Pop quiz hot-shot! What was James Bond’s very first Aston Martin?
Until last week, the answer to that question was the Aston Martin DB Mk III from the Ian Fleming novel, Goldfinger.
But not anymore.
That’s because in SilverFin, the first Young Bond novel by Charlie Higson, we discover that 13-year-old James Bond learned to drive his uncle’s 1.5 Liter Bamford & Martin Sidevalue Short Chassis Tourer. Fans will be interested to learn that Bamford & Martin went on to become Aston Martin, the car company most associated with the cinematic James Bond. Says Higson:
I put an early Aston Martin in the book… for film fans.
But how did Bamford & Martin become Aston Martin?
According to an Aston Martin website, in 1913 Lionel Martin joined forces with Robert Bamford to sell Singer cars — adapting them for the tough up-hill challenges that formed an important part of early motorsport. The partners wanted to manufacture cars of their own and a name was needed. Martin regularly competed in climbs at Aston Hill — and with the simple combination of a hill and a driver, the Aston Martin legend was born.
Okay, so what did this early Aston look like?
Thanks to Ecurie Bertelli, a dealer in vintage Aston Martins (who is offering one of these rare cars for sale), we have some terrific photos of James Bond’s very first Aston Martin (cloaking device and ejector seat optional).
The adult James Bond went on to drive an Aston Martin DB Mk III (Goldfinger), an Aston Martin DB5 (Goldfinger, Thunderball, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, Permission To Die, Light of My Death, High Time To Kill, Live At Five, The World Is Not Enough, Never Dream of Dying, The Man With The Red Tattoo, 007 Racing, Agent Under Fire), an Aston Martin DBS (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service), an Aston Martin Volante (The Living Daylights, A Silent Armageddon), an Aston Martin Vantage (The Living Daylights), and most recently an Aston Martin V12 Vanquish (Die Another Day, NightFire, Everything or Nothing).
The Aston Martin V8 Vantage is reported to be 007’s new car in next year’s Casino Royale.