LONDON – For the discerning driver, it's got an ejector seat, machine guns, and a world-class pedigree. Problem is, it's going to cost a truckload of dough.
One of the world's most famous James Bond cars — the specially equipped Aston Martin first driven by Sean Connery in "Goldfinger" — will be auctioned in London on Wednesday evening, and it's likely to fetch one of the highest prices ever paid for an automobile.
The unique car, which also has rotating license plates and other spy gear, is expected to go for more than 3.5 million pounds ($5.5 million).
The silver Aston Martin DB5 coupe was used by Connery to elude various villains in both "Goldfinger" and "Thunderball" — generally regarded as early classics in Hollywood's longest running and most successful film franchise.
It is closely associated with the Connery-era Bond films, often preferred by aficionados, who rate him above George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and the current 007, Daniel Craig.
The use of the Aston Martin, with a rear bulletproof shield that could be activated with the push of a dashboard button, provided a major boost for the British carmaker, which received worldwide publicity when the car was featured in "Goldfinger" in 1964.
It was the Bond movies that made Aston Martin a household name, even though its handmade cars remained far too expensive for most.
The street version of the Aston Martin DB5 was released in 1963 and had a top speed of 145 miles (233 kilometers) per hour.
The car being auctioned by RM Auctions Automobiles of London is one of two Aston Martins factory-modified for use in the early Bond films, and it is the only surviving example.
It is described as being in excellent condition. The other 007-modified Aston Martin was reported stolen in 1997 and has never been recovered.
The auction company said Wednesday's auction will mark the first time the James Bond car has ever been offered for sale to the public.
Even though the price tag will be staggering, the buyer will get a few perks: A signed photograph of Connery standing with the Aston Martin on location in Switzerland during the filming of "Goldfinger," and several other bits of film memorabilia.