Things To Do

Shaken Not Stirred – Bond in Motion

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

With Father’s Day just a few days away, why not be ready for once this year and take Dad to see “Bond In Motion” – a great exhibition showcasing iconic Bond cars and memorabilia.

Set in the London Film Museum Exhibition Space in Covent Garden, the venue boasts the “largest official collection of original James Bond vehicles” from Aston Martins, Rolls-Royces and more, it’s definitely worth a visit.

With Dr No hitting the big screen in 1962, the world was introduced to James Bond and over the 50 years since, it remains one of the most popular franchises today. Part of its long-lasting success had been its affiliation with luxury cars, introduced as an essential component to the protagonist’s suave and opulent image.

In the main space, expect to see such models as Goldfinger’s classic Rolls-Royce Phantom III from Goldfinger, the Lotus Esprit S1 submersible from The Spy Who Loved Me and of course, the quintessential Bond car, the Aston Martin DB5 seen in GoldenEye (the original Goldfinger model was sold in 2010 to a private collector for a grand total of £2.6 million). However, you’ll also get the opportunity to see some of the lesser known cars from the films, such as Citroen 2CV, the Crocodile Submarine, the Mercury Cougar XR7 and a range of aircraft, boats and motorcycles to whet your appetite.

If that’s not enough, visitors will get access to the creative process of EON Productions art department, featuring never before seen concept art, storyboards, props and miniature models, that’s sure to impress the real diehard Bond fans. Expect to see rare items such as Bond’s evaluation report in Skyfall, the Bell-Textron jetpack from Die Another Day and the tanker chase storyboard from Licence To Kill. These will definitely appeal to those members of the family who aren’t so interested in the motoring side of the exhibition.

With each car playing a vital role in all 23 films, there’s no doubt they retain a lasting legacy in both the cinematic and motoring worlds. The greatest thing about this exhibition is that there are no replicas, each car is the original one seen on screen. Most of them have been loaned from EON Productions and the Ian Fleming Foundation, who located and restored many of its vehicles, meaning this is truly the real deal.

What distinguishes this exhibition from other car shows is that the Bond cars have an important cultural significance; they’re a key element to the successful formula of the Bond films. Whilst they were never really highlighted in the novels, the cars are as important to the Bond folklore as the Bond girls, the villains and the gadgets. They have also caused controversy and numerous instances of satire – from the Mustang March 1 from Diamond Are Forever which enters an alleyway tipped on its right side and comes on its left – to the incredible spiral loop jump the AMC Hornet performs in The Man With The Golden Gun. 

Open every day of the week, it’s a fantastic show to visit whether you’re a petrol head or just a big fan of James Bond. Even if not you’re not the most knowledgeable when it comes to cars, you’re sure to be impressed by the sheer volume and quality of the iconic displays.

Where: London Film Museum in Covent Garden, 45 Wellington Street, WC2E 7BN.

When: Open 7 days a week, entry is between 10am – 6pm Monday to Sundays and 10am – 7pm on Saturdays throughout the duration of 2014.