back to article Why James Bond's Aston Martin Top Trumps the rest

What car should James Bond really drive? It's a hotly disputed question. Our man on film is closely associated with the Aston Martin, the DB5 initially and DBS V12 of late. Clearly the producers of recent Bond outings hope to identify their character with the spirit of an earlier time regarded as iconic and special. And they …

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I guess

The only Jag in a Bond film that I can recall is the green XK from that terrible film "Die Another Day"... I prefer the Vanquish that Brosnan bombed around in in that outing though so he chose the right one.

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Re: I guess

Ahem. You mean The "Vanish".

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Trollface

if you’ve got £250k for one of these you’re going to pay me to park it, aren’t you?

No, because you will go hacking around the South Downs in it while I'm not looking ;)

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The first Esprits weren't turbo's, and the 750 they started filming with was such a steaming pile of excrement that BMW snuck in a 740 8 cylinder for the rest of the recording. Although the 8 cylinder Beamers are just an ever so slightly less steaming pile of excrement, at least they kept going.

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Indeed. The white Esprit that went underwater was a S1, which was Naturally Aspirated and produced way before the first Turbo.

Pretty sure the one they blew up in For Your Eyes Only was a Turbo though.

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I believe most of the problems were not that the BMW were bad car per se. It was that they made bad stunt cars. Mainly due to the hardwired electronics not realising that doing a massive power slide, on the rev limiter with the tail out was *intentional*, not accidental.

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Bronze badge

Well....

Don't forget that Bond has driven that classic Rep Machine - the Ford Mondeo - in Casino Royale (one of the greatest examples of product placement cramming in movie history).

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Facepalm

Re: Well....

I personally felt CR earned one of it's downticks for that travesty alone. I mean...Jimmy Bond...in a rented Mundane-o...that isn't being crashed, riddle with bullets or being driven like it was stolen (usually by him).

And I hear the next one means ditching his vodka martini's for...of all things...a Heineken. FFS.

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Re: Well....

That film was ruined by Fords being shoehorned in to inappropriate areas (amongst other things); the only good things were the beautiful beautiful Alfa 159s used by the bad guys. It's funny how Hollywood, err Pinewood, always makes the good guys so wet you end up rooting for the other side!

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Re: Well....

Ford owned Aston at the time, so it made sense for them to shoehorn in their new cars.

This is why the likes of Die Another Day everyone had a Ford (eg. Thunderbird), Jag or Range Rover - all owned by Ford at the time.

In Quantum of Solace he was even being driven around in some sort of Ka.

A Mondeo would actually probably be quite apt - big size and reasonable power, yet conspicuous enough to be anonymous (as per the Arctic Monkeys 'When the sun goes down')...

The bmw era was poor in terms of blatant product placement. The Z3 was a bit of a girly car, the 7 was a CEO-wagon and the Z8 wasn't ready so it was a kit car on a Corvette. Mind Dalton drove an Audi at one point too.

The BBC are usually good at car casting - the good guys usually drive Alfas!

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Thumb Up

"I had the Corgi model that fired Swan Vestas out of the front bumper"

As, I suspect, did many of us. The bullet-proof screen always ended up jammed, though.

Nice article. Left me feeling warm and fuzzy.

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Re: "I had the Corgi model that fired Swan Vestas out of the front bumper"

Yeah, great article. That Corgi reference really took me back down memory lane.

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Re: "I had the Corgi model that fired Swan Vestas out of the front bumper"

The bullet proof screen on mine was fine, the ejector seat arm broke though...

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Re: "I had the Corgi model that fired Swan Vestas out of the front bumper"

Front bumper? I remember the DB5 model that had machine guns and whatnot that popped out the front when you pressed a button. The Vestas-launcher that I remember was the white Esprit that had rocket launchers in the rear windscreen (and the little plastic rockets got lost so got replaced by matches)

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MrT
Bronze badge

"Nerd alert"

I still have my Esprit sub-car held in the box with the undertray clip, all the missiles present. It got played with, but was garaged at the end of each 'mission'...

It's that "played with" bit that upsets proper collectors cos they want the missiles still fixed to the molding stem. Boring sods.

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Re: "Nerd alert"

I had a pristine example too. My ex asked me to let her son have a go, and I said he would lose the rockets. She assured me he would not. With crushing inevitability, he immediately did. :o)

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Re: "Nerd alert"

Still, at least someone had fun eh? ;)

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In the movies

The first "Bond" car is a Sunbeam Alpine, in Dr No

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Re: In the movies

"....a Sunbeam Alpine, in Dr No." Yes and no. It is the first car Bond does a chase in, but it is not his own car, merely supposed to be a rental. IIRC, it was borrowed from a local resident as the only sportscar available on the island for filming! The first car that is identified as Bond's own is the Bentley, very briefly in "From Russia With Love", and the first "Q" car is the Aston in "Goldfinger".

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Stop

has a lovely one for sale....

Let me FTFY - Had a lovely one for sale...."This Aston Martin DB5 is now sold" well that saved me £0.25M then...

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The DB5

Here is a picture of Bond's DB5 in somewhat unusual condition :-)

All the gadgets still working - bullet shield, guns, "radar" in a side mirror...

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Re: The DB5

Looks like the number plate still rotates as well :)

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Gold badge

Re: The DB5

Looks like the number plate still rotates as well

If not, it can be updated: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEQOgGoz3Q0 (also somewhere in English). God help you if he police catch, you though.

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Re: The DB5

It does!

I was disappointed, though, to see that the bullet marks on the retractable armour shield were just simple stickers...

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Devil

Re: The DB5

Also the front machine guns were broomhandle painted black!

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ACx

No way should an e-type been used.

IMHO, an e-type is or was a pretty celeb car. Its too fashionable and pretty for a hard nosed spy. Yes it is one of the most fantastic gorgeous cars ever made, but never a spy car. The Aston has strength, punch, hardness and raw manliness about it. Image wise, it can take a bullet. An e-type would cry if its make up was smudged. The Aston was and still is a much more suitable for a Bond.

In fact, I'd say the e-type suits Austin Powers perfectly. The Aston suits Bond.

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I can't see an E-Type anywhere without thinking of Bud Cort with a pair of welding goggles and a crazed look in his eye...

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Well said

Thank you for putting into words exactly what I was thinking :)

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Silver badge

DB-5 all the way. Never liked jags and the db5 SOUNDS better than an e type.

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Happy

Re: ACx

".....e-type is or was a pretty celeb car....." Hmmm, maybe, but they were used by the Police if IIRC. Now, a Mk2 saloon would have been suitably dark given it's association with gangsters. And a lot more practical.

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Agreed, bond needed something iconic, not 'it's popular right now'

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Anonymous Coward

When I was a kid one of our neighbours had a DB3 which he traded in for a DB5. He constantly complained about how unreliable it was. That was how I learned at an early age that SU in SU carbs stood for Something Unmentionable.

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Anonymous Coward

Beg the what?

prraps the reg could have a wee scriptlet that scans articles for the phrase "beg(s) the question" and sticks it on hold until the writer has got it right...

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Happy

Re: Beg the what?

http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2290

Summary of conclusion: "My recommendation: Never use the phrase yourself — use 'assume the conclusion' or 'raise the question', depending on what you mean — and cultivate an attitude of serene detachment in the face of its use by others."

"Serene detachment" - doesn't that sound nice?

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Thumb Up

Loved the moment

When the Lotus - sub puts its indicators on to turn underwater

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Yes, the DB5 is the quintessential James Bond car. but, how could you not mention the Ford Mustang Mach 1 in Diamonds are Forever? for a more complete listing - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_James_Bond_vehicles

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Stop

Re: Rick Berry

".....Ford Mustang Mach 1....." The Mach 1 was a truly steaming pile of the brown stuff, a horrible thing to do to the pretty Mustang. Wash your mouth out for even suggesting it!

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Mr. Bond is a Gentleman, and gentlemen do NOT drive Mustangs. And if , for reasons beyond their control, it IS necessery for them to drive one, the less it is mentioned and the sooner it is forgotten the better.

And I'm not sure about the E-type either

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Coat

Well, there's always the Shelby GT500.

If it's good enough for Rally Vincent, it's good enough for Bond.

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Coffee/keyboard

So if Rally Vincent is drinking Guiness, then Bond should abandon Martinis? That's how ridiculous your comparison is.

The only car suited to Bond is the Aston Martin DB5. Period.

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Holmes

Bond a gentleman? That's a strange word for a priapic mass murderer. Quite right about the Mustang though, strictly for the CIA.

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Pint

> Bond a gentleman? That's a strange word for a priapic mass murderer.

Perhaps he could be described as "an assassin required to play the part of a gentleman"? In any case, yes, the Mustang is a faux pas.

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Anonymous Coward

Bond is not a gentleman, he is a howling bounder. And he gets on with the real enemy - the Americans. (Philby insisted that he spied for Britain and the USSR against the USA, out of patriotism. Based on how they've treated us since, he had a point).

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Anonymous Coward

"The silver-birch DB5 only appeared on screen for about ten minutes in Goldfinger but it has become completely synonymous with the character "

You don't suppose that the addition of the ejector seat (which I assume is not listed as an option in the DB5 price list) might have had something to do with it?

N.b. I also had one of the Corgi cars - on mine it was the ejector seat that kept jamming + I suspec that the small plastic "Oddjob" probably got lost fairly quickly as well. Strangely, until they brought the DB5 back in Casino Royale I'd had the idea that it was a bronze rather than silver! Can't remember the details but I've got a feeling that I might have given mine a new paint job at some point!

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Gold Corgi

No, I had a gold one - and it didn't fire swan vestas, though it did have pop-out bumper over-riders and machineguns at the front.

I didn't lose the plastic Japanese guard and everything worked perfectly - until my little brother got his 3 year old mitts on it. GRR!

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Re: Gold Corgi

He was Korean I think.

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Ejector seat

Many years ago I went to see Desmond L. do a theatre show ("an evening with" kind of format, just him talking) about his role as Q. He had along some of the original gadgets, including the briefcase from "From Russia with Love" - looking rather battered. He explained that he himself knew squit-all about technology; he also explained how some of the gadgets - at least in the early films - were actual commercial products. And he said that he particularly liked the ejector seat - because it was a late addition. He'd already completed his filming, when he got a call back to the studio to do the ejector seat - so an extra day's work.

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Re: Ejector seat

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrFgyLs6e8s

at about 4:20 onwards for the man himself

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DB5

I saw one in the VIP Parking area of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway two years ago for Pole Day. A crowd had gathered and they were drooling, politely behind the ropes, at an immaculate DB5 and a new Maseratti Gran Turismo. The rest of the cars, including a new Ferrari, were largely ignored.

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