Before he was “Bond, James Bond” in seven of 007 movies, Roger Moore was Sir Brett Sinclair, who along with Tony Curtis as Danny Wilde starred in television series, The Persuaders! Well, actually, Moore and Curtis co-starred with their cars — Wilde driving a Ferrari Dino 248 GT and Sinclair a Bahama Yellow Aston Marti DBS.
And now, for the first time, that 1970 Aston Martin DBS from the television series will be offered for auction at Bonhams’ 15th annual Aston Martin Works Sale, to be held May 17 at the Aston Martin factory at Newport Pagnell, England.
Both Moore and Curtis autographed the car, which has a pre-auction estimated value of between $415,000 and $915,000, according to Bonhams.
When filming for the television series began, Aston Martin was just introducing the V8 version of its new DBS model. However, productions was just beginning and a V8-powered car was not available, so the car provided for the television series had the look of the V8 car — the badging and special wheels — but the standard DBS six-cylinder engine.
For the television show, the car also wore special “BS 1” license plates reflecting Brett Sinclair’s initials. Well, it wore those plates except in one episode when the production team forgot to switch the plates and the car was filmed with the “PPP 6H” license it wore for its real-life registration.
Filming the 24 episodes for The Persuaders! ended when Moore accepted the movie role as James Bond. By then, the DBS had traveled some 5,000 miles and, as Bonhams expressed it in its news release, had “taken a fair amount of punishment.”
Aston Martin took the car back, repaired the punishments and sold the car to what would be the first of its five owners. Each of the car’s sales was a private transaction with advertising or dealer or auction house involvement, Bonhams notes.
In the mid 1990s, owner No. 4 acquired the car and commissioned Aston Martin to do a complete restoration, returning the car to the precise specification it had when filming of the TV series began. Original components — including the leather interior — were retained.
Since then, the car has been maintained in that condition and has been serviced on an annual basis by engineers at Aston Martin Works.
The car had its first public showing since its television days in 2011 at the Aston Martin Owners’ Club spring concours. Since then it has been shown at the Salon Prive in London, at Aston Martin centennial events, and last year was one of only 49 cars on the shores of Italy’s Lake Como for the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.