January 20, 2006

James Bond Car for Sale — $1.5 Million Please

PHOENIX, Arizona -- Would you buy a used car from James Bond? Especially one that might cost over a million dollars.

The answer may be known on Friday when one of 007's cars -- a silver 1965 Aston Martin DB5 coupe -- goes up for sale as the classic car auction season kicks into high gear in Arizona.

"James Bond fans are hard-core collectors and they can afford to purchase the Holy Grail," said Terry Lobzun, a spokesman for RM Auctions, the company auctioning the vehicle as part of a two-day event.

"The cars are an icon, part of international folklore," he added.

Auction officials estimate that the gadget-filled 007 vehicle used to promote such classics as "Goldfinger" and "Thunderball" could fetch at least $1.5 million.

The Bond car is one of three celebrity vehicles for sale at the auction from the Smoky Mountain Car Museum in Tennessee. Also up for grabs are gangster Al Capone's 1928 Cadillac sedan and country music singer Hank Williams Jr.'s 1964 Pontiac Bonneville convertible.

Thousands are expected to flock to five auctions held through the end of the month in the Phoenix area, spending more than $100 million on vehicles of all makes and sizes.

The biggest show by far will be the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, which alone netted more than $61 million is sales last year. That record is expected to be eclipsed this year. An estimated 6,000 to 8,000 bidders are expected to register.