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James Bond's Chariot - Celebrating Aston Martin and 007

By: Ajay Chowdhury
Celebrating Aston Martin and James Bond 007
On 31st August 2021, in London's Battersea Power Station Promenade, by the River Thames, Aston Martin launched a Bond-themed event to help celebrate the car manufacturer's nearly 60 year on-screen relationship with the world's most famous secret agent. They unveiled a full scale, Corgi "toy" box of what Bond historian and author, Dave Worrall, has dubbed "the most famous car in the world."

It was, of course, the silver birch Aston Martin DB5 from the 1964 film, Goldfinger. The vehicle has gone on to become Bond's signature chariot.

Via the Corgi toy tie-in, it is arguably the world's most successful product placement and licensing deal.

The vehicle inside the box was one of the 25 non-road worthy, gadget laden replicas built last year. It cost £2.5 millon - all have sold up. Grown up boys with toys, huh?

Aston Martin DB5 Corgi box

Marek Reichman, Chief Creative Officer at Aston Martin and Chris Corbould, EON Productions and special effects supervisor as well as EON archivist and author, Meg Simmonds, were on hand add interesting detail. Aston Martin showed the trailer, an action sequence and their own sizzle reel to whet the appetite. Chris Corbould gave us a tantalising glimpse of what to expect in No Time To Die. Shooting a high-octane action sequence in the medieval Italian city of Matera involved complex logistics for which he praised the team at Aston Martin. Several vehicles were needed in case of technical faults - the crew could just use another car, saving expensive film location hours.

Chris Corbould and Marek Reichman at Aston Martin DB5 Corgi box reveal in London

The ancient streets of the town were notoriously smooth, the cobbles worn with time, so the stunt crew covered them with cola so the tyres would gain traction more easily. He explained how director Cary Fukunaga wanted to update some of the classic gadgets on the car. He justified it by thinking, as the vehicle is now Bond's private car, Bond would keep up with the times. Hence the headlights now house Gattling guns, and the revolving number plate is now a changeable, digital screen. Corbould remembered spit-balling ideas and nixing some of the wackiest. One of these was a drone which emerged from behind the registration plate - this idea was shot down. No Time To Die also features the brand new Aston Martin Valhalla and Superleggera as well as the V8, a call-back to Timothy Dalton's car in 1987's The Living Daylights. Meg Simmonds recalled that on a previous Global Bond Day, 5th October, the now-closed Bond in Motion museum had organized a fleet of Aston Martins from the history of the series to drive around London in a procession.

Cary Fukunaga, watching from the window of Eon House, had spied the handsome eighties incarnation of Aston Martin and wanted to include it in his film. Journalists from all around the world were flown in to spend time in the production plant in Newport Pagnell and test drive Aston Martins at Silverstone where their new Formula 1 vehicle is tested. The "toy" car display will remain at Battersea Power Station Promenade until early October 2021.

During the event, journalists had a frisson of excitement as the two new No Time To Die trailers dropped - UK, opening 30th September and US, opening 8th October. This year! The wait, indeed, is over.

Pictures copyright © 2021 Ajay Chowdhury. All rights reserved.



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Bond 25 Bond girls Bond villains Britt Ekland Daniel Craig Dolph Lundgren George Lazenby Izabella Scorupco James Bond museum Kristina Wayborn Mary Stavin Maud Adams No Time To Die Ola Rapace Pierce Brosnan Roger Moore Sean Connery Spectre Timothy Dalton

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