Bond On The Move
The world-famous National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, Hampshire, in the heart of the New Forest National Park is renowned for its collection of over 250 vehicles that tell the story of motoring on the roads of Britain from the dawn of motoring to the present day. As well as their constant collections of historic racing cars, modern rally cars and the latest F1 machines, you can find a plethora of World Land Speed Record Breakers and family cars from every motoring era.
And you can also find ever-changing exhibition displays bringing to life many of the talking points from film and TV that are so much of today’s society.
At the moment there is a special Top Gear display , from the popular TV series amd then, from the world of film, there is the enigma and superstar that is James Bond.
James Bond films have been a staple diet of British filmgoers ever since Ursula Andress stepped out from the sea in that white bikini (Sorry Sean, but it’s true) and the gadgets and stunts that filmgoers have enjoyed over the years have been astounding.
But then there are the cars! And a whole stack of these, and other moveable feasts from the films, are now on show at Beaulieu until the end of the tar,
Planned to celebrate 50 years of James Bond films, the exhibition is the largest of its kind staged anywhere in the world, and features all sorts of vehicles that not only have made an appearance in the Bond films, but also have done some of the most amazing stunts – and that cars, boats, motorbikes, sleds, jets and many more.
Of course there there’s an Aston Martin DB5, which made its debut in ‘Goldfinger’ and is the classic James Bond-mobile, and also a 2006 Aston Martin DBS in pristine condition, used during the filming of ‘Casino Royale’, (Daniel Craig’s first Bond film) alongside a severely damaged Aston Martin DBS stunt car which rolled seven and three quarter turns to set a Guinness World Record.
Cars used in films starring Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig all feature in the exhibition, even the BMW 750iL used in the memorable car park chase scene in ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ where Pierce Brosnan ‘drove’ the car from the back seat, using his Ericsson cellular phone. This vehicle was actually one of 17 cars supplied by BMW for this film.
Alongside the most famous vehicles like the Aston Martins and the Lotus Esprit S1, you can also find a complete joy of treasures from the majority of the 22 films starting from “Dr No’ right up to ‘Quantum Of Solace’. There’s the Fairey Huntress speedboat from ‘From Russia with Love’, the autogyro from ‘You Only Live Twice’ and ‘Octopussy’s Acrostar jet alongside many others. (For a full list of what there is click here .
And don’t forget the completely classic and must-see 1937 Rolls Royce Phantom III from that was driven by Auric Goldfinger in the film of the same name. (“No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!”)
Visitors can also watch exclusive behind-the-scenes footage showing just how some of the most memorable stunts in the films were created, including interviews with stunt co-ordinators and members of the stunt teams.
And, if you visit Beaulieu’s sister attraction of Buckler’s Hard on the banks of the Beaulieu River at the bottom of the village street, you can see the boat that was used in the last Bond film to be released, ‘Quantum Of Solace’. Although in the film it appears to be driven by Bond, the real steerage is hidden within the boat where a stunt driver is also concealed.
“There has been an extraordinary amount of interest in this exhibition, from the general public and press alike, which is incredibly exciting,” said Beaulieu’s Commercial Director, Stephen Munn. “We have seen a dramatic rise in website hits and an increase of over 100% in our visitor numbers since the opening, [in January 2012] at what is normally a quiet time of year. We hope the exhibition will continue to have a significant impact on our visitor numbers throughout the rest of the year.”
The National Motor Museum is open from 10am every day, except for Christmas Day, and visitors to Beaulieu can also explore Palace House, home of the Montagu family since 1538 and 13th century Beaulieu Abbey as well as World of Top Gear.