We had a blast at the recent Collectors’ Day in Gainesville, Florida at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Bond fan and Aston enthusiast Gordon Clement drove his silver birch beauty in from Atlanta to show to the several thousand in attendance at this annual event.
Many different collectibles were displayed at the big event, a showcase of personal collectors’ wares for the public. This year’s 007 table was no exception and was filled with excitement as we raced a model Aston and a BMW Z3 around the table and between onlookers legs for a thrill. Gordon brought Aston Martin collectors’ club magazines to the show, which he generously distributed to those in attendance. We set up numerous posters and 007 collectibles plus a TV with the latest DVD releases displaying both Bond films and deleted film scenes for the curious. Even some of the museum’s working volunteers stopped by for an hour or more to watch TV and chat with us during the event!
Outside, Gordon’s phenomenally beautiful DB5 shone in the sun, far and away the hit of the show of all the collectors’ vehicles on display. He generously allowed thrill seekers to examine the interior of the vehicle and even sit inside for special photos. Gordon had plenty of DB5 stories to share, from the time as a child when he rode in the most famous of the Goldfinger cars at breakneck speed, seated next to a car dealer rushing the DB to an event, to the rare event of passing other US Aston drivers on the street. (Apparently, Aston owners always pull over when they see each other on the highway to talk shop.)
Gordon has modified his DB5 for a low-suspension ride that is a real thrill if not downright reckless over speed bumps and around the curves. The Aston is fast. All our Bond group took turns riding shotgun or in the back of this beauty. “Most Bond fans are unaware of Aston Martin’s very lengthy history and racing successes even before the Bond films,” says Gordon. “Astons are incredibly well-designed, carefully crafted and unique works of art.”
The DB5 is simply a beautiful vehicle. Most fans upon seeing the little car in person, even after collecting scale models for years, are surprised at its stunning, provocative lines and sexy, sleek look. From head on in front or straight in back, the Aston seems like a mere small and sporty car. From the side, with its sumptuous looking and mega-wide aluminum panels, the car resembles something otherworldly between a gray battle craft for a navy and a streamlined deco fantasy vehicle of the 1930’s or ‘40s. In other words, the car neatly seems to transform its appearance as it makes a turn around a bend. The Aston is an always head-turning, amazing looking car. Gordon’s BMT 216 and British rear plate plus the car’s authentic silver color added still more to the experience.
A whole day was not enough to learn about the DB5. Bond collectible owners, look at your DB5 models. Did you know the Aston’s headlights are actually deeply recessed and the front eye lenses on the car’s lights are merely protective wind/rain screen covers? No details were forgotten in this prime example of a very fast car merged with the best luxury class car of its day. Numerous celebrities owned Astons before Bond drove one in Goldfinger and the DB5 is still at the pinnacle of pride for its lucky owners. We drove to my home after the event as a group. Gordon was offered six figures and more by a passing rare auto dealer who drove by in a Mercedes!
If you get a chance to see a DB5 in person, indeed any Aston (see related Bond Weekend 2 story) do it. Thanks to the fans who visited with us at the museum and all the Bond collectors in attendance. Special thanks to Gordon for putting many miles on his treasured Aston to share it with all the 007Forever fans. See you at the show next year!