An anonymous Beatles fan from Texas in America has just paid £310,000 for a platinum silver Aston Martin DB5 with a black Connolly leather interior that was once owned by George Harrison. The auction took place at Coys’ True Greats Auction in the Royal Horticultural Halls in Westminster. The vintage car, which The Beatles guitarist bought in 1965, was the subject of a furious bidding war and sold for around £150,000 more than the auction house expected.
George Harrison was a big fan of cool cars, he was one of only 100 people to buy the McLaren F1 road car and his song ‘Faster’ is a tribute to Formula 1 racers Ronnie Peterson, Niki Lauda and Jackie Stewart. Stewart even made a cameo appearance in the song’s video as Harrison’s chauffeur. The sleeve stated that it was “dedicated to the entire F1 circus” and the proceeds of this song went to the Swedish racer Gunnar Nilsson’s cancer charity. So I guess it was no surprise that he would want to own such a beautiful car as the DB5.
Harrison originally had the DB5 delivered to his Surrey home with some personal extras added, like a heated rear windscreen - common now, but this was 1965 remember – along with chrome wire wheels wrapped in Avon tyres. He also had Britax safety belts installed and a radio.
The DB5 was introduced by Aston Martin in 1963 and is most well known for appearing in several James Bond films, most notably, Goldfinger, Thunderball and GoldenEye. It also features in The Cannonball Run, where it is rather cheekily driven by ex-James Bond, Roger Moore playing a parody of himself as Bond.
This classic vehicle had an aluminium engine, packed 282bhp and could propel itself to 145mph, it even had electric windows as standard. This car was simply way ahead of it’s time, and amazingly for a vehicle that has just collected £310,000 at auction, could be bought new in 1964 for around £4,000.
As if this wasn’t all impressive and beautiful enough, there was also a rather lovely convertible version available too for a just a few hundred more. Clearly these days, you need more than just your classic car insurance and a few thousand.
The actual auto that featured in Goldfinger was sold for £2.5 million to Harry Yeaggy, a car collector. This customised DB5 features pop out gun barrels which are set behind the front indicators and the famous pop up bullet shield behind the rear window. I still remember this feature from my toy corgi model.
I fondly remember from my childhood, and still love, My Sweet Lord; George Harrison’s lyrical plea for all religions to get on. Indeed, Jackie Stewart picked the song for BBC 2’s ‘Tracks of my Years’ a short while back. So nearly 41 years after it’s release, I wonder what the legend himself would have made of his vintage car selling to someone who says he plans to use the vehicle to raise money for Christian causes. I think he may well have said he was pleased that the Texan now had his ticket to ride this lovely car.