...and good article but, *cough*, kmph?
Aston and Martin. Two words as synonymous with Britishness as “cuppa” and “tea” or “Her” and “Maj.” Of course Aston Martin is synonymous with something else, too: James Bond. It was a DB5 that debuted in Goldfinger in 1963 and which Bond won in a poker head-to-head in Casino Royale with Alex Dimitrios. The car soon became a …
I think I still prefer the less aggressive DB5. It's not a fair comparison, of course; few cars have the legacy and historical heft of the DB5. When I saw Skyfall in the cinema and the DB5 was revealed to a blast from Goldfinger, there were loud cheers from the audience.
I hated that moment.
Sure, there's the fan theory that "James Bond" is a pseudonym taken on by 007 agents. If that's the case, why did one of the old Bonds take the car and stash it for a new one?
On the other hand, if it's a reboot and Craig is the first 007 to be called Bond, where did the ancient car come from? Unless it's his own toy, in which case why does M know about the ejector seat?
I can't come up with a reason for him to have it and for her to know about it... :/
You identify two possibilities:
1) The Bond films all take place in the same cinematic universe, with the continuity threatened by changing actors saved by use of a code name (while appealing, I think the Bond tombstone in Skyfall rather damages this idea).
2) Casino Royale was a reboot.
May I suggest a third possibility? Bond is in fact the same character throughout, preserved by regular pickling with vermouth. The studio had to change the actors because none of them could match the longevity of the man they represent.
(Alternatively, some things just don't work if you think about them too hard. Best not to worry).
It's a meta-reference. If you've seen the original you can give a little cheer (or boo, as the mood takes you) inside. If not, there's still enough context from the dialogue to figure out that Bond's car has some clever gizmo to remove the passenger.
Apart from the grammatical confusion in that sentence, "seminal" is a rather strange choice of word. As you know, Bob, it stems from the Latin for "seed" (cf. "semen"), and so... actually, let's just quote the OED:
fig. Having the properties of seed; containing the possibility of future development. Also, freq. used of books, work, etc., which are highly original and influential; more loosely: important, central to the development or understanding of a subject.
While I liked Skyfall very much, I'm not sure that "original" is the right word; nor can I think of any ways in which it has been particularly influential (except perhaps on Spectre, which of course I haven't yet seen). I suspect this is a case of a journo using a word without really considering its meaning - though, of course, it's entirely possible that Mr Clarke really does think that Skyfall is "central to the understanding" of Bond.
You know Aston tried to sell a redesigned Toyota IQ at around £40000 a go?
It was possible the most unsuccessful car in modern history, I think even Lada sold more in the UK. It even kept exactly the same engine and gearbox - no tuning - so represented possibly the most expensive leather seat and front grille job ever.
Moral; don't rebadge your Puma, it will probably kill the trade in value.
The IQ/Cygnet (Swan? Ugly duckling more like) was hilarious for all the wrong reasons. I don't know who bought them, but they were ripped off.
As for rebadging the Puma, the recent good Astons all had Ford stewardship anyway, so no need!
(that, and the Puma only has two badges, and both of them are Ford lozenges. Really, google image search it!)
Steven "dads Citroen C4 TDi has a Porsche Turbo badge on it which makes it three times faster" R
I'm pretty sure those who bought one were well aware of what exactly they were buying. TBH, I would not be averse to owning one (though the original pricetag would have scared me off) purely for the ability to annoy people with the "I own an Aston Martin, look, it's parked over there" spiel. (And given current lunacy in the "classic car" market those things might just become worth a lot more in the future)
"The front grill on modern Fords does have a certain amount of Aston about it."
Yep. I've noticed that too, as I'm sure anyone and everyone has.
I kinda assume that Aston Martin (Ford) wrote a memo to Ford, just before they sold it to Tata; giving themselves perpetual rights to the "design vocabulary" of Aston Martin.
"The Aston reminds me of a Ford Puma."
That's ironic, because I always thought the current Ford "corporate grille" and front end (but not the Puma's) looked like a blatant ripoff of Aston Martin's...
...and apparently I'm not the only person who thinks this. After I'd written the paragraph above, I searched on "Ford Fiesta grille" for an image to illustrate the point- only to notice that the image I'd homed in on as the best example actually came from an Aston Martin related page saying exactly the same thing!
Edit: Just noticed that while I was writing this, Phuzz made a post with the same point as well!
Not so much Ford Puma. Reminds me more of the BMW Z8 used in Golden Eye.
Not that the Z8 is a bad car. But it's German and not Bond. At least the DB10 is English, but it's still not a Bond car, nor does its 'shark nose' look like any Aston I've seen, even though if you look closely it has some bastard offspring DNA of an Aston. But you have to squint and wince to notice.
but the cash ain't one.
So Aston Martin charged the film compnay $900,000 for 3 cars that they knew were going to be trashed?
Don't you think they could have got away with sticking custom body work on - say - an old Zafira? It might even do the "going up in flames" trick for free.
My understanding is that no money changes hands. Aston and Jag are told when and where to deliver the cars for filming, and then can take back whatever is left at the end. Cash only changes hands when agreeing additional marketing tie ups (TV adverts, posters etc).
This is what I don't understand about product placement...
When Bond uses the latest HTC phon, I can see that your wannabe action hero on the streets might go buy a HTC. But how many people are going to say "Oh wow, Aston Martin do CARS you say? Maybe I should buy one of those..." If you have the cash to throw at a new Aston, you already know about the brand and what it stands for, and I can't believe that many people are going to be swayed into buying one just because it was in a movie... :/
I think you may be assuming the intersection between "people willing and able to buy an expensive car" and "car experts who favour Aston Martin" is bigger than it is.
Bond sells to the former, while the latter, as you say, need no further marketing.
As a marketing tool, Bond is also targeting people who are NOT buying the cars. By making them more desirous of AM, AM becomes more desirable in the eyes of potential purchasers.
I guess. I'm not a marketeer.
Your analysis makes sense.
Because of the Bond connotations (and it's good looks) , everyone man (and probably a fair few women) wants (or thinks they want) an Aston Martin.
But you, yes you sir at the back - with the fat wallet, you can do more than want one, you can buy one.
And having done so, you have a car that everyone else covets. But is too beautiful for them to resent your good fortune (a Roller, that'd probably get keyed by some fearful oik, but not the Aston).
And because of the popularity of the film, everyone will recognise the Aston-Martin.
My friend John - property developer, need I say more? - has one. He knows I'm a petrol head so, when he came to stay, he gave me the keys to his V12 Vantage. Nice car, but too big and too unwieldy. Also, the clunkiest gearbox I've ever know. Yes, it goes well, but, if we ignore the difference in cash value, I really, honestly prefer my XKR, So there...flame away now.
PS, it does make a fabulous noise, though!!!
"I can't believe that many people are going to be swayed into buying one just because it was in a movie... "
What people forget is that it wasn't all that long ago that Aston Martin were really hurting, were selling not all that many cars at all, and those that they did were heavily based upon Jag bits. The cars were not very good, and people with money went elsewhere. Ford poured silly money into turning the company around, but even then, Aston had very little visibility. It doesn't matter that 99.99% of the movie goers will never buy an Aston. The remainder represent a very tidy fraction of the very few that do buy Astons. Enough that for a very niche maker of very low production volume cars that it makes perfect sense to build on the Bond franchise like this. There is almost no equivalent to Bond.
If you want, the boat he sailed in Casino Royale is currently for sale. It will cost rather more than an Aston.
That was a car that needed to be made, but presumably the top brass at Jag didn't think that a hybrid hypercar* would sell due to being too green, too new, or something.
Then we see the LaFerrari, 918 and P1 being described as the Holy Trinity; Jag could have beaten them to the punch with that.
(if I remember the timing right, at least)
*for reference, the *original* CX-75 concept was to be powered by two diesel gas turbine engines, which spun generators to provide anything up to 200bhp per corner to an electric motor, meaning it'd have been trading punches with the Holy Trinity, and have been released before them, likely. Then they said 'well, mebbe we'll do a V6 or summat' then they just ignored it till this Bond film. Fokkin tragedy
I wonder why they use real cars. You'd think they'd be able to take an old second hand reasonable car and stick a custom DB10 body kit on it. Aston and the film company could save a lot of money doing that.
It's not like making cars look a bit faster and sound better is beyond the wit of post-processing, I assume?
If you ever see a film where the action has been speeded.. sped... made faster, whatever... you can tell the difference. the cars bounce differently, turn differently.
Also, letting it be known that they wrecked so many Astons and Jags is far better publicity than saying they wrecked a dozen Mondeos in drag.
There's a middle ground between a 100k Aston and an £500 '98 Mondeo.
You can get plenty of power for very little money - for example a 15 year old Jaguar XKR would cost you about £5k and give you plenty of power for the job at hand ( they're 4.0/4.2 litre supercharged V8's ).
For the price difference, you could buy and body-kit twice as many as you need incase the odd one breaks down and still end up saving an outrageous amount of money.
You might find that it's actually a Britten Norman Islander, not a helicopter.
At least it was when it started!
Following Britten-Norman’s 60th anniversary last year, 2015 is set to be another important year for the company as we look forward to celebrating the 50th anniversary of the maiden flight of the Islander – an aircraft that will also be making a cameo appearance in this year’s James Bond movie, “Spectre”.
"all the modern Astons look the same to me"
Not only that, but ten minutes after wrecking one, you're ready to wreck another one.
(As a teenager out on my bike, I saw someone take a hill much too fast in a DB3, go airborne, cross part of a field and hit a tree. Like an idiot I went over to see what I could do. The driver emerged alive - he had one of these new fangled seat belts. He told me to push off and forget about it because he didn't want a witness, and it was years before I understood why.)
"one of these http://www.telegraph.co.uk/cars/classics/james-bond-cars/blower-bentley/"
In the late 1980's while on contract I was staying for a while at a pub in East Anglia. I was woken one Saturday morning by what sounded like a tank on steroids in the car park. Put my head outside to find an absolutely immaculate Blower Bentley roaring its head off, with the driver showing the pub landlord what it could do (they were friends).
Chatting to them later, the story was that it was one of the original racers, had been found derelict and then restored to "factory condition" at Crewe by Rolls Royce themselves. It had been crated and flown to Frankfurt - and on arrival had been found to have been shipped upside down, with considerable damage. It was shipped back to RR, repaired again - and this time the German owner was taking no chances with Lufthansa and was driving back himself. When he stopped off he was on the way to the channel ports to get his baby home and had diverted to show off to his mate in the pub.
The thought of driving that beast that distance at autobahn speeds sounded incredibly intimidating: reversed accelerator and brake pedals, crash gearbox, but most intimidatingly a straight through exhaust with no muffling at all and flames shooting out the pipes. Just standing by it was enough to render you deaf.......drive it for long and I reckon you'd get permanent hearing loss. I've stood next to revving aero engines and this was louder.
But the quality of it....the finish was immaculate and lived up to Rolls Royce reputation. It seems they got the original records out and restored it exactly to as-built factory racing standards. I bet they or Bentley couldn't / wouldn't do that now.
What I've wondered since, and have kicked myself for not asking at the time, is just what fuel did they use with it? High-lead fuel didn't really get going until WWII, so how did they up the octane rating? Was it doped with alcohol?
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