AN Aston Martin DB5 owned by Sir Sean Connery has been sold for 2.2 million US dollars (£1.9 million) at an auction in California – with a buyer based in the UK just missing out.

The family of the James Bond actor, who died in October 2020 aged 90, sold the 1964 classic car to raise money for a philanthropy fund set up in his name.

Dan Carter, co-founder of the Showpiece platform, through which people can purchase a share in collectable items, hoped to return the car to the UK but was unwilling to increase his bid of 2.1 million US dollars (£1.8m).

The National:

He said: “Sadly, we missed out on a chance to bring Sir Sean Connery’s personal Aston Martin DB5 back to Britain.

“Yet if a new chance comes to buy this unique vehicle we’ll never say never again.”

The DB5, synonymous with the Bond franchise, was listed as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” as it is the only car of that model personally owned by Connery.

Auctioneers Broad Arrow previously estimated it would sell for between 1.4m and 1.8m US dollars (£1.1 to £1.4m at the time).

After a lengthy search, Connery bought the car from a specialist and sent it to be repainted in the traditional Bond colour of snow shadow grey.

He also had the wing mirrors removed as he felt it made the car look “cleaner”.

In the 1964 Bond film Goldfinger, Connery’s 007 had a DB5 fitted with an array of gadgets including a Browning .30 calibre machine gun in each front wheel arch and hub-mounted tyre slashers.

Box office success saw a surge in sales for Aston Martin and the car became a mainstay in the franchise.