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A PARALLEL WORLD

Monday October 29 2012 / Science & Technology - A Little Levity

As you may have heard, James Bond has burst back into action with the release of Skyfall. Daniel Craig dons the dinner jacket once again as Ian Fleming’s iconic super spy, with the film critics purring that this is one of the best Bond flicks ever.

Bond car Aston Martin DB5
  Daniel Craig/James Bond and his Aston Martin DB5 in Skyfall

Skyfall is the third 007 outing for Craig – the sixth actor to play Bond – and is the 23rd movie in a franchise that is now 50 years old.


That’s right, it was a half century ago that a barely-known Scotsman called Sean Connery casually looked up from his game of chemin-de-fer to mutter the immortal line “The name’s Bond, James Bond” in 1962’s Dr No.

Bond films have since become world-famous for featuring glamorous girls, outlandish bad guys, ingenious gadgets and shaken-not-stirred martinis, not to mention one or two pretty tasty cars – both Bond’s mode of transport and that of the villains he has pitted his wits against.

James Bond Aston Martin DB5
  Aston Martin DB5


To celebrate the film series’ golden jubilee, Britain’s National Motor Museum in Hampshire is exhibiting 50 iconic vehicles that have graced Bond’s cinematic adventures.

Arguably, the most memorable of these is Bond’s Aston Martin DB5, which debuted in 1964’s Goldfinger. Pictured above, this pearl’s classic curves and villain-dispatching gadgets weren’t enough to convince Connery: He later described it as “more of a lady’s car” on account of its supposedly small peddles.

James Bond 1937 Rolls Royce Phantom
  1937 Phantom III Rolls Royce

Also from Goldfinger is the eponymous baddie’s own magnificent 1937 Phantom III Rolls Royce, in pristine condition.

James Bond Lotus Esprit
  Lotus Esprit

The 1970s Bond films are best remembered for the double entendres, safari suits and submersible Lotus Esprit of Roger Moore’s Bond. We’ll take the Lotus, thanks.

James Bond Lotus Esprit
            Lotus Esprit 'off road'

James Bond Ford Mustang
  Ford Mustang

That unforgettable vehicle is featured at the Bond in Motion exhibition as are others from that decade, including 007’s Ford Mustang Mach 1 from Diamonds Are Forever’s two-wheel alley stunt…

James Bond Ford Mustang
  Ford Mustang

James Bond AMC Hornet
  AMC Hornet

…as well as Bond’s AMC hornet in which he completes a daring 360-degree roll in The Man With The Golden Gun.

James Bond AMC Hornet
  AMC Hornet

James Bond Rolls Royce Silver Cloud

Legendary Bond producer Cubby Broccoli lent his own Rolls Royce Silver Cloud (above and below) for the filming of this stunt in 1985’s A View To A Kill.

James Bond Rolls Royce Silver Cloud
  Rolls Royce Silver Cloud

Two year’s later in The Living Daylights, Timothy Dalton got to make his Bond debut driving this pretty snazzy Aston Martin V8, in which 007 has had “a few optional extras” installed: Just the usual lasers, missiles, spiked tyres, skis and rocket motor.

James Bond Aston Martin V8
  Aston Martin V8

James Bond Aston Martin V8
  Aston Martin V8

From the films starring Pierce Brosnan as the dapper spy, this Jaguar XKR convertible with rockets hidden in the door and fascia – for when traffic is a real killer – stands out.

James Bond Jaguar
                                Jaguar XKR convertible

This one asbove wasn’t driven by Bond, but by bad guy Zao in 2002’s Die Another Day.

In Skyfall, Daniel Craig gets behind the wheel of both the vintage Aston Martin DB5 and the contemporary DBS V12. You’d hope he looks after the latter a little more carefully than the DBS that featured in his last outing, Quantum of Solace.

James Bond Aston Martin DBS  Aston Martin DBS QOS

Bond in Motion also features the decidedly less glamorous sets of wheels with which 007 has foiled his enemies, including a nimble tuk-tuk taxi from 1983’s Octopussy and fetching yellow Citroën 2CV from 1981’s For Your Eyes Only.

James Bond tuk tuk
  Tuk tuk taxi and Citroen 2CV

Bond in Motion runs until January 6th. For more information, please visit www.beaulieu.co.uk/attractions/bond-in-motion

And, as luck would have it, Top Gear, the BBC’s flagship car programme, will air a special show tonight, dedicated to 50 years of 007 cars. It will be broadcast on BBC Two and BBC HD at 21:00 UK time. For more information, please visit: www.topgear.com/uk/car-news/top-gear-james-bond-special-2012-10-15

Suggested by
Steven Rogers