When news happens, text BAZ and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
REVIEW: Bond in Motion, National Motor Museum, Beaulieu
Beaulieu Motor Museum: Bond in Motion
Until December 2012
IT’S QUITE something that the world’s largest official collection of James Bond vehicles is currently on our doorstep, courtesy of Beaulieu’s hugely popular exhibition.
Bond in Motion has currently seen well in excess of 100,000 people make the journey to the national motor museum to see these vehicles up close and personal for themselves, and, when my Dad came to visit, we couldn’t think of anywhere he’d enjoy seeing more.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film series and the museum’s 40 th birthday – plus, the latest Bond adventure Skyfall hits cinemas on October 26. Impressively, Bond in Motion is so current that it has been recently updated to include artefacts from that film, directed by Sam Mendes and once again starring Daniel Craig as the superspy.
The exhibits take centre stage in the main motor museum, with a selection both upstairs and downstairs. Petrolheads will revel in the details of the individual cars, boats and so on, but there’s still plenty for the novice to savour. Courtesy of weekend afternoon repeated screenings over the years, any adult of a certain age will have been exposed to a certain amount of classic Bond, so we know more about this topic than we probably realised!
The excellent accompanying souvenir publication lists the inclusions in date order, beginning with From Russia With Love’s Fairey Huntress 23 speedboat right the way through to the functional Ford Ka in Quantum of Solace.
The most recognisable are of course the Aston Martin DB5 and Rolls-Royce Phantom III from Goldfinger and certain infamous selections are a lot of fun for all the family to examine - remember the autogyro Little Nellie from You Only Live Twice and or the Bath-O-Sub from Diamonds Are Forever?
I couldn’t help but make a beeline for the infamous crocodile mini-sub from Octopussy and for The Spy Who Loved Me’s Lotus Esprit S1, in which Bond set out in search of Stromberg’s underwater hideaway, Atlantis.
You can get right up close to examine this one, one of seven shells which were built for the underwater action. One of the shells was fired from an air-cannon to launch it into the sea. The machine you’ll see at Beaulieu was recovered from a Bahamas scrap yard. When recovered in 1993, it was painted red and covered in Christmas lights and decorations!
This comprehensive journey through the eras of Connery, Moore, Dalton, Brosnan and Craig will take you down memory lane, and also pondering the possibilities of where Bond will go in future.
He has, of course, come full circle with his Aston Martins – you‘ll be able to take a lingering look at original DB5 and then see the difference in that and the DBS models which Daniel Craig has so far been treated to. The DBS was first featured in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, George Lazenby’s only appearance as 007.
Craig’s boat from the Quantum of Solace harbour chase sequence is also on show at Buckler’s Hard Maritime Museum.
The Aston Martin Vanquish – nicknamed the ‘Vanish’ as it’s the infamous invisible car from Die Another Day – is available for a good look downstairs, as are several other key exhibits from that film.
The Osprey Hovercraft, which was used for filming on Military of Defence land in Hampshire, is on show, joined by a wealth of vehicles - the Ford Thunderbird driven by Halle Berry, a switchblade glider, the green Jaguar XKR, the Bell-Textron Jet Pack, Bombardier MX Z-Rev Ski-Doo, an ice dragster, a surfboard and even Rupert Graves’ Union Jack parachute!
You couldn’t have asked for more from this unique and outstanding collection, a British jewel in the crown in this glorious jubilee and Olympic year. Let us hope that the millions coming to the country for the latter make the journey to Beaulieu too.
It goes without saying that no Bond fan in their right mind would miss it.