Movie motors on display as Bond comes to Beaulieu

Former Bond girl Britt Ekland sits on the bonnet of an Aston Martin at the National Motor Museum
Former Bond girl Britt Ekland sits on the bonnet of an Aston Martin at the National Motor Museum

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With excitement already building for the new James Bond movie due out later this year, The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu in the New Forest has a new display of Bond vehicles.

Daniel Craig will reprise his role as Special Agent 007 in Skyfall, due for release on October 26.

Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney, Naomie Harris and Javier Bardem have also been cast in the film by Sam Mendes which, it is rumoured, may be partly shot in Bognor Regis later this year.

But, along with boffins, baddies and Bond girls, the cars are also the stars in Bond movies. And, as petrolheads ponder what Bond will be driving in his 23rd film, Beaulieu has opened the world’s largest James Bond vehicle exhibition.

Bond In Motion opened on Tuesday and runs until the end of the year, celebrating the franchise’s 50th anniversary with 50 vehicles including the 2008 Aston Martin DBS from Quantum of Solace, the Aston Martin DBS stunt car from Casino Royale, the 2002 Jaguar XKR with SFX weapons from Die Another Day and the 1937 Phantom lll Rolls-Royce from Goldfinger.

Also on show will be the Lotus Esprit S1 affectionately nicknamed ‘Wet Nellie’ from The Spy Who Loved Me, the Bede Acrostar jet famously flown in Octopussy, the BMW 750iL from Tomorrow Never Dies, the original villain Parahawk featured in The World is Not Enough and the original SFX Cello Case Ski famously navigated by Timothy Dalton in The Living Daylights.

Visitors can see the Ford Mustang Mach 1 from Diamonds Are Forever, villain Zukovsky’s Rolls Royce Silver Shadow II from The World Is Not Enough and the vintage 1962 Rolls Royce pushed into a lake by May Day and Zorin with Bond still inside in A View to a Kill.

Bond in Motion will feature a whole range of vehicles which have appeared in Bond films over the years including cars, boats, motorbikes, sleds and jets.

Other exhibits on public view for the first time include the ‘Burial-At-Sea Bed’ from You Only Live Twice, the Union Jack parachute which villain Gustav Graves used when he landed on The Mall and the surfboard with concealed weapons and ammunition from Die Another Day.

Also on display will be the Casino Royale Skyfleet S570 model, based on a Boeing 747, and original ‘Pig’ from The Living Daylights, used to smuggle Koskov across the border through the Siberian pipeline. As well as marking Bond’s 50th, 2012 is also the 40th anniversary of Beaulieu’s world-famous National Motor Museum.

Bond In Motion is included in the cost of general admission tickets, which also include entry to Palace House, the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu Abbey and World of Top Gear, plus various rides and drives throughout the year. Tickets cost £9.50 for children aged five to 12, £11.25 for those aged 13 to 17 and £19 for those aged 18 to 29. Under fives get in for free and those aged 60 or over pay £17.50. A family ticket covers one adult and up to four children, or two adults and up to three children, and costs £49.75.

Tickets can be bought on the day or in advance (with discounts) online or by phone on 01590 614646.

Beaulieu is open from 10am to 5pm daily and tickets allow a second free visit if you don’t have time to view everything on your first trip.