Swiss ex-billionaire forced to sell James Bond's DB5Newspress

Times are tough, even for rich Swiss ex-billionaires like Thomas Straumann.

Usually the gym membership is the first thing to go, but Straumann is selling off two hotels and an Aston Martin DB5 used to promote the James Bond film Goldfinger in 1962.

The 49-year-old Swiss businessman had previously been forced to sell off 10% of his stake in the dental company his grandfather started, after seeing his net worth fall from $1.2bn (£780m) to $700m (£460m) in two years.

The European business world has been a-buzz with talk about Straumann's portfolio, and he even made a statement in November, saying: "The prevailing weak economic environment has made it necessary to reallocate funds in order to support and meet my investment commitments."

The sale of the iconic Aston Martin DB5 was a secret until recently, however, when the car turned up for sale by Aston Martin specialist Richard Stewart Williams in Surrey.

It was used to promote Goldfinger worldwide after its release in 1964, and Straumann had 3,000 hours of restoration work done on the car to get it back to Q Branch standard after buying it for £1.8m in the US in 2006.

It comes with the usual mod cons, including machine guns, bulletproof rear screen and car phone – no ejector seat on this model though.

This DB5 was one of two production models built for Goldfinger's world promotional tour. The reported asking price is £3m, which should cover his household bills for a little while.