I’m sitting inside an Aston Martin DBS. The door's been ripped off, it's got scratches on the side, and I can't drive it. So what's the big deal? You mean, apart from the fact that this is a 3 crore car, right? Well, this one was driven (and battered) by a certain Mr Bond in Quantum of Solace. Got your attention now?
Cars and bikes (and occasionally outrageous planes and boats) have become integral to James Bond films over the last 50 years. And if you're a diehard fan, you've probably spent hours looking up the rides whenever a new film comes out.
I'm at the Bond In Motion exhibition at the Beaulieu National Motor Museum (beaulieu.co.uk) in Hampshire, UK, and I’ve got 50 of those rides in front of me (the largest collection of Bond vehicles in the world). And just days ahead of the premiere of Skyfall on Indian TV — the film airs on Sony Pix today (October 27) at 1pm and 9pm — I find myself staring at the Honda CRF250R that Daniel Craig rides through Istanbul. It's bigger than it looks on screen.
However, as for the old Aston Martin DB5 (the most famous of all Bond cars), it's much, much smaller than it seems in Skyfall . But each of the 50 vehicles has stories that are amazing.
So, if you’re in London, a drive out to the museum to see the exhibition (it’s there till January 5, 2014) is highly recommended.
The writer travelled to see the Bond In Motion exhibition as a guest of Sony Pix.
Little Nellie (You Only Live Twice)
Yes, this outrageous little machine (an autogyro) actually exists. In the film, it gets delivered to Bond in four packing cases. Where did they fit the wings? Good question!
Honda CRF250R (Skyfall)
This ultra cool bike was featured in the opening chase sequence in Skyfall. Bond rides the mean machine in a Turkish street market as he chases down the henchman Patrice. Interestingly, this scene in the movie also sees the bike on top of the rooftops of Istanbul.
Aston Martin DBS (Casino Royale)
When the DBS rolled seven times in the air, it created a Guinness World Record; but the well-balanced car refused to flip, and eventually the filmmakers had to use a nitrogen cannon to spin it. The car also appears in Quantum of Solace.
Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II (A View to Kill)
The late Bond producer, Albert Cubby Broccoli, lent his own car for the film. During filming, however, Broccoli was apparently very, very nervous. But his daughter now drives the car to all Bond film premieres.