“…and what name would you like on the registration document, Sir?”
“Bond, James Bond.”
How much does it cost, do you think, to change your name by deed poll?
Unfortunately, for most of us the sort of vehicle driven by JB in all his incarnations is out of the price bracket of we ordinary mortals, but it does no harm to day-dream. That’s what the Bond movies do, entertain and encourage aspiration to luxury and adventure. Whether it’s fashion or exotic locations or powerful sports cars we would all like to be in that particular driver’s seat. Such is the power of product placement.
In the latest outing ‘Skyfall’, Bond is back to his best and driving one of the most iconic cars in British automotive history – the Aston Martin DB5. Amazingly, this design looks as fresh today as it did when introduced in 1963 and appeared for the first time in ‘Goldfinger’ (1964). The bad news is that, if you really want one, you are looking at the thick end of £300k! That’s if you can prise the keys from the previous owner. Added to that would be the expense of removing the machine guns and ejector seat (health and safety – what can you do?) and substituting Bluetooth and a MP3 player.
Let’s be truthful here. We aspire to better, faster cars because it makes us feel good. The car has long since ceased to be just a method of transport and has become a lifestyle choice. We like to customise our cars and, where possible, make them seem unique to us; a personal statement, if you like; an extension of our personality.
Some owners like to cruise the boulevards or go to special event days. It says – look at me. How else can you explain the cult of spinners? We love the vicarious thrills and spectacle of motor racing. Danger without being in danger. For many enthusiasts, speed is of the essence. In those early days of the DB5, for example, there was a lot less traffic on the roads and driving fast was part of the experience. Many motorists of a certain age will remember those halcyon days because in the 21st Century those simple motoring pleasures are gone for good.
That’s why we like the Bond movies. He does what we cannot. We’ve watched Aston Martin’s evolve and seen a host of exotic machinery smashed and broken. Lotus, Jaguar, Rolls Royce and many more from the manufacturers of the world have graced our screens. For that at least, we’re thankful.
Anyway, back to our day-dream in the Aston Martin showroom. Negotiations are at a tricky stage:
“Do you expect me to walk…?”
“No Mr Bond, I expect you to buy!”