DEARBORN: A bonding experience

James Bond drives an Aston Martin again

Call it a return to his automotive first love. For the next James Bond film, 007 has dumped BMW for a new Aston Martin V12 Vanquish.

Fans will recall Bond's high-speed escapades in an Aston Martin in the 1964 classic Goldfinger. The Aston Martin DB5 set the standard for a secret agent's car. Equipment included an ejection seat, bulletproof shield and built-in guns. There is no word on what new gadgetry might be featured on the Vanquish.

While Bond has driven everything from a Lotus Esprit to an AMC Hornet in post-Goldfinger adventures, he has stuck to BMW products the past three films. Filming for the 20th Bond adventure, starring Pierce Brosnan, begins next year.

The Vanquish went on sale in the United States in September. Aston Martin's flagship features an aluminum and carbon-fiber body, plus a $228,000 price tag. But if you want to emulate Bond and buy a Vanquish, think again.

Says Aston Martin spokesman Tim Watson: 'We've sold the next two years' Vanquish production - 500 cars gone in three months.'

Even if they can't buy a car, aficionados can memorize Goldfinger's immortal dialogue. Bond: 'Do you expect me to talk?'

Goldfinger: 'No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!'

You can reach Richard Feast at autonews@crain.com

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