Tuesday, 11 August 2015

007's V8 Vantage

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

The most iconic James Bond Aston Martin is, of course, the DB5 - but for some, the real magic lies in the brawny V8 Vantage.
Driven by Timothy Dalton's Bond in 1987's The Living Daylights, the V8 required a little problem-solving for the production team. For starters, there was quite a long waiting list for AM V8s, and they ended up having to buy a handful of used cars to repurpose for the movie. Also, as you might have spotted in the film, Bond's car begins as a drop-top Volante and morphs into a tin-top Vantage - the explanation that we're given is that Q 'winterised' it. Hmm.
But anyway, the key function of any 007 car is to bristle with gadgets. So what did this Aston have? Well, the most obvious additions are the outriggers - extendable skis to stabilise it on snow - and the afterburner for short bursts of bonkers acceleration. There were also missiles behind the spotlamps, lasers in the wheel centres, retractable tyre spikes for traction, a heads-up display for the missile system, a military radio scanner disguised as a Philips cassette player and - naturally - a self-destruct button. Is there any classier way to destroy nineteen-eighties arms dealers...?

Spotted at Aston Martin's Centenary display at Kensington Gardens - click here for more.

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