One of the standout moments of the new James Bond film, Skyfall (a movie absolutely filled with standout moments), was the scene where Bond, played for the third time by Daniel Craig, pulls open a battered old garage door to reveal a silver 1964 Aston Martin DB5.
If you are a Bond fan, that scene will have had you grinning with glee – without wanting to give away any surprises, this was the first of a number of car related gleeful grins in Skyfall – and if you were a car fan, your grin will have been just as wide.
The reason that the DB5 will have had fans of the 007 franchise dancing in the aisles was that the inclusion of the motor in the latest movie was a moment of pure nostalgia, the car having first made its appearance in Sean Connery’s third Bond outing, Goldfinger.
So why has the Aston Martin, and in particular the DB5, become so indelibly linked with Bond? To answer that question we need to go back to Bond’s creator Ian Fleming. In the first Bond book, Casino Royale, Fleming’s secret agent is described as driving a 1930s Bentley with the same car also making an appearance in the third book, Moonraker.
Fleming wrote the first of the Bond books in the early 1950s and saw the Bentley as a gentlemen’s car and exactly the vehicle that would match his spy’s cover story of being a wealthy playboy. However, once the car was destroyed in Moonraker, 007 needed a new car and, based on a suggestion from a fan, Fleming decided to give our hero an Aston Martin DB3.
Though Aston Martin didn’t make an appearance in either of the first two big screen adaptations of Fleming’s work (Dr. No and From Russia With Love), the success of those two movies was enough to convince the motoring giant to make a vehicle available for Goldfinger where the movie’s producers absolutely made it the star of the show.
With an ejector seat, tyre shredders, built in machine guns, bullet proof glass and smoke bombs, the car was a worldwide sensation and a definite boon to the success of the movie. Following the release of Goldfinger, the DB5 was sent on a promotional worldwide tour, such was its popularity.
Though Bond has dabbled with other cars over the years, most notably from Lotus and BMW, he has always returned to the Aston Martin (see movies such as The Living Daylights and Die Another Day). The enduring popularity of the DB5 (Paul McCartney’s 1960s DB5 recently sold at auction for nearly £350,000) is such that the return of the quintessential Bond car in Skyfall will give fans new and old that gleeful grin for years to come.