I once read that after watching a James Bond film men speed in their Honda Civics: they might do 35 mph in a built-up area. If this is so, it is due to the Aston Martin Bond has driven since 1964 (the DB5 in Goldfinger, a man with ‘a cold finger’). The DB5 has appeared in six Bond films so far; and some kind of Aston Martin has appeared in twelve Bond films. Is it, I wonder, contemplating Bond’s internal wasteland of sex addiction, murder and laundry, the only real home he ever had? Is it his wife? When the DB5 was revealed in Skyfall, waiting calmly in a garage, it seemed it was. The face of Bond – he is named after an ornithologist – may change. You may remember that his creator Ian Fleming was a foreign editor who liked to spank his wife; and who gets that sexually excited in a Sunday broadsheet office? You may guess that civil servants don’t live like that. The only thing you don’t need to suspend disbelief about in Bond films – he is now, what, 100 years old? – is the car / wife and, in homage to this there are four separate Aston Martins in the 25th Bond film No Time to Die, which is out this month.
There is the DB5, of course; the V8; the DBS Superleggera and the superbly named Valhalla. These cars are hot drugs; that they essentially emerged from a tractor builder called Dave Brown, one of Aston Martin’s many saviours, feels peculiarly special. They will provide a lot of hot aluminium and a lot of minor speeding offences. People say Bond 25 will bomb due to pandemic: that its delay of more than a year is a kind of cowardice that can be laid at Bond’s door.