Spy cars come in from the cold

James Bond returns to the wheel of his trusty weapon laden Aston Martin DB5 for the latest episode in the spy movie franchise which began 50 years ago.

Daniel Craig, the latest actor to play the legendary, womanizing British spy, was seen recently driving the silver sports car through Glencoe, Scotland, during the filming of a car chase scene from Skyfall, the 23rd 007 movie, which is due out this fall.

The Aston bears the same BMT 216A number plate it sported on its 1964 debut in Goldfinger, when Sean Connery was 007. The car also appeared in Thunderball, Casino Royale, Tomorrow Never Dies and Golden Eye.

Of course, though Astons are Bond favourites, the original DB5 won’t be the only vehicle featured with the master spy at the wheel. The production company is keeping quiet about what contemporary wheels will show up, though it would appear the handsome Range Rover Evoque will play a role.

A version of the instantly recognizable Aston is on display at the Bond in Motion exhibition at the National Motor Museum, in the picturesque grounds of Beaulieu, the home of the Montagu family since 1538.

Lord Montagu’s son, the Hon Ralph Montagu, said: “The exhibition, which we are putting on in conjunction with Eon Productions, is the largest of its kind staged any-where in the world and features 50 original vehicles from the James Bond films, including some of the best loved and most iconic.”

The collection includes the 1937 Phantom III Rolls-Royce from Goldfinger, the Lotus Esprit S1 affectionately nicknamed ‘Wet Nellie’ from The Spy Who Loved Me, the BMW 750iL, one of 17 provided by the German manufacturer for Tomorrow Never Dies, the Ford Mustang Mach 1 from Diamonds Are Forever, villain Zukovsky’s Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II from The World Is Not Enough and the vintage 1962 Rolls-Royce, pushed into a lake by May Day and Zorin with Bond still inside, in A View to a Kill.

A 2006 Aston Martin DBS in pristine condition, used during the filming of Casino Royale, stands along-side a severely damaged Aston Martin DBS stunt car, which rolled seven and three quarter turns to set a Guinness World Record.

Other exhibits include the original SFX cello case ski famously navigated by Timothy Dalton in The Living Daylights, and on public view for the first time there is the ‘burial-at-sea bed’ from You Only Live Twice, the Union Jack parachute, which villain Gustav Graves used when he landed on The Mall, and the surfboard with concealed weapons and ammunition, from Die Another Day.

A personal favourite is the crocodile mini sub, which Bond used in Octopussy.

Visitors get to see behind-the-scenes footage showing how some of the most memorable stunts were created for the movies.

In the run up to the release of Skyfall in October, watch out for a series on Bond cars scheduled to run here starting in the late summer.

For further information on the exhibition, which runs until December, visit www.bondinmotion.co.uk

James Bond (SEAN CONNERY) arrives in his 1964 Aston Martin DB5 at the golf club to meet Auric Goldfinger in Goldfinger (1964).
Photograph by: Screenshot, MGM