A look at the 007 number and its cinematic and racing significance
When TRG-Aston Martin Racing unveiled their 007 Aston Martin V12 Vantage entry for the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, team owner Kevin Buckler and his drivers Al Carter, James Davison and David Block knew that they would be racing a car whose number 007 is definitely the most recognized in movie history.
The black 007 Aston Martin is one of 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship's fans favorites. Aston Martin racecars have been racing in Sebring since 1950 and the first Aston Martin race car to ever carry the iconic No. 007 was at the 2006 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. 2006 was also 'Casino Royale' movie release. The 007 car entered by ProDrive was an Aston Martin DBR9 co-driven by Darren Turner, Tomas Enge and Nick Kiesa.
50 years ago, an Aston Martin started to appear in a 007 movie. 1964's 'Goldfinger', the third film in the James Bond series, saw the introduction of a new car for James Bond, the Aston Martin DB5, colored in distinctive silver birch, signaling the start of a relationship which spans eleven Bond films and nearly five decades of cinema history. The book version of 'Goldfinger' had seen author Ian Fleming place Bond in an Aston Martin DB Mark III, but as the DB5 had been introduced by Aston Martin in 1963 the decision was made to use the company's latest car.
007's gadget laden DB5 returned in 1965's 'Thunderball', with the DB5 further enhanced from 'Goldfinger' with rear facing water canon and a boot stowed jetpack. The cars used in the film were the same as those used in 'Goldfinger' DP216/1 (modified) and DB5/1486/R which was used for road and close up sequences.
A new lead actor saw a new lead Aston Martin as the Aston DBS was chosen to appear in the 1969 film 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service', the first and only outing as Bond for George Lazenby. Introduced in 1967, the DBS initially used the same 6-cylinder engine used in the DB6 until the DBS V8 was launched in 1970.
Pierce Brosnan began his term as 007 in spectacular style as the iconic Aston Martin DB5 returned in an exhilarating car chase involving Bond's DB5 and Xenia Onatopp's Ferrari F355. Brosnan became the first Bond to drive two different Aston Martins as the Aston V12 Vanquish roared on to the screen in the 2002 film 'Die Another Day'.
Daniel Craig's 2006 Bond debut in 'Casino Royale' also saw a new Aston Martin unveiled to the world - the DBS. In addition to DBS the Aston DB5 made an additional special appearance, making 'Casino Royale' the first film to feature two Aston Martin models. Bond's Aston Martin DBS featured in one of the most memorable moments of the film as a high speed accident leads the car to flip and roll seven times, a new world record. The sequence was filmed on the Millbrook proving ground with a modified DB9 due to filming taking place before the DBS was finished. Following on from the high speed action sequence in 'Casino Royale', Daniel Craig's second James Bond appearance in 'Quantum of Solace' saw the Aston Martin DBS return at the opening of the film in a high-speed chase.
Released in 2012, 'Skyfall' sees 007 in his twenty-third film outing, with the Aston Martin DB5 returning for its sixth appearance in one of the most eagerly anticipated films of the Bond series. Nearly fifty years after its screen debut in 1964, the Aston Martin DB5 has left an indelible mark on popular culture. The first of five distinct Aston Martin models to be featured in James Bond films, DB5 continues to be celebrated as one of the most iconic cars ever produced.
Al Carter, James Davison and David Block will continue to proudly show off their 007 during the upcoming Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida next week and will try to take their 007 machine to a class win like Aston Martin did in 1953 when Briton, Reg Parnell and George Abecassis co-driving their DB3 finished 2nd overall in the 12 Hour race and won the S3.0 class. Oh, by the way, 1953 was also the release of Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel, 'Casino Royale"!