With the 50th anniversary of Bond upon us, and the release of Skyfall (arguably the best 007 movie so far), I wanted to gather together all the plate numbers and registrations of all the cars in the James Bond film series.
However, at 23 films and counting, this is not something one simply 'does' in a single attempt. At this point I'm thinking we'll need 2 if not 3 posts to cover all the cars and plates. In fact this work has prompted me to re-watch all my favourite Bond films so I can be as accurate as possible; Including as many of the vehicles that Bond uses as I possibly can.
So, starting with the most revered Bond car, the Aston Martin DB5, here are the Registration Plate Numbers of the Bond Cars-part 1.
The unmistakeable Aston Martin DB5 from the 1964 film, "Goldfinger". This car featured a number of Q upgrades which included:
- bullet proof wind shield and side windows
- passenger side ejector seat
- hidden ejector button in the gear stick
- rear bullet shield that raises and lowers
- twin front mounted machine guns
- rear oil spray defence
- radar screen for tracking villains
- gun tray hidden under driver's seat
- roman gladiator style tyre slashers
- rear water cannons
The villain for the movie, Auric Goldfinger, was rather cleverly named, as one ion of gold is referred to as an 'Auric'.
Gold uses the periodic table code 'AU', which stems from the Latin word for gold, 'aurum'.
This is very likely to be the reason why the 1937 Rolls Royce Phantom III Sedance de Ville belonging to Goldfinger has a number plate which reads 'AU 1'. A recent search reveals that AU 1 is still on a Rolls Royce but its now on a white 2013 model instead.
The same car as described above wore the 'BMT 216A' registration for the movie Thunderball. The DB5 returns after a recovery effort from Q following a crash of the car in Goldfinger where 007 is outwitted with a large mirror, and drives the DB5 into a brick wall.
The BMT 216A number plate was also used for the latest re-appearance of the DB5 in Skyfall, which was released in 2012 with some very positive approval.
The revolving plate featured on Bond's DB5 also had "LU 6789" for travelling in Switzerland and "4711-EA-62" for driving in France. Ian Fleming mentioned that this occurred to him as a brilliant solution for parking fines when he was writing the novels.
In fact Mr. Fleming liked this feature of the car so much that the revolving number plates show up in the introduction to Goldfinger.
The Aston Martin DB5 makes another appearance with a slightly different registration number BMT 214A for Goldeneye and Tomorrow Never Dies.
In Tomorrow Never Dies, which was the 18th Bond movie, seventeen BMW's were used in the filming although they were in fact 740i models but badged as 750i models for the film. Sadly. the Aston Martin plays second fiddle to the BMW's screen time, but it gets driven from Oxford to London by Mr.Bond.
Fans often mistake the "BMT 214A" plate with the very similar "B-MT 2144" German registration used on the BMW 750iL in the same film.
This is the plate number put on the DB5 when it shows up as part of James Bond's poker winnings in the 2006 film, 'Casino Royale'.
This style of registration looks a bit odd, because it is a Nassau Bahamas plate. These newer plates feature a date decal vs. the year being stamped right into the plate face, and came into circulation around 1997.
The original Aston Martin DB5 (actually a DB4 that was a DB5 prototype) from the Goldfinger/Thunderball movies was returned to the factory where they removed all the film props, and re-sold the car as a collectors item.
The fellow who bought the DB5 and the BMT 216A number plate, Gavin Keyzar, tried to convince Aston Martin, without success, to restore the films gadgets. When that failed he hired a coach builder to do the movie modifications.
The car lingered in private ownership for 15 more years, getting rented out for movies like the Cannonball Run in 1981- where it had 6633 PP on it's number plates- and re-sold at one point for over a quarter of a million dollars.
Eventually it was stolen in 1997 from a high-security airport hangar with 24 hr surveillance in a heist which mirrors details from Goldfinger, including cutting out a metal door and then flying away with the DB5 in the rear of a cargo plane!
While the other DB5s from the film still exist, they weren't the real deal, which means someone out there, a thief with 00-level skills, is hiding the real DB5 'props' car somewhere in the world.