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A BOND TO LOOK BACK ON

This is the story of how both Aston Martin and James Bond ascended to movie greatness.

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James Herbert Bond.

was never originally an Aston guy...

If you only watched Bond on screen, you may find this statement absolute blasphemy. But the original James Bond in the books of Ian Fleming had something alot less sleek.

“One of the last of the 4 1/2-litre Bentleys with the supercharger by Amherst Villiers, he had bought it almost new in 1933 and had kept it in careful storage through the war. […] Bond drove it hard and well and with an almost sensual pleasure. It was a battleship-grey convertible coupe, which really did convert, and it was capable of touring at 90 with 30 miles an hour in reserve.”

- Casino Royale (1953)

“Bond’s car was his only personal hobby.” Fleming wrote - which shows his soft spot for sports cars. However its appearance would be brief, as by the seventh book Goldfinger, (1959) Bond had the luxury of choosing either an Aston Martin DB3 or a Jaguar 3.4 from Q.

We all knew the answer to that decision.

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Journey to the Silver Screen.

The year is 1964, and the first two Bond films have hit the silver screens - true to their books, Dr.No and From Russia With Love had their cars exact to their written counterparts.

In Dr.No Bond’s ride was a dainty Sunbeam Alpine. From Russia With Love followed in 1963,which saw Connery’s Bond pilot a 1935 Bentley 3.5 Litre drophead coupe Park Ward.

Goldfinger was around the corner, and an Aston was nowhere to be found yet. Ken Adams, - who was basically tasked with bringing Bond's character to life on the silver screen - was having trouble finding one.

You see, despite the success of the two previous Bond films, he was not really rewarded with a comfortable budget for Goldfinger. Apparently some budgets were exceeded in the last two films, and whatever he had on hand had to be used. A dashing car chase was in the books - and no way in heck a switch in a less dashing vehicle was acceptable.

He considered using his own personal Jaguar E Type, he even considered a Bentley to be reused as the star car and reunite Bond with his original sweetheart. But deep down he knew it was Aston Martin's turn to be on the silver screen.

Every day on his way into Pinewood Studios he’d pass a silver Aston Martin parked up.

After leaving a note for the owner on the windscreen,to which he got no response, Adams plucked up the courage to call Aston Martin itself and ask for a car. Though initially relunctant, after seeing the plans for the special effects, the marque was fully on board.

“Because Adams was persistent and had a vision, we now have one of the longest-running franchise relationships with any product”.

Marek Reichman - Aston Martin Chief Creative Officer

It is an understatement to say how legendary the DB5 is. It’s status is almost as mythical as the character it assists in the movies itself.

And of course, it was the start of every little boy’s new dream - to kick baddies in the tush and gun them down, all without leaving the comfort of your own car - and a bonus Bond girl next to you.

Equipped with a healthy selection of gadgets – including front-mounted machine guns, interchangeable rotating number plates, a shield, oil slick, smoke screen and, best of all, an ejector seat – the DB5 made its debut in Q’s laboratory, before Sean Connery used it to cruise through the Swiss Alps in pursuit of gold bullion-hoarding baddy Auric Goldfinger.

In short, Bond and the Aston hit it off perfectly, with the film helping to increase sales of the grand tourer as well as lifting the profile of the small British carmaker. This success signalled the start of a relationship which would span 13 Bond films and more than half a century of cinematic history.

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Her Majesty's Secret Supercar

Across the 57-year span of Bond’s on-screen service, a total of eight Aston Martins have made their way on to his driveway. Nine including the DB5.

A 1969 Aston DBS in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969, starring George Lazenby), a V8 in The Living Daylights (1987, starring Timothy Dalton), and a V12 Vanquish in Die Another Day (2002, starring Pierce Brosnan). Daniel Craig’s impressive run has seen him drive a V12 DBS in Casino Royale (2006) and Quantum of Solace (2008), as well as the exclusive DB10, specially created for 2015’s Spectre.

“It’s very difficult to explain why this relationship has lasted so long and that’s part of the mystery,” says Reichman. “There’s just a great resonance with the language, the culture, the overt power but subtle messaging… it’s all about something that evokes style, yet has this instinct that is quite ruthless.”

What ever the reason may be, the Aston definitely has become the official car of espionage.

Of course, matching a car to the most stylish man in film was going to be a challenge, but when Sean Connery first paired up with the DB5 in 1964 history was made. Since that moment, both Aston Martin and Bond have benefitted from each other’s success, with the carmaker forever embedded as a culture-icon.

While the world’s favourite spy has driven everything from a Rolls-Royce to a Citroën 2CV, James Bond and Aston Martin are now inseparable. In the words from Top Gear’s very own Bond Tribute, we thank you Ian Fleming - for that one line in Goldfinger, forever changed the course of automotive history forever.

At OneCorsa - being Bond fans ourselves, we are proud present our Aston Martin selections to die-hard enthusiasts, ready to live out their wildest fantasies.

"Thank you Ian Fleming - wherever you are now - for you have no idea what you started with that one line - Bond had been offered the Aston Martin or a Jaguar 3.4. He had taken the DB III."

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