Going Full Throttle with Bond In Motion

016Growing up, I wasn’t quite your average idea of a little girl. I preferred animals to dolls, and books to makeup and clothes. I also harboured the dream of becoming a spy! This did come to an end aged about 12, but I remember the days of roping in family members and friends to be part of a ‘Secret Society’, with the family pets as society mascots… What can I say, a diet of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Secret Seven certainly influenced me! But I was also more than a little wrapped up in the adventures of arguably the world’s most famous spy: James Bond. My dad 008and I would enjoy collecting the videos and lining them up on the shelves, and choosing which one to watch on a Saturday night. Back in the days when VHS was still the big thing, the spines of the James Bond videos all made up a panorama of Bond and his weapons on a background of flames, which was highly exciting for my ten year old self!

So when this particular Time Out Offer popped up in my email inbox, I couldn’t resist. The Film Museum was holding an exhibition of James Bond vehicles: Bond in Motion. I knew this sort of thing would be right up Ben’s street, and it came with good timing for Ben’s birthday (delayed only by the need to find a day we were both off!). A few days ago we made a trip to Covent Garden to the Film Museum.

009We were greeted at the door by a large model helicopter hanging in the entrance hall, covered in shrapnel damage and bearing a model pilot, and the eponymous film theme music blasting out on surround sound!


As part of the ticket deal we also got an audio guide, which I highly recommend, because unless you really know your Bond, you’ll be a bit lost! It’s also narrated by the man who used to play The Stig on Top Gear, driver Ben Collins. First off, he directed us to the top floor, where we found some boards with concept art and the snapboards from some of the more recent films. There was a model of the MI6 building and a sketch for a flying car. But this was all an appetiser for the cars, all ranged out in the artfully lit basement.

020First up were some of the heavyweights, starting with Goldfinger’s golden Rolls Royce Phantom III. From the film of the same name, it even bears the number plate AU1, because AU is the chemical symbol for gold on the Periodic Table, and with all its modifications weighs in at almost 8000lb (or 3628kg/571 stone!)


This was followed by a silver Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II, from the film A View To A Kill. The film’s producer, Cubby Broccoli (yes, that is his real name!), leant his personal car for the purpose. It is sent off to a watery grave in the film but luckily for Broccoli they sent a replacement car into the water in his place!

032I’m afraid that all knowledge of cars and their engines bypasses me slightly, so I will have to leave my commentary to the name of the car, miscellaneous trivia and pictures of pretty cars. Though of course it wasn’t all about cars. Behold the Acrostar BD-5J Jet, a tiny little plane which featured in Octopussy.

040Next up we saw a trio of impressive machines: a silver Aston Martin V12 Vanquish, a yellow Bombardier MX Z-Rev Ski-doo and a green Jaguar XKR. These are all from Die Another Day, which I shamefully have yet to see, and were all used for filming in Iceland.

037The Aston Martin is one of the most gorgeous cars in the display in this novice’s opinion, and was the sole survivor of the four used in filming on ice (one of the others smashed into an iceberg!)

044The Ski-doo was one of five used in a pursuit during the film by the villains. This one, as with the Aston, was the sole survivor from filming, and was donated to the Ian Fleming Foundation.

025The Jaguar came with an impressive arsenal of weapons: a Gatling gun, mortar, heat-seeking missiles and a hydraulic battering ram! Sadly none of these were operational today…

033One of my favourite cases in the display showcased personal documents from the films, including James Bond’s passports! I was interested to see the change in dates of birth to accommodate when the films were shot, and that in one passport he is shown as born in London, and in the other as born in Berlin.

036There were also documents about Bond’s failed psychiatric assessments. I can’t say I’m entirely surprised he failed them…

052  050I took quite a liking to the Parahawk, a snowmobile hybrid used in The World is Not Enough

056  058

Ben liked ‘Little Nellie’, a fierce little autogyro used in You Only Live Twice and carrying machine guns, flamethrowers and rockets.

059There were also two of the more unusual vehicles used in the Bond universe for a chase (which is up against some competition!): a Tuk Tuk Taxi from Octopussy, and a yellow Citroen 2CV (complete with bullet holes!) from For Your Eyes Only.

083088In the amphibious vehicles section (Top Gear, eat your heart out), there was the infamous Lotus Esprit S1, or Wet Nellie. Used in The Spy Who Loved Me, surely everyone knows this car!

091 - Copy  082  My personal favourite was the Crocodile Submarine used in Octopussy. Yes, it was utterly daft, but I thought it was hilarious!

065 - CopyAnd finally (so as not to spoil the whole exhibition for you if you go) here are some un-narrated highlights from the exhibition:

076065064058070068050We had a great time wandering round, reliving our childhoods and bringing out our inner secret agents, which led to the following posing under the 007 motif on the wall at the end. Ben turned his nose up at it, but what can I say, I have no shame!  The names’s Bond…Sophie Bond…

076I definitely missed my calling in life…

If you fancy going along to drool over some maginificent and exciting vehicles, or you fancy earning brownie points with a beloved petrol head by taking them with you, then you can find tickets here. As far as I’m aware, the exhibition runs until March 2015.

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1 Response to Going Full Throttle with Bond In Motion

  1. Frostblade says:

    I *love* Little Nellie!

    A bit disappointed you didn’t go dressed as “Q” and Ben as Bond. Then you could’ve walked around the entire exhibition exclaiming “Oh do shut up 007” every time Ben tried to say something! 😆


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