981 Toyota Celica, the 1990 to 1996 Nissan 300ZX, the 1993- 2002 Mazda RX-7 and the 1999 to 2002 BMW M Coupe.
Talking of old classics, last week we mentioned that Mr Bean has sold his Merc 500E and we hadn’t seen one up for sale in Australia. Eagle-eyed reader Patrick Devine immediately pointed to the Dutton Garage ad for a 1995 W124 Mercedes E500. We asked the Dutton gang for some detail but they were too busy to answer. However, they do have a couple of Holdens for working persons like us including a very nice grey 2016 HSV GTS-R W1 (the first one ever built) for $250k.
And talking of reader’s letters Michael Tarbuck wrote in with a serious problem. “Recently I bought personalised number plates for the better half’s Hyundai: 5COMO. She is worried the car might get keyed so maybe we should sell it. What is the best way to sell it?” Well, Mick, marriage counselling is one of our specialities here. Just go to https://www.pm.gov.au/contact-your-pm and fill in the email form (no more than 9000 characters), mention WART and I’m sure Scott will have the cheque in the mail before you can say, “I’ve voted Liberal all my life”.
Now if you missed watching the 70-lap Canadian GP in Montreal on Kayo last weekend, you missed the best race of the season. There was swearing on the drivers’ radios, there was Romain Grosjean having to pick up stray pieces of carbon fibre that flew into his car and throw them in a nearby bin while driving at 200km/h, there was Lando Norris’s brakes catching on fire and melting the rear suspension and there was Lew Hamilton winning by coming second. Yes, Lew forced Seb Vettel into an error that saw Seb cop a five-second penalty. So, it was Lew then Seb, Chuck, Val (with the fastest lap), Max then Dan. It would be fair to say Seb was not happy with the result and moved the first place marker from Lew’s car to the vacant spot where he thinks his should have been.
If you are down Goulburn way this weekend, WART is in the Cheap Car Challenge at Steve Shelley’s Pheasant Wood track. Please say hello at the track or after at the Terminus Hotel. The old bloke won’t be there because his gout has been playing up.