In the Bond adventure On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, 007 in the shape of George Lazenby famously drives an Aston Martin DBS. At the end of the film, it is in the green, six-cylinder Aston (noted for its relative lack of gadgets) that Bond’s bride is shot dead. What is less well known is the brief appearance of a DBS in Diamonds Are Forever. The car was glimpsed in the background of Q’s laboratory, where it was being equipped with a rocket launcher that appeared to take up the entire engine bay.
Aston Martin has never paid a penny in cash for its products to appear in Bond films. On the contrary, as the filming of Goldfinger required more than one example of the DB5, producer Albert R. Broccoli had to pay Aston Martin. However, after the box office success and resulting promotional value of such product placement were recognised by Aston Martin, all cars from that point on were provided for free. And that’s how things have stayed.
Two Aston stories were leapt on by the media when Skyfall was released: first, that Bond had gone back to using ‘his’ Aston Martin DB5, and secondly that it (or a realistic model of it) was blown up during the making of the film. Both are true, but what is often overlooked is the fact that despite carrying the same registration number, the car used was not the original DB5 from Goldfinger. Daniel Craig’s car was, in fact, a green DB5 with brown leather seats that was carefully restored to the ‘correct’ spec in 2010.
With a total of seven full rolls, the Aston Martin DBS from Casino Royale holds the world record for the number of rollovers in a stunt. Since the car was too heavy to be rolled several times simply by using a ramp, which is the normal method, an air pressure gun was installed under the floor. It worked.
“James, is it really necessary…?”
When the Aston Martin DB5 returned to the stage in Skyfall, its reappearance dominated the media. But don’t forget Pierce Brosnan’s memorable drive in GoldenEye: “James, is it really necessary to drive quite so fast?” This was another example of a classic DB5 in the hands of 007, and taking part in a legendary battle on wheels with Xenia Onatopp in her Ferrari F355, no less.
Photos: Aston Martin / EON PICTURES