The Real Story Behind James Bond’s ‘New’ 1980s Aston Martin V8 In ‘No Time To Die’

In the upcoming James Bond movie No Time To Die, agent 007 drives some beautiful classic vehicles. He uses a mini-gun-equipped Aston Martin DB5 in a chase. He cruises around Jamaica in a vintage Land Rover. But one car is an homage to 1987’s The Living Daylights: A 1987 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante. Learn the real story behind James Bond’s ‘New’ 1980s Aston Martin V8.

Origins of The Living Daylights Aston Martin Vantage Volante

1987 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante prop car at the world premier of the new 007 film. James Bond’s ‘New’ 1980s Aston Martin V8 from No Time To Die | Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, and Universal Pictures
1987 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante | Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, and Universal Pictures

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1987’s James Bond film The The Living Daylights introduces a new actor as 007: Timothy Dalton. A brand new Aston Martin was an excellent way to differentiate Dalton’s Bond from past iterations.

The Aston Martin company had experienced a dropoff in sales. So when Eon Productions sought a new James Bond car, the luxury manufacturer was interested. The company’s president offered his personal car, a pre-production prototype, for James Bond to drive to an MI6 meeting in the British countryside.

The prototype was the first convertible model of the Aston Martin V8 with the Vantage package. The Vantage package was a trim level that included a more powerful engine. The Vantage is a true European muscle car. Aston Martin had badged this pre-production car as a Volante (convertible) but installed all the standard Vantage trim as well.

After the England scenes, the film crew planned an extended car chase in the mountains of Austria. They asked Aston Martin for a hardtop coupe and added a line in which Q says he “winterized” 007’s car. The only problem was that Bond’s car wore Volante badges. For this reason, the film crew added incorrect Volante badges to an Aston Martin V8 Vantage coupe to complete the film.

The 1987 Aston Martin Vantage Volante’s gadgets

1987 Aston Martin Vantage Volante replica. A similar car will be James Bond’s ‘New’ 1980s Aston Martin V8 In No Time To Die  | Dave M. Benett/Getty Images
1987 Aston Martin Vantage Volante replica. | Dave M. Benett/Getty Images

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In addition to being “winterized,” James Bond’s The Living Daylights Aston Martin features a whole arsenal of gadgets.

During the film, James Bond picks up Russian agent Kara Milovy and attempts to smuggle her across the Austrian border. He reveals his first gadget when he fiddles with the car’s radio and picks up a police band. The second is a cutting laser in the wheel hub he uses to slice a police cruiser off its frame.

Later in the film, the Aston Martin turns out to be bulletproof. In addition, Q Branch has installed missiles below the car’s fog lights. Later, Bond uses a pair of ski/skate “outriggers” to compensate for a flat tire and drive onto a border lake. Finally, the secret agent lights up the car’s rocket engine to jump a Soviet dam. The rocket engine makes one of the fastest Aston Martin cars even faster.

Overall, The Living Daylights Aston Martin V8 is one of the most memorable James Bond cars. This vehicle’s array of gadgets is second only to the infamous Goldfinger 1964 Aston Martin DB5. The 1987 Aston Martin is an excellent candidate for the No Time To Die car.

The 1987 Aston Martin V8 returns in No Time To Die

1987 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante prop car at the world premier of the new 007 film. James Bond’s ‘New’ 1980s Aston Martin V8 from No Time To Die | Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, and Universal Pictures
1987 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante | Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, and Universal Pictures

Daniel Craig’s James Bond is a bit of a classic car fan. It all started when he won a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 in a poker game during Casino Royale.

In Skyfall, he reveals he still has a classic DB5 (though converted to right-hand drive) that he uses to escape because it has no electronics the bad guys can track. At the film’s climax, James Bond uses classic Connery-era gadgets to fight the bad guys with his DB5.

Near the end of Spectre, Bond leaves London in his DB5. In the beginning of No Time To Die, the bad guys catch up with him. From No Time To Die the trailer, it is obvious Bond fights the bad guys off but wrecks his beloved car.

Later in No Time To Die, James Bond comes out of retirement for one last mission. In a scene reminiscent of Skyfall, he sweeps a car cover off a vehicle in storage. He reveals an Aston Martin V8.

Bond’s Aston Martin is not any 1987 V8. To be precise, it is the Vantage from No Time To Die. Just as he found himself driving a copy of Sean Connery’s DB5, it seems Craig ends up in Dalton’s V8. The vehicle is the same color, year, model, and even wears The Living Daylights‘ B549 WUU license plate.

Will James Bond’s ‘new’ 1980s Aston Martin V8 have outriggers and a rocket engine? We’ll have to watch No Time To Die to find out.

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