Goldfinger’s 45th anniversary: the car that changed everything

Almost 45 years ago, when Goldfinger came out, part of the attraction was James Bond’s super car, the Aston Martin DB 5. The 007 film series was never the same.

In Ian Fleming’s 1959 novel, Bond had a choice of two cars from MI6’s motor pool: an Aston Martin DB III or a Jaguar 3.4. He takes the “battleship grey” DB III which had “certain extras that may or may not come in handy.” They included reinforced bumpers for ramming and a hidden Colt .45 “in a trick compartment under the driver’s seat.”

After screenwriter Paul Dehn revamped Richard Maibuam’s early drafts, Bond gets the now-familiar DB5 from Q Branch. Its extras were considerably more sophisticated than the ones imagined by Fleming. The revamped DB V was the result of the imagination of production designer Ken Adam and special effects man John Stears.

The DB V would return in Thunderball and later (apparently as Bond’s personal car) in GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies plus something Bond wins in a poker game in Casino Royale. The Bond film series would also try to top the DB V, including a submarine car in The Spy Who Loved Me as well as tricked-out BMWs and Aston Martins in other films.

Nevertheless, the first Bond supercar came in Goldfinger. Just watch:

Later, Bond puts the car through its paces, but even the amazing automobile won’t be able to prevent Oddjob from killing the doomed Tilly, seeking revenge for the death of her sister Jill. When this film came out, there were still limits on technology:

Ian Fleming & James Bond Timeline

Fleming-obitThe Times Online website has a very cool, internetty new plaything for the 007 fans: a 100 year timeline all about Ian Fleming and James Bond.

Ranging from 1908 through last year, this Flashy (pun intended) presentation covers every signature event in the author’s life; everything he wrote; and every film in the Bond canon. It’s copiously illustrated (we screen-capped this picture of his Times obituary from the site,) and features a constantly-running parade of links to every article than venerable organ has ever run about Fleming and/or his famous creation. All of this is set against a backdrop of a scarred desktop littered with top-secret files, papers, and tools of the spy trade. This is most excellent stuff!

So, set aside a little time and hie yourself over to 100 years of IAN FLEMING & JAMES BOND. We had a good time there, and think you will too.