02 September 2016

Aston Martin DB7 – The James Bond car that wasn't

Well Mr. Bond, we expected you to drive that...

THERE'S one thing many James Bond fans couldn’t get their head around is that 007 didn’t drive an Aston Martin DB7. No one could really argue that it would have been the perfect set of wheels for Nineties Bond.

Aston Martin has been synonymous with the MI6 agent since the 1964 box-office smash hit Goldfinger. With Sean Connery behind the wheel of the DB5. Having a car with the looks, power and performance. That was stuffed full of gadgets and gizmos aiding Bond to escape from the crooks and complete his missions briefed by M. As well as Sean Connery, the car was also the star of the film.

The DB5 was also featured in Thunderball, and has appeared in numerous Bond films since Goldfinger. 007 has had other cars. The Lotus Esprit is a well-known example from the film franchise in The Spy Who Loved Me, which could turn into a submarine. Somehow, Roger Moore caught a fish and thrown it out of the window once he reached the shore.

Despite this, Bond has climbed back into the Astons akin to wearing an old pair of slippers. 007 didn't get a new Aston Martin until the 1980s. When Timothy Dalton was behind the wheel of the V8 Vantage in The Living Daylights. Equipped with lasers to see off the rozzers in Ladas.

In the 1990s, Aston Martin got back to what they did best in making beautiful cars that are luxurious, having pedigree and brutish charm about them. The DB7 launched in 1994, marked a renaissance for Aston Martin since Ford bought them out in 1988.

The DB7 (particularly the Vantage model) would have been the perfect car for 007. A handsome and slick looking Gran Tourer that looked the part for Bond in his suit and dickie bow tie, when he arrives at a villa or a casino.

The DB7 has an awesome V12 engine that made a glorious noise, that is quite simply music to ears of any petrolhead. Furthermore, it has plenty of power to effortlessly cruise across a few countries, and also be a great getaway vehicle for Bond. Last but not least, is cramming in the gadgets and gizmos to add the icing on the cake.

It's baffling to say the least that James Bond never drove an Aston Martin DB7. When it was in production between 1994 and 2004. Not one, not two, but THREE Bond films were made in 1990s during the DB7's production lifespan – and 007 wasn't supplied by Q-Branch with an Aston Martin.

OK, so Bond was driving an Aston Martin in Goldeneye in an exciting car chase with a Ferrari F355  but he was in an old DB5. Instead, he was supplied with a BMW Z3! In the next two films that followed on from Goldeneye, BMWs were his set of wheels. A 750i in Tomorrow Never Dies, and a Z8 in The World Is Not Enough.

Don't get me wrong, BMW make great cars. But I wasn't keen on the idea of a British agent driving a German car. It all seems wrong to me, as Bond is a great example of Cool Britannia. The DB7 was – and still is – Cool Britannia.

Thankfully tradition was resumed, and Bond was back behind the wheel of an Aston Martin for the first time (again) in Die Another Day. When Q-Branch supplied Bond with the V12 Vanquish  or Vanish as Q called it, because it had a gadget to make the car invisible.

Since Die Another Day, and any James Bond film that has followed on. 007 has been behind the wheel of Aston Martin, and it has always been the case since then...


  1. It was a shame that the early Brosnan era did not follow on tradition, but then if it took BMW product placement (along with Perrier and IBM) to get a new Bond film onto the screens after a 6 year pause, then so be it.

    The Z3 was only on screen for a couple of minutes, being swapped for a plane, and deployed no gadgets.

    The 7 series was at least something that a spy might actually drive - discreet, not drawing attention, on local numberplates.

    Z8 was a big touring convertible, but no Aston.

    Then along came Ford, Aston's owners, who supplied most - if not all - of the vehicles in Die Another Day from their then extensive stable - Thunderbirds, Range Rovers, Jags etc. and not forgetting the Van(qu)ish - a car that jumped the shark in an era of realistic (as in not-improbable gadget laden) spy thrillers such as Bourne and 24.

    Craig's Bond was rougher around the edges, but the DBS suited the part of casino cruiser nicely.

    The DB10 of Spectre looked stunning - even up close (at the Bond in Motion exhibition) - however not particularly realistic, with the single fake rear white plate. It and the Jag were prototype models too, not for production.

    1. One thing that BMW gained from Bond driving their cars was in their product placement.

      Yeah, the DBS suited Craig with Bond having more a rogue-ish side to it.


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