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Bond in Motion

Now on view at the London Film Museum is Bond in Motion, a must-see exhibition that traces the history of the franchise through the many vehicles (cars, boats, motorbikes, sleds, jets, helicopter and more) that James Bond used over the years.

I’m a huge Bond fan, but I hadn’t heard about this exhibition until I spotted an ad at a tube station in London in August. It didn’t disappoint.

As you walk into the museum, you can’t miss a helicopter hanging from the ceiling. My first thought was that it was the same one from which Major Onatopp, one of the villains in GoldenEye (1995), rappelled down to catch James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) in a chokehold. But I found out that it was from Skyfall (2012).

Also on the upper mezzanine are concept art and storyboards which have never been seen before. It was exciting to see each frame of this scene in From Russia with Love (1963) one of my favorites, detailed on paper. 

Bond in Motion

Storyboard, From Russia with Love 1963

Bond in Motion Concept art, Moonraker

Concept art, Moonraker 1979

Down the stairs (you can also take an elevator) to the lower level are the vehicles – 50 of them. If you love cars, this is the place to go.

It was thrilling to see Auric Goldfinger’s classic 1937 Rolls Royce Phantom III, Goldfinger (1964). It’s as clean as a whistle as if Oddjob, his henchman or some other underling, had just finished detailing it.

Bond in Motion 1937 Rolls Royce Phantom III Goldfinger

1937 Rolls Royce Phantom III, Goldfinger 1964

Tracy (Diana Rigg) and James escaped Ernst Stavros Blofeld, head of SPECTRE, in this red Mercury in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969). This is the only film that starred George Lazenby (not my favorite Bond) and the only time Bond got married. Sadly, Tracy was killed just after the wedding. 

Mercury Cougar, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, 1969

Mercury Cougar, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, 1969

Halle Berry (Jinx) emerging from the sea in Die Another Day referenced Ursula Andress (Honey Ryder) in Dr. No, the first Bond movie (which was filmed in Jamaica, where Ian Fleming escaped to write the Bond stories) but the cars were unmistakably modern, even a bit futuristic.  

Jaguar XKR, Die Another Day

Jaguar XKR, Die Another Day 2002

Except for Skyfall and the latest, Spectre, I’ve seen each Bond film at least 50 times – they never get old. But I felt an adrenalin rush when I saw this car, the Aston Martin that Daniel Craig (my other favorite Bond) crashed so spectacularly (the car rolled seven times!) in Casino Royale (2006), his introduction to skeptical fans who’d never seen a blond Bond. 

Aston Martin, Casino Royale 2006

Aston Martin DB5, Casino Royale 2006

Casino Royale, 2006

Casino Royale, 2006 – James’ bloodied suit in the background

Some of the other vehicles you’ll see at Bond in Motion: Little Nellie, You Only Live Twice (1967), the Ford Mustang Mach I, Diamonds are Forever (1971), the AMC Hornet Hatchback, The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), the Lotus Esprit S1, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) Citroen 2CV, For Your Eyes Only (1981), and the Q Boat from The World in Not Enough (1999).  

All the vehicles in Bond in Motion are originals that were used for filming. The majority of them are on loan from the EON Production archives and the Ian Fleming Foundation, which located and restored many of them.

I remember this scene at Valentin Zukovsky’s Caviar Factory in the World is Not Enough (1999). And thanks to the plaque on the model, now I know how they did it.

Bond in Motion

Miniature model of the Caviar Factory, The World is Not Enough, 1999

The Art Department created the model “so that production could work out how to construct the real set and perform the scene. It has little red dotted lines to indicate where the breakaways are for the helicopter blades.”  

If you want to be Bond for a minute, there’s a photo studio in the back of the museum where you can don the classic suit and take your photo.

Bond in Motion - Being Bond

Be Bond for a Minute

There’s also a museum shop in the back of the lower level where you can buy licensed Bond memorabilia and Bond in Motion souvenirs. 

The Cars of Spectre

Visitors to Bond in Motion, which has been extended, will be in for a rare treat as a new exhibition, The Cars of Spectre, opens on November 18th.  This exhibition will feature never before seen vehicles, props, models and costumes from Spectre, the latest Bond movie, which opens today in US. According to the website, the exhibition will include the Hero Aston Martin DB10 and a stunt- damaged Jaguar C-X75.

Travel Essentials

Hours: Everyday 10 a.m. to 6:00 pm except Saturday 10 a.m. to 7:00 pm. The last entry an hour before closing
Tickets: Adult £14.50, Children (5-15) £9.50, Family £38.00 (includes admission to The Cars of Spectre)
Photography (no flash) allowed 

London Film Museum
45 Wellington St
Covent Gardens

This post is part of Travel Photo Thursday Link-up hosted by Budget Travelers Sandbox, Budget Travel Talk, Tanama Tales, and Rachel’s Ruminations.

Comments

  1. What a great tip, Marcia. I’ve been to the London Film Museum, but unfortunately there wasn’t a Bond exhibition at that time. I’d love to see all the Bond car and paraphenalia. Do you know how long the exhibition is running?
    Mette recently posted..Porticato di San Giovanni in UdineMy Profile

  2. Thanks, Mette. It’s a fantastic exhibition, I hope you get to see it.
    It was originally set to close but has been extended but no end date is mentioned. The addition of the new exhibition of Spectre cars will likely make it run for a while longer, but I’m not sure how long.

  3. How fortunate that you saw the advertisement for the exhibition Marcia. I love all James Bond Movies and still watch them even though I’ve seen them many times before. Classic.
    budget jan recently posted..BiH Roadtrip Mostar to Stolac via Radimlja NecropolisMy Profile

  4. Great post, Marcia. I also am a Bond fan. Glad to see you back in the blogosphere (maybe I’ve just missed earlier posts, but still good to have you back).
    Jackie Smith recently posted..Greece ~ A Time of Harvest, not HalloweenMy Profile

  5. I love, love, love James Bond movies. Just saw Spectre….great opening scene!
    Corinne recently posted..Views of the Amazing Lake DistrictMy Profile

  6. Yes, it was, Jan. I watch them over and over too – they’re truly classic films.

  7. Thanks, Jackie! Good to be back. Nice to meet another Bond fan!

  8. Yes, beautifully shot, that opening scene. Wonder if the Day of the Dead celebration is really that beautiful?

  9. I would LOVE to see Bond in Motion: preceded by a James Bond movie marathon to refresh my memory. I’m not sure, though, when I’ll next be in London. I hope it’s extended indefinitely!
    Rachel Heller recently posted..SCOTTeVEST: a reviewMy Profile

  10. I hope so too, Rachel. Hope you get your wish – the exhibition and the marathon! Or maybe the marathon first?