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In an example of the increasing sophistication of integrating automobiles into movies, Aston Martin is leveraging its long association as 007’s personal car into a publicity juggernaut that may benefit the storied but struggling maker of British sporting cars as much as it does Spectre, the 24th movie in the Bond franchise, opening on Nov. 6.
In the campaign’s latest salvo, exotic car enthusiast Jay Leno interviewed Aston Martin’s Marek Reichman, designer of the DB10, the latest Bond car, on Leno’s Garage and took the car for a test drive.
The DB10 was designed exclusively for use in Spectre — 10 of the cars were hand-built at Aston Martin’s headquarters in Gaydon, England in consultation with Spectre director Sam Mendes — and will not be sold to the public, although one will be auctioned.
Aston Martin has said that the DB10 “gives a glimpse to the future design direction for the next generation of Aston Martins” — making the DB10 a concept car debuting in a $350 million movie instead of at an auto show. (The production reportedly wrecked $37 million worth of vehicles, including seven DB10s, during filming.)
Although Bond has driven a variety of cars throughout the franchise’s history — Spectre marks Aston’s 12th appearance in a Bond movie — Aston Martins are indelibly associated with 007, especially the DB5, with its ejection seat and machine guns, which appeared in six Bond films, starting with the 1964’s Goldfinger and most recently in 2012’s Skyfall.
Aston Martin is not the only car company leveraging an association with 007.
Three new Jaguar-Land Rover vehicles featured in Spectre — the Jaguar C-X75, Range Rover Sport and Land Rover Defender — will make their North American debuts at the British Academy Britannia Awards in Beverly Hills Friday evening.
During his interview with Reichman, Leno commented that were it not for the marque’s Bond connection, he didn’t think that Aston Martin — which has declared bankruptcy seven times in its 102-year history — would have survived. Reichman didn’t disagree.
“I don’t think you can put a value on that relationship,” he said.
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