MI6 investigates the new James Bond themed Club Aston Martin and the latest cars, hidden away in a Blofeld-esque base in California...

MI6 Bonds With Aston Martin
25th May 2005

James Bond has had the pleasure of driving an Aston Martin in no less than seven films, and the new V8 Vantage is lined up for the next 007 in "Casino Royale" due out in October 2006. With such a prestigious history and a reputation for quality and luxury, how seriously does Aston Martin take its 007 connections? MI6 reporter Christopher Folan visited the brand new $2.5m Club Aston facility in California last week to find out - with the first access all areas pass given to a James Bond website.

Above: The view from the main entrance.

The spectacular Galpin Aston Martin’s Club Aston is located in Los Angeles, California and introduces an entirely new concept in showroom design and in the merchandising of exotic automobiles - all with the distinctive flavour of Mr Bond. It was opened on April 16th this year and amongst the many special guests were a number of past 007 cast members, including Robert Davi, Gloria Hendry and Maud Adams.

Club Aston is a James Bond inspired private club located within the Galpin Aston Martin dealership, having access only by thumbprint identification or Club Aston access card in true MI6 style.

The secret entrance is by valet parking, and when you buy an Aston from their showroom, you become a member of Club Aston, meaning you can go on in any time you want. Owners get an All Access Card and can then use a thumbprint for entry.

When you have entered a seemingly unassuming hall greets you, with stairs going up. Only a silver wave of ribbon-line metal along the ceiling gives a hint that these stairs aren’t taking you to just any room.

When you enter, Bond music starts playing, and on this particular occasion it was the beginning of the “GoldenEye” title song. It is timed so that when you reach the anteroom at the top, the music really starts going. The 2.5 million dollar Club Aston is on the second floor in the same building as Jaguar.

Above: A view of the sparkling Aston Martin behind the desk sculpture.

The central design of Club Aston is a circular room. The red walls have three silver sliding doors. The first goes to the main showroom and offices, the second is the secret entrance, and the third door goes into the Aston Martin showroom.

Above: Comfort James Bond style (click images to enlarge).

Behind the bar is a screen, where guests can enjoy a number of quality drinks, whilst browsing samples of colours for the body of the car and the leather from a specially designed tray. The bar also contains a sculpture, featuring three different Astons: the DB5, the DBR1 that won Le Mans in 1959, and the DB7 - three generations of cars.

Above: The selection of colours available for your new Aston Martin.

Over on the other side is another screen, which is used to show renderings of what different colour samples would look like on real cars.

ales Director Joe Van De Veere said that you can tell a lot about the buyers by the colours they pick, “If they choose a yellow exterior with red leather, this is a car they’re going to keep for a while”.

On the flip side, a choice of any shade of silver will make life easier when it comes to those people who part with their Aston.

The room also had a lot of books. The shelves pictured are empty, but they now have an eclectic range of titles, from James Bond books to the works of Anton Chekov and Hemingway - even an upside down copy of Alice in Wonderland. The room's five windows are also decorated with various memorabilia, and the facility comes with wireless Internet for those wanting to keep in touch with the outside world.

Above: The impressive gunbarrel in the ceiling also hides the lights (click images to enlarge).

After you order a car from the bar, it usually takes about three months to have it delivered. This is because they are handcrafting in England, but the wait will be well worth it. Once your car is ready for collection you can throw a big party at Club Aston. When you arrive with your guests, the curtain on the turntable is closed. There is a fantastic colour light show as a brand new car is revealed...

The lights are housed in the gigantic gun barrel powered by an MX10 light motor. It’s all timed so that the nose of the car follows the curtain as it slides by so that the car proudly surveys the entire room as the audience holds it’s breath before the big reveal.

Above: A `home away from home` (and work) for Club Aston members (click images to enlarge).

Then the owner is taken to the vault, where their actual car is waiting. A security code is needed to open the vault door, but fans of the legendary spy should not have a tough time cracking it. The door itself is 800 pounds and set into a wall that cost $750,000, yet it is so balanced that it can be moved with the meager power of a fingertip.

Above: A view of the vault that Goldfinger would be proud of (click images to enlarge).

But that is not where the Club Aston experience ends, as members can return any time as a place away from work or home. Members relaxing and working in Club Aston can choose from a lot of different kinds of music, selected from a 100-gigabyte archive. The computer tasked with managing entertainment can also run three DVD players, and there are plans to tailor Club Aston for each individual guest so that when you swipe your All Access card to enter, it automatically sets itself up for your personal tastes in music and lighting.

The ownership experience with an Aston Martin is second to none, and with specialised facilities like Club Aston at the beck and call of owners, James Bond himself would surely swap from his Q-Branch garage.

Related Articles
Q-Branch Coverage
Aston Martin V8 Vantage
Aston Martin DB9

About Galpin:
Galpin has been the #1 volume Ford dealer in the world for 15 consecutive years and the #1 Jaguar dealer in the USA. Besides Aston Martin, Ford, and Jaguar, they also deal in Volvo, Lincoln, Mercury, Mazda, Saturn, Panoz, SVT, Saleen, S7, and Roush. Galpin Motors has a sterling reputation built on integrity and superior service to its customers. Club Aston now takes that service to a whole new level offering the Galpin Aston Martin customer complete privacy and a truly entertaining experience!

Galpin Motors