Aston Martin V8 - Living Daylights

Published: 20 October 2008

Ranking: 37      

Year of release: 1987

The car: Everyone’s favourite secret agent is back with his usual Aston Martin transport. This one’s (mostly) a V8 Vantage Volante, although there are continuity errors.

Why it’s special: Various cars wear the B549 WUU number plate in The Living Daylights. One of the Vantages used actually belonged to Aston chairman Victor Gauntlett. There’s no arguing with this product placement – this era of Vantage was butch, ballsy and oh-so British. Classic Bond transport, in fact.

Best bit: Bond wrestling with the assassins bearing the message ‘Smiert Spionam’ (death to spies) – but they don’t have an Aston with lasers built in. It’s perfect for chopping Lada police cars in two.

Pub fact: The Vantage flits between the Volante convertible but is then ‘winterised’ by Q with the addition of a hard top. However, the producers also used a V8 saloon with the same number plate. One for anoraks to spot.

Plot overview: James Bond refuses to kill sniper Kara Milovy while assisting in the defection of KGB General Koskov. Koskov plays a complex triple-cross involving an arms deal and Afghan heroin. Timothy Dalton heralded a Bond era that tried to move away from the campness of Roger Moore's reign and more into the stunt-laden thriller genre.

For: Timothy Dalton’s worthy debut – and a well picked Aston.

Against: Those retractable outriggers are a bit too much like children’s stabilisers for our liking.

CAR verdict: Bond and Aston Martin on form.

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By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet