I was in London. I was on my way to the London Transport Museum. And then I almost passed the London Film Museum. Almost.
Because when I realised their current exhibition is ‘Bond in Motion’, I also realised there is a DB10 in there. I went in to have a look.
Not sure how many people know this, but it is said that the first car manufacturer to be offered having their car featured in a James Bond film was Jaguar and that they turned that offer down. If true…ouch!
It is now well known that the Bond franchise has a very strong connection to Aston Martin for several decades, so it’s no surprise that at an exhibition about the James Bond films you will find several Astons.
Previously the films would feature a model of a car (not just Aston Martin) which you could buy, minus all the weaponry and toys, of course. For Spectre Aston Martin built the DB10. Two of the ten cars built have been used for promotion, so people have had a chance to see them. I would say not many people had that chance though, because these promotional events were usually in big cities etc. I live in the UK, but not in or near London, so no chance! This exhibition was possibly a once in a lifetime chance to see a DB10 for real. But let’s go back to where it started for a moment.
Say the name ‘James Bond’ and, if you’re after word association, a lot of people will say ‘DB5’. It has gotten to the point where people see a DB5 in the wild, point at it and say ‘That’s James Bond’s car!’. It could be an interesting discussion about how iconic the DB5 would have been without James Bond. Of course that’s impossible to say now, but the association is quite strong and I’m sure it has done the company a lot of good.
In the same vein I get the idea that the other models used in the films never were that well known to the general public. They still know they are Astons, but not which type.
And I shouldn’t forget to mention that other car manufacturers feature in the Bond films too, most noticeably Jaguar.
In that ever growing group of cars the DB10 may well be another game changer.
The exhibition features the vehicles of the James Bond films. Of course my main focus is the same as always, single-minded as I can be, but seeing other cars, boats, the cello case and motorbikes is a great feast of recognition. Because of course I have seen James Bond films; quite a few of them. When you see any of these vehicles/modes of transportation you get that deja vu feeling of being in the cinema again and watching the most memorable scene in which it featured.
I remember visiting Aston Martin at Newport Pagnell (mere months before they closed the factory) and a ‘James Bond’ V12 Vanquish was on display at Works’ reception, rockets and all. Of course this car is part of the exhibition as well.
Unfortunately (because, oh, how that hurts to see!) there are also two ruined examples (both DBS). I hoped they were made to look like that, but according to the guide book the cars really sustained this damage during filming.
Now, what about that DB10? The exhibition shows two of them. One of them is a rig which allows them to film the actor(s) while ‘driving’ the car. It’s therefore incomplete and has no windscreen. It is insightful, because you do get to see how that works. There is a lot more involved than an incomplete car and the entire camera setup etc. is not included in the exhibition, but from the car alone you get an idea. It did make me wonder why the tail end of the car is complete…
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It really is a pity I can only offer video footage and some photos of the DB10.
The reason I say that is because I didn’t like it at all when I first saw it. The grille is much wider and lower than on any other Aston, the headlights are a lot smaller and there didn’t appear to be many outstanding features at all. I’ve changed my mind completely now I’ve seen the car.
There definitely are outstanding features. They are just more subtle than we are used to seeing. On the nose, for example, there are no slits/gaps with mesh, there are perforated holes.
The lines on the nose continue on the roof, but this is not very visible on photos or film. The lines at the side of the car are quite sharp and guide the eyes beautifully from the front to the rear.
The parts of the car which are made of carbon fiber are also wonderful details that usually would remain unseen.
The thing that stood out to me first and foremost is the car’s width. I have seen many Aston Martins, old and new, and this one just seemed much wider. Predictably the internet is uncharacteristically quiet about the DB10’s details, but I managed to find out that the car is about as wide as the One-77. And the One-77 is 30cm wider than most modern Astons.
This is a big car. It looks mean (apologies to the sharks it resembles), it looks dangerous, but it is absolutely stunning.
The DB10 truly is the DB11’s forebear. I think the DB10 is uncompromised. With that I mean that the DB11 is a wonderful combination of the One-77, the Vulcan and the DB10; almost as if the most popular features were put in one car, ensuring its success. However, the DB11 has its main look from the DB10. The DB10 is raw and possibly an acquired taste.
If you ever get the chance, I suggest you go see one and decide for yourself.