Bond's legacy licensed to thrill at Silverstone
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Forget Han and Chewie, Bogart and Bacall, Turner and, erm, Hooch - one of the biggest movie pairings of them all must be James Bond and Aston Martin.
And with work on the untitled 25th film in the series blighted by everything from a disappearing director to an unintended but rather large explosion, what better time to remember iconic vehicles of productions past?
That's one of the treats for fans attending this weekend's British Grand Prix at Silverstone, where 12 cars synonymous with Bond and the baddies will be on display in the fanzone.
The Bond in Motion exhibition will feature vehicles used across the series' six-decade history, including Goldfinger’s 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III and Spectre’s Aston Martin DB10 (pictured below).
Only a cynic would suggest it was part of a marketing initiative designed to deflect attention from the problems currently affecting filming on Bond 25 - problems that have left some questioning whether the movie is cursed.
Exhibition organisers EON Productions, the company that makes the films, and Aston Martin Lagonda say it's a fitting celebration for an appropriate number - this is the 1007th Formula 1 Grand Prix. That's (one)-oh-oh-seven. Get it?
Anyway, according to the promo material, when James Bond first appeared in the Aston Martin DB5 in 1964's Goldfinger a "lasting relationship" was created.
The following movie, Thunderball (1965), featured the same model in a chase sequence at Silverstone.
Since then, Bond has driven multiple Aston Martins, including the DBS, V8 Vantage Volante and DB10.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the DBS, which featured in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, starring criminally under-rated Aussie George Lazenby and cat-bothering Blofeld Telly Savalas, 50 special edition 2019 DBS Superleggeras will be sold.
The first will be on track at Silverstone during the Pirelli Hot Laps sessions.
But wait - there's more.
The two Aston Martin Red Bull Racing cars will feature the famous 007 logo and Bond number plates on the back of their rear wings during the weekend.
Max Verstappen's RB15 will host the number plate from the DB5 in Goldfinger while Pierre Gasly’s ride will feature the V8 plate from slightly-less-fondly-remembered Timothy Dalton debut The Living Daylights (1987).
And if all that's not enough to leave you shaken, not stirred, the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing pit garage will feature wall graphics inspired by gadgetmeister Q's lab.
Here's a serious bit: perhaps read it in the voice of M (either the Bernard Lee or Dame Judi Dench iteration should be fine).
England-based Aston Martin Lagonda designs, creates and exports cars sold in 53 countries. It will relaunch in 2021 as the world’s first luxury electric vehicle company.
Lagonda was founded in 1899 and Aston Martin in 1913. The brands came together in 1947 when both were purchased by the late Sir David Brown. Under the leadership of Dr Andy Palmer and a new management team, the group launched its Second Century Plan in 2015 to deliver sustainable long-term growth.
The plan is underpinned by the introduction of seven new models, including the DB11, new Vantage, DBS Superleggera and an SUV, as well as the development of a new manufacturing centre in Wales.
Got that? Do pay attention Bond fan.