Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger: The world's most expensive toy car
BESIDE my desk is a Corgi model of the gadget-laden Aston Martin DB5 that starred in the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger, writes William Scholes.
It's a brilliant little thing, complete with rotating number plates and, of course, the famous ejector seat. It can be tricky to set up, but it's satisfying to get it right and send the bad guy flying across the room.
Press the exhaust pipes and the bullet proof shield pops-up; another hidden button shoots a pair of machine guns and a battering ram from the front of the car.
Apart from frequently losing Auric Goldfinger's henchman under the skirting board when he flies out of the ejector seat, the other problem with my DB5 is that I can't fit in it myself.
However, had I around £3 million and spoke very nicely to Aston Martin, I could have got my name on the list for a bona fide continuation version of the Goldfinger car.
Aston Martin is building 25 of these silver birch-painted masterpieces - each requiring around 4,500 hours of craftsmanship - and remarkably each comes with a full set of 'working' (well, maybe not exactly in the case of the machine guns...) Bond gadgets.
This Corgi for millionaires has a specification sheet like no other car. Under 'exterior', it lists 'rear smoke screen delivery system', 'rear simulated oil slick delivery system', 'revolving number plates front and rear ', 'simulated twin front machine guns', 'bullet resistant rear shield', 'battering rams front and rear', 'simulated tyre slasher' and 'removable passenger seat roof panel '.
The interior is no less evocative: 'simulated radar screen tracker map', 'telephone in driver's door', 'gear knob actuator button', 'armrest and centre console-mounted switchgear', 'under-seat hidden weapons/storage tray' and 'remote control for gadget activation'.
The car is a collaboration between Aston Martin and Bond film-maker EON Productions, with the gadgets created by Chris Corbould, who is the longstanding special effects supervisor from the movies - the real-life Q, if you like.
Marek Reichman, chief creative officer of Aston Martin Lagonda, said the DB5 was "the most famous car in the world by virtue of its 50-plus year association with James Bond".
"To see the first customer car finished, and realise that this is the first new DB5 we have built in more than half a century, really is quite a moment," he said.
"It is a genuine privilege, and significant responsibility, to have been involved in the shaping of this new DB5 and to be helping to lead the creation of new versions of this automotive icon.
"I’m absolutely certain that the 25 lucky owners who are beginning to take delivery of these cars will be thrilled with them."
I'm sure they will be. Though there is one drawback compared to the car Sean Connery's Bond used to cross Europe as he trailed Goldfinger to his lair in Switzerland - the continuation car is not road legal.
The owners of the new life-size models better have really big play rooms...