Thursday, 31 March 2016

The Aston Martin DB5 revolving number plate


The other day, as I was idly looking at my James Bond Aston Martin DB5 number plate keyring (bought at the Bond in Motion exhibition a while back), it struck me how well thought out the registration plates are.

As everyone who's paid attention to Q's briefing knows, the DB5 that features in Goldfinger is equipped with revolving vehicle registration number plates.

There are three plates, a British one carrying the registration BMT 216A, a French plate with the registration 4711-EA-62, and a Swiss plate marked LU 6789. In the film, just the British plates are seen, although the other two were displayed during publicity tours. The revolving mechanism of the plates was designed by Jimmy Ackland-Snow.

The plates appear to mirror Bond's journey on the trail of Goldfinger from England to Switzerland via France, as described in the novel, although in the film Bond and Goldfinger take a direct flight with British Air Ferries from England to Geneva.

Nevertheless, there's a particular point of interest in the French plate. Its final two digits indicate that the plate was registered in the department of Pas-de-Calais in northern France. As discussed in an earlier blog post, this region is the likely location of the fictional coastal town of Casino Royale, at least according to information in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Whether by accident or design, the number plate is a nice link to this Bondian location.

The initial letters of the Swiss plate indicate that the plate was registered in the canton of Lucerne. The region plays no role in the novel or the film, but some of the exterior scenes of Goldfinger's Swiss factory were filmed around Lucerne.

Reference:
Worrall,  D, 1993 The most famous car in the world: The complete history of the James Bond Aston Martin DB5, Solo Publishing

2 comments:

  1. An interesting piece of research there. Edward. Well done yet again!

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    1. Thanks! Ought to have added that the numbers and letters of the British number plate appear to be random.

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