The year 1964 marked a time in history when girls had beehive-hair; television aired The Beetles live on monochromatic CRT TVs, Vietnam was under fire from Huey helicopters and Cassius Clay defeated Sonny Liston to win the World Heavyweight Boxing Championship. The mid 60s was a time where anything and everything happened. That very year itself, Aston Martin sealed a partnership with the world’s most popular secret agent – James Bond.
But little did cinema goers knew that the most famous car in the world was so nearly a Jaguar E-Type. Dr.No and From Russia With Love had set the tempo for the franchise. Prior to writing the Goldfinger novel in 1957, Ian Fleming received a timely letter from a car enthusiast by the name Dr. G. Gibson which questioned the director’s choice of cars. The letter read, “Fix Bond up with a proper bit of machinery”, to which the sender suggested an Aston Martin.
Harry Saltzman, one of Goldfinger‘s producers, wrote to Aston with hopes of securing Bond a drive. Aston flatly refused Saltzman. But as a measure of compromise, Aston would sell them a DB5 – at the full retail price of £4,500 (RM30k). At this point, Bond’s mode of transport was on the verge of being the Jaguar E-Type.
Saltzman persevered and kept nudging at Aston who begrudgingly lent them, without any idea what they were getting themselves into, a second hand development car. The special effects guys went about kitting the DB5 out with over £25,000 (RM160k) worth of goodies. Mind you – that’s three times of the car’s retail price! When the curtains drew in September 1964, the DB5 was a star in its own right, so much so that it went on its own world tour.
Fifty years on and movie goers still see Agent 007 at the wheel of an Aston Martin. In the upcoming movie Spectre, the franchise’s 24th instalment, Bond will exclusively pilot a bespoke Aston Martin DB10 while being chased by the baddies in another local star – Jaguar C-X75. The Jag was a scrapped electric vehicle (EV) project from 2012 that uses a couple of diesel-fed micro gas turbines in place of an engine to charge the four electric motors that make out an estimated 778 hp and an unbelievable 1,600 Nm of twist!
Sadly though, Daniel Craig will not be piloting Aston’s DB9-GT Bond Edition in the upcoming film. It was instead commissioned to commemorate the historic partnership between Aston Martin and James Bond. Only 150 units will see the light of day, and so happens that the model is also the most powerful iteration of the DB9 Grand Tourer range.
Powering the DB9 “007 special” is the very familiar 6.0-litre V12 engine from the hardcore DBS model. But in this state of tune, it makes 539 hp at 6,750 rpm and 620 Nm of torque at 5,500 rpm. The all-alloy, quad-overhead-cam, 48-valve, front mid-mounted V12 is mated to the proven rear mid-mounted Touchtronic II six-speed automatic transmission with an electronic shift-by-wire control system. It catapults the Brit from rest to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds and onto a top speed of 293 km/h.
On the inside, expect no gadgetry lent over from Q-Branch, but one can expect fine Gaydon craftsmanship. Lashings of soft quilted-leather envelop the trim and seats (no ejector seats here) and buyers get a number of ‘007’ plaques around and within the car. It’s not quite the typical Aston, which is why the going price for it starts from £165,000 (ext RM1,066,624).
With that price, it comes with a unique ‘Spectre‘ Silver paintjob, sterling silver Aston badges front and back with a ten-spoke gloss black diamond turned 20-inch wheels. Additionally, it also comes with a finely-crafted 21-inch Globe-Trotter luggage bag and limited edition Bond timepiece – Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150m – complete with a unique Aston Martin strap to match.