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Licence To Buy: One of James Bond's Aston Martin DB5s up for sale

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An Aston Martin DB5 in February 2013
An Aston Martin DB5 in February 2013 -
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Flickr/Alexandre Prevot
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Think of the world's most famous secret agent and catchphrases like "Bond, James Bond" or "Shaken, not stirred" spring to mind.

But also high up on the list for real connoisseurs is 007's favourite car, the Aston Martin DB5, which has featured in eight of the franchise's movies.

On Friday, one of these cars is going under the hammer. Its price tag? Between $4 million and $6 million (€4.4 to €6.7 million).

According to RM Sotheby's, the California-based automobile auction house selling the car, this particular model was built ahead of the 1965 release of Thunderball.

"The smash success of Goldfinger was also a success for Aston Martin, which received free promotion around the world and saw DB5 sales surge to fuel an unprecedented level of success," it said in the lot description.

It added that unlike its predecessors, this car's gadgets were built to function repeatedly "as they do today" and that it is in "pristine condition."

It credited its successive owners for the feat. Lord Bramford returned it to factory service for freshening, while B.H.Atchley exhibited it for 35 years in Tenessee "in a large wire-mesh cage that was bolted to the floor, ensuring it would never be idly touched or pawed by starstruck visitors".

After being sold at auction in 2006, it underwent a "no-expense-spared restoration" by Roos Engineering — one of 13 facilities appointed Heritage Specialists by Aston Martin.

Sean Connery, the first to portray James Bond on the silver screen, said in the RM Sotheby's lot description that the DB5s "are amazing".

"I remember the Furka Pass tire-shredding, as well as the promotional events with these cars — they have become increasingly iconic since Goldfinger and Thunderball. In fact, I bought a very fine DB5 myself relatively recently," he added.

Last year, a model driven by Pierce Brosnan in the opening scene of GoldenEye (1995) sold at auction for £1.96 million (€2.2 million). A 1964 model featured in Goldfinger sold in 2010 for £2.6 million (just under €3 million).