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Thomas Mallett2012-10-25 12:18:12

Countries and their cars: UK

 
 
Slideshow
In the service of Her Majesty: Aston Martin DB5

On the basis that I have lived in England all my life this one should be easy shouldn’t it? But, as usual there are any numbers of options, whether it is the Jaguar E-TypeE-TypeJaguar E-TypeUnited Kingdom, 1961 > 19753 series
21 versions
114 photos
1 video
– which epitomized beauty, elegance and a slightly fictional top speed, or the Austin AllegroAustin AllegroUnited Kingdom, 1973 > 19835 versions
which has become a symbol of the bad old days of British Leyland, or maybe it ought to be Alex Issigonis’s MiniMiniAustin MiniUnited Kingdom, 1967 > 19895 series
13 versions
14 photos
?

Unfortunately the Mini starred in a film called the Italian Job which was shot it Italy so I’m going to pick the Aston Martin DB5DB5Aston Martin DB5United Kingdom, 1963 > 19658 versions
68 photos
1 video
driven by James Bond…the archetypal vehicle of the well heeled, sporting, English gentleman.

I don’t actually think that the DB5 is the prettiest road going Aston, that accolade must go to the DB4 GT ZagatoDB4 GT ZagatoAston Martin DB4 GT ZagatoUnited Kingdom, 1960 > 196312 photos
but who, after all, has heard of one of those? No, it must be the DB5 that Sean Connery drove in Goldfinger; and it is the DB5 that epitomizes England the world over, whether you are in Hollywood, Shanghai or the RAC just off St James’s Square in London.

You will hark back to my argument for buying a Jaguar E-Type for £50,000 and point out that the E-Type is better to drive and just as pretty, so why on earth would you part with £200,000 more for the AstonAston MartinAston MartinUnited Kingdom, 1914 > present62 models
1926 photos
24 videos
? The answer is in the film reels and the feeling when you get inside the Aston, quite simply it has the X-factor that the JaguarJaguarJaguarUnited Kingdom, 1922 > present53 models
2185 photos
16 videos
doesn’t have in quite so many shovel loads.

When you drive any Aston Martin, whether you think it is a better car than the equivalent Jaguar or not, you/I have that moment when you wonder if you could pull off saying: The name’s Mallett, Tom Mallett…of course you bloody can’t but it’s a nice thought. In the Jaguar you just think ‘ah, this is nice.’

Unfortunately it is Jaguar that seemingly has the healthier future at the moment and I really worry for the future of Aston Martin, which is a pity because the company has made some of the most beautiful, masculine, exciting, fastest and iconic cars of all time. But that’s another story.

Rather than tell you all about the history of the DB5 and explain about where it was built (Newport Pagnell) or the years that it was made between (1963-1965). I’m going to tell you what ‘optional extras’ the James Bond DB5 came with.

Machine guns popped out of the front bumper, a bullet proof shield emerged from the boot and an ejector seat can dispatch a quarrelsome passenger through the roof at any point…all of that and a set of tyre shredding blades would come flying out of the hub caps with the depression of one, handily placed, button.

Is that the ejector seat that I most want on my car? No it isn’t. I can’t use any of those things without ending up spending some time at her majesty’s pleasure. However, I reckon you’d have half a chance of avoiding jail (and some speeding fines) if you fitted the revolving number plates to your car. Bond had BMT216A, JB007 and GOLDFINGER as his three options. I wonder what I’d have? Good luck Mr. Plod!

What can I really tell you about the DB5? Its 320 horses in Vantage form don’t feel as strong as those in a 997 Carrera911 Carrera S PDKPorsche 911 Carrera S PDKGermany, 2008 > present5 photos
and it certainly drives like an old car, with heavy controls and absolutely no electronic wizardry to save you from yourself when you inevitably discover that you are not James Bond, or for that matter Stirling Moss.

But it isn’t about the drive is it? No, it’s about being James Bond.


For more James Bond cars, check our list here:

Ford Mondeo

You would expect a secret agent like 007 to drive only expensive and amazing cars. But in the movie Casino Royale (2006) he proved you wrong as he drove a Ford Mondeo in the Bahamas. This might well be the most exclusive Mondeo in the world as it was handbuilt at Ford of Europe's Design Studio in Germany and sent to Bahamas before the model was even put on sale.

Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow

The next car on our list has featured several times in James Bond's movies. The Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow has been spotted in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1969), "The Man with the Golden Gun" (1974), "Licence to Kill" (1989), "The World Is Not Enough" (1999) but it has only be driven by the secret agent in the 1989 movie.

Aston Martin DBS V12

You must give the credits to all James Bonds that they are known for their driving skills, but one thing is for sure, when it comes to preserving their cars they all fail. The Aston Martin DBS V12 featuring in Quantum of Solace is a nice example for that. The car ends up into pieces after a cruel and savage pursuit in Siena, Italy

BMW Z8

The BMW Z8 got famous in James Bond's movie The World is not Enough for being cut in half by the saws driven by an helicopter. We also have to agree with 007 as he thinks "Q's Not Gonna Like This! "

 

Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante

In The Living Daylights Timothy Dalton made his premiere as the most famous secret agent in the world. And one of the prizes for becoming 007 is the chance to drive great cars and be part of great chasing scenes. The higlight in this movie is the scene with the Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante cutting a police car with a laser.

Range Rover Classic Convertible

In Octopussy a Range Rover Classic Convertible was used by Roger Moore to tow the horse box containing the Acrostar Jet he had just robbed with the help of Octopussy herself.

Lotus Esprit Turbo

In For your Eyes Only James Bond had two specially commissioned Lotus Esprit Turbo. The first, a white model driven by Bond in Spain, is destroyed when a thug trips its self-destruct system by breaking the driver's side window. The second one is a red model driven by Bond at a ski resort in Northern Italy.

Citroen 2CV

The 2CV also had is moment of shine by the hands of 007 in the movie For your Eyes Only. The Greek island of Corfu is the scenary of a drifting pursuit with one truly unexpected car for Bond's standards.

AMC Hornet

This is one of the most amazing stunts featuring in James Bond movies. In The Man with the Golden Gun 007 is chasing Scaramanga in a AMC Hornet he has stolen from a dealership in Bangkok, Thailand. At certain point Bond seems to be facing a dead end but in an amazing stunt crosses the river and continue to chase Scaramanga who will eventually runaway in a plane.

T-95 Tank

St. Petersburg was the location of one of the most gigantic chases from the Her Majesty's Secret Agent. In Golden Eye James Bond seems like a kid playing with a new toy as he drives the streets of the Russian city onboard a T-95 tank.

Aston Martin V12 Vanquish

In Die Another Day we get to see another exciting pursuit of James Bond movies. This time 007 is going after his Chinese enemy Zao inside a V12 Vanquish in a thrilling car chase on the ice outside Graves’ ice palace in Iceland. A feature of this Bond vehicle is the "adaptive camouflage" – a cloaking device that allowed it to become effectively invisible at the push of a button.

Lotus Esprit

This is probably one of the most extravagant vehicle Q has ever handed to 007. This Lotus Esprit was delivered to Bond by Q in Sardinia and is capable of transforming into a submarine. It featured in the movie "The Spy Who Loved Me"

Ford Mustang Mach 1

In Diamonds are Forever the Ford Mustang Mach 1 performed one of the most spectacular pursuits in James Bond's movie history. It took place in Las Vegas and its highlight was definitely the Mustang balancing on two side wheels to drive through a narrow alley. There is still a mistery to be solved on that one: how does the car come out of the alley on the other two wheels?

BMW 750iL

This pursuit in a parking lot has become one of the most famous pursuit scenes in the history of James Bond movies. In Tomorrow Never Dies 007 driver his remote-controlled 750iL on the rear seat while he is shot at with a strong arsenal of weapons. Thank god Q has filled the car with all of his amazing gadgets, so we can see them in action.

Aston Martin DB5

The Aston Martin DB5 has always been the mythic car owned by James Bond. In Skyfall the Aston Martin model returns in a movie where Bond's loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her.

 

Other articles from this series:

Countries and their cars: Italy – Ferrari F40
Germany: The car that represents it best - Porsche 911 Turbo
Countries and their cars: USA
Countries and their cars: France

Encyclopedia
Aston MartinAston Martin
DB5DB5
DB5 James BondDB5 James Bond
Engine
Straight 6
Displacement
244 cu in
Top Speed
--
Transmission
5, Manual
Maximum power
329.5 hp @ 5500 rpm
Type
Fixed-head coupé
Fuel
--
Fuel consumption (combined)
--
price
--
annual ownership cost
--

4 comments

revver
Hey Tom, congrats on the original approach but... Jaguar E-Type or the Mini all the way, those are the one's known the worl over, and revolutionary in their own way, no contest... :-)
29.10.2012 @ 16:25
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