Traditionally James Bond's preferred make of car, Aston Martin returned to secret service after a break of 15 years when Pierce Brosnan's '007' got behind the wheel of the Newport Pagnell firm's latest V12 Vanquish supercar for the film Die Another Day. Previous Astons driven by Britain's best-known secret agent were the rocket-firing DB5 used by Sean Connery in Goldfinger and Timothy Dalton's V8 Volante convertible that featured in The Living Daylights.
In September 2001 Aston Martin met with EON Productions at Pinewood Studios to discuss their requirements for the forthcoming Bond movie. What would be required by EON were three finished production cars - chassis numbers '172', '173' and '174' - to become 'hero' cars which would be used for all the close-ups of Pierce Brosnan as James Bond. All three were Tungsten Silver with charcoal leather interior equipped with Linn audio system and brushed aluminium centre console. These cars were not used for special effects.
For the stunts and chase sequences, Aston Martin and EON special effects department created four four-wheel drive Vanquishes using standard bodyshells and interiors but Ford Explorer running gear and V8 engines. Of these four special effects cars, two have been destroyed and two remain the property of Aston Martin Ltd, one of which is currently serving promotional purposes. Neither can be sold or registered for road use and both will be kept by Aston Martin.
The production Vanquish models had a much easier life during filming, the car offered for sale here - chassis number '172' - being confirmed by EON as the main 'hero' car. Owned by Aston Martin and never registered, it became the Vanquish out of the three production versions supplied that was used for most of the close-up shots. Whenever Bond is seen in the film near to, or sitting in, a Vanquish, that car is more likely to be '172'.
Of the remaining two 'hero' Vanquishes, '174' is currently owned by MGM/EON and is un-registered and has never been driven. It is unlikely that '174' will ever be sold, but this cannot be guaranteed. A mere bit-part player in the film, '173' is scheduled for minor post-filming changes of specification - the 2003 updates fitted to the 'hero' cars will be removed - and will be disposed of anonymously via the dealer network.
A detailed log of every car's appearance was kept by the film crew and special effects co-ordinator for continuity - including some scenes that never made it to the screen - and Aston Martin has a record of this which will be provided with '172' together with a letter of authenticity from EON Productions. This car was never fitted with any gadgets or had any modifications done to it and its low mileage (c.200 recorded) reflects the minimal driving done with this car. For all intents and purposes it is a new Aston Martin Vanquish, but also a star of the James Bond film Die Another Day. UK purchasers should note that VAT will be payable on the purchase price on registration.