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Origins Of The Aston Martin

24th January 2014

Ben Williams and MI6 Confidential take a closer look at Fleming's inspiration for the modified Aston Martin in 'Goldfinger'

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Aston Martin and James Bond. Ever since 007 first took delivery of his Q-equipped DB 5 in "Goldfinger" the two have been virtually inseparable.

However, as every Bond fan knows, 007 first encountered the Aston in Ian Fleming's "Goldfinger" in the shape of the DB Mk III, chosen by Bond from the Secret Service car pool.

In the novel, the DB Mk III doesn't boast anything like the armament that its cinematic counterpart is equipped with. However, it did have one or two tricks up its sleeve in the shape of switches to alter the type and colour of the front and rear lights, reinforced steel bumpers, a long-barrelled Colt .45 in a concealed compartment under the driver's seat, and a homing device.

It has always been assumed that these modifications were entirely the invention of Ian Fleming's fertile imagination. However, a recently discovered 1955 DB 2/4 Mk I may in fact have been the inspiration to equip Commander Bond with a gadget-laden Aston Martin. The DB 2/4 Mk I in question had a number of similar modifications to Bond's vehicle made to it, including a Halda Speedpilot (a device that could accurately compute time and distance in relation to a pre-selected average speed), switches to operate a two-way radio, a concealed compartment (for tools) located next to the driver's seat, and reinforced bumpers. All of which were installed well before Fleming began writing "Goldfinger".

Above: The Aston Martin Mk III.

Additionally, the DB 2/4 Mk I was owned by Hon. Philip Ingram Cunliffe-Lister DSO, whose father was Lord Swinton, a close confidant of Churchill's and head of MI5 and the Security Executive during WW II.

Moreover, the vehicle made several trips to Fleming's direct neighbours in Kent - a house that Fleming used as his inspiration for Hugo Drax's residence in the novel "Moonraker".

Above: The Aston Martin DB 2/4 Mk I that was owned by Hon. Philip Ingram Cunliffe-Lister.

For many years the Aston Martin in question sat idle, collecting dust and rust, until a father and son purchased it for restoration. It was during the restoration of the vehicle that the car's special modifications and possible connections with Ian Fleming came to light.

The car has now been fully restored, and to discover more about the vehicle and its connections with Bond, check out the latest issue of MI6 Confidential Magazine.

Look Inside - MI6 Confidential Issue #23

Issue #23 is now shipping around the world. To order online, visit www.mi6confidential.com

About The Author
Ben is a freelance writer living in London, with a passion for architecture, design, fashion, food & drink, and travel. Ben has contributed to a number of event reports as well as historical content relating to James Bond lifestyle. He maintains the weblog: doubleonothing.com.

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