It’s very possible that without the James Bond film franchise, Aston Martin would be an automotive footnote that disappeared sometime back when The Beatles topped the charts. The company was a small, struggling niche automaker when it sold United Artists the first silver DB5 that stole the show in 1964’s Goldfinger. And in the years that followed, well, Aston Martin largely remained a small, struggling niche automaker, only now it built some of the most desirable cars in the world. Since Goldfinger, the company has had its share of ups and downs, and Bond may have moved on to other cars over the years, but Aston Martin and James Bond will forever be linked in the minds of millions, and no one knows that better than Aston Martin itself.
After briefly driving a DBS in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Bond went 18 years without driving an Aston as the automaker went through its share of financial troubles. It was big news when a V8 Vantage starred alongside Bond in The Living Daylights, and after briefly driving the old DB5 in GoldenEye (breaking up the BMW-sponsored monotony of the ’90s films), he returned to his marque of choice in 2002’s Die Another Day, and hasn’t looked back.
Today, Aston Martin is in better shape than ever before, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that it builds some of the best drivers cars in the world. The modern Astons are as close to the perfect modern grand tourer as you can get, known for their powerful and beautiful sounding V12 engines, and jaw-dropping looks. But even in cars from the lean years, there’s a certain level of cool to the cars that wouldn’t exist without that Bond connection. Simply put, you feel like James Bond when you’re in an Aston Martin. And with the latest Bond film, Spectre coming to theaters this November in the U.S., the company is commemorating the partnership by releasing a special Bond edition car.
Before you get too excited, there are two things you should know first. First, Aston isn’t the first company to come up with a 007-edition car. That would be the 1981 Citroën 2CV 007 Edition, done up in taxi yellow and covered in ostentatious graphics, and released alongside 1981’s For Your Eyes Only. Second, this Bond-edition Aston won’t be seen in Spectre. The Film car is the specially-designed (and utterly gorgeous, seen above) DB10, of which only 10 were built, none of which will be offered to the public.
So with the DB10 off the table, well-heeled Bond fans will be able to settle for the DB9 GT Bond Edition. The car itself is identical to the recently updated DB9 GT, with its revised lines, lighter curb weight, and 540 horsepower 6.0 liter V12. With the Bond Edition however, 150 lucky owners will get the car in exclusive “Spectre Silver,” 20-inch painted wheels, grey painted brake calipers, and the 007 gun logo on the door sills and stitched throughout the cockpit. To sweeten the deal, Aston is throwing in a $7,350 Omega Aqua Terra “James Bond Limited Edition” watch, and a set of Globe Trotter luggage. And while MI5 foots the bill for Bond’s Astons, real life customers will pony up $237,007 for the privilege of owning a Bond Edition DB9 GT – or nearly $40,000 over the base car.
It seems strange for such a premium sports car builder to build a movie tie-in car, let alone one that doesn’t actually appear in any movie. For over 50 years now, James Bond’s Aston Martins have been effortlessly beautiful, seriously quick, and deeply luxurious GT cars that make him seem that much cooler. In turn, Aston’s Bond connection has ensured that it’ll forever remain on the short list as one of the coolest automakers in the world. But there’s no way that James Bond would drive up to the Casino Royale in a car with a movie logo sewn into the seats, even if it’s his. The allure of Aston Martin’s cars is their understated confidence and unparalleled class. With the Bond Edition, we hate to say it, but we think Aston Martin is trying too hard.
Follow Derek on Twitter @CS_DerekS
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