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The history of Britain's finest partnership: James Bond and Aston Martin

Aston Martin's long-standing relationship with the James Bond franchise is an iconic British collaboration that's over 50 years old.

The underground lair

As the 25th film, No Time To Die, arrives in cinemas, we're exploring how the world-famous partnership came to be.

In 1964's Goldfinger, Sean Connery’s Bond delivered a famous line to Desmond Lllewelyn's Q, which heralded the arrival of an iconic Aston Martin.

"Where's my Bentley?" Bond asks Q.

"Oh, it's had its day, I'm afraid," replies Q.

Q then unveiled a sleek new DB5 for 007, complete with an incredible gadget loadout.

Aston Martin DB5

The famous vehicle went on to star in no less than seven Bond films, including a starring role in 2012’s Skyfall, and will make its eighth appearance in No Time To Die.

But the partnership between Bond and Aston Martin can, in fact, trace its roots back to the original novels by Ian Fleming.

A renowned automotive connoisseur, Fleming gave the Aston Martin DB Mark III a glowing appraisal in the Goldfinger novel: "The car was from the pool," wrote Fleming.

"Bond had been offered the Aston Martin or a Jaguar 3.4. He had taken the DB III. Either of the cars would have suited his cover - well-to-do, rather adventurous young man with a taste for the good, fast things of life.

"But the DB III had the advantage of an up-to-date triptyque, an inconspicuous colour – battleship grey – and certain extras which might or might not come in handy.

"These included switches to alter the type and colour of Bond's front and rear lights if he was following or being followed at night, reinforced steel bumpers, fore and aft, in case he needed to ram, a long-barrelled Colt .45 in a trick compartment under the driver's seat, a radio pick-up tuned to receive an apparatus called the Homer, and plenty of concealed space that would fox most Customs men."

Quote from Goldfinger by Ian Fleming © Ian Fleming Publications Ltd 1959.

It would prove to be the only Aston Martin in Fleming's novels to feature gadgets, but the movie adaptation would adopt the contemporary DB5 and add some iconic upgrades.

The vehicle famously included a revolving license plate, smokescreen and bulletproof shield that thrilled audiences, as those at Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team's I / AM GBR event at Silverstone earlier this year can testify.


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2021 Italian Grand Prix

Aston Martin had become the ideal brand for James Bond, as the British manufacturer wrote new chapters in motorsport history with sports car success at Le Mans.

The DB5 was yet to be truly unveiled to the world, so a disguised DB4 and an early-production DB5 were loaned to the filmmakers, leading a new star to be born on the silver screen.

After a momentary break, as the Bond films began to feature a variety of other automotive makes and models, the Aston Martin resurgence began in 1987’s The Living Daylights, with the Aston Martin V8 starring in a snowy chase.

The DB5 would return to the screen in GoldenEye, racing a Ferrari in the opening scenes in the hands of Pierce Brosnan’s Bond. It was then featured again in Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough.

This time, Aston Martin and Bond were here to stay and ready for a new era.

Brosnan's last take on Bond in Die Another Day heralded the arrival of the Aston Martin V12 Vanquish, as Bond and Aston Martin hit their stride in the new millennium.

Casino Royale then introduced a new 007 in Daniel Craig. His run as Bond has become synonymous with Aston Martin, with the actor playing a part in the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team's AMR21 launch early this year.

Casino Royale was famously the first Bond film to star two Aston Martins in one showing. The origin of Bond's DB5 is told when the vehicle is acquired in a poker game, while the DBS has its own star moment during a high-speed car chase.

The DB5 would make a nostalgic return in Skyfall, as Aston Martin once again underlined itself as Bond's car brand of choice.

And now, No Time To Die, to be released globally from September 2021, features four iconic Aston Martin models from past, present and future.

James Bond's highly-anticipated return to cinema marks the first time four different models have appeared in a 007 film: the DB5, the classic Aston Martin V8, the brand's super GT, DBS and the exceptional Aston Martin Valhalla, the forthcoming mid-engined hypercar.

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All of Bond's Aston Martins


Celebrating No Time To Die