Monthly Archives: November 2005

Overture

Hi, I’m Nigel Ellway, Malcolm’s lunatic friend and proud owner of ROJ.

Nigel Ellway, looking very young, at the wheel of 007's Aston martin DB5, taking it VERY carefully through its paces!

This is me, looking very young, at the wheel of BMT 216A – 007′s Aston Martin DB5, taking it VERY carefully through its paces!

It may seem strange that someone who cannot legally drive due to eyesight equivalent of a very shortsighted bat should own two Aston Martins. But that’s just it. Little boys when denied something just want it even more!!

I’ve always been a bit of a petrol-head, so a few years ago I signed up at the college of NW London and did a course in classic car restoration. I was taught to weld, fabricate, paint and trim by some of the most qualified craftsmen in the country.

My first project was a 1974 Vanden Plas 1300 owned by my wife. All I was going to do was repair some rust around the headlamps. (I was just going to….!) I ended up rebuilding the whole front end, replacing the sills and three doors!

I bought my first AMV8 from the production company that made Channel Five’s ‘Dream Machine’. It had proved too much for them, so of course i thought it would be a doddle for me…..

The past year I spent a (not) small fortune on parts and repair sections, but then I found ROJ.

All my life I have hankered after a 007 Aston, and here was ROJ. Bristling with bogus gadgetry. More Bean than Bond. But I had to have it!

I now have enough bits to build two cars, but after considering a race project, prudence over-came. (No, Prudence is not my wife) and I shall sell off the bits I don’t need.

Over the next 12 months We shall strip ROJ to his chassis, rebuild using the factory repair sections, galvanise and paint, so keep an eye on this blog as it will be the official record of the renaissance of ROJ.

The Johnny English Connection

Forget the overly expensive mock Bond DB5 mentioned in the last post. We have a genuine Johnny English Mk 3 Aston Martin V8 in the garage.

(well, almost)

Johnny English drove a DB7 in the 2003 film, but the character was inspired by a series of Barclaycard adverts made in the 1990′s featuring a bungling spy called Richard Latham (played by Rowan Atkinson).

In one advert filmed in Sardinia, Richard Latham picks up Sir Brian in his Aston V8. In his attempt to find the electric window switch Latham fires off most of the secret agent gadgets on the car. Or course the car had the ejector seat option so Sir Brian was sent skywards.

The V8 has been living in a back garden since the advert and it now needs a little restoration (especially as the entire roof was cut out to film the ejector seat sequence). Fortunately the car has now been rescued to the aston-v8 garage. One day it will live again.

The car belongs to Nigel who will pop up here every now and again to progress the project. He’ll be posting about the the ups and downs of a major restoration on the blog (under the username nellway).

This is ROJ

We started the engine at the weekend. See the video. The video has sound (but not much picture).

The Bond Connection

Aston marketing people love the connection between James Bond and the marque. It really is the ultimate in branding.

The engineering team hate the connection. They work really hard designing new models with ever improving handling, power, and quality. Then when launch date comes all the press want to know is whether it’ll be in the next Bond film. (The answer at the time of writing is yes by the way).

One of the 4 DB5s used in the Goldfinger film* is for sale. It comes complete with pop out bumpers, machine guns and revolving number plates, but the ejector seat has apparently been “removed for safety”.

The car will be auctioned at RM Auctions’ Vintage Motor Cars in Arizona to be held in Phoenix, Arizona on Jan. 20, 2006.

See CNN news for the full article.

*Edit>
Browsing through the Aston Martin Owners Club Forum it seems this car was built for promotional purposes after the films were made. amocwebmaster had this to say:

2008/R ….. and one other replica (2017/R), were built in the 60s, after Thunderball had been filmed, purely for tour and promotional use and differs in some obvious details, such as the appearance of the revolving number plate.

Dave Worrall’s ‘The Most Famous Car in The World’ has full details.

Paint Matching

I just popped down to the paint shop with a bit of Aston to see if they could mix me up something much the same colour.

Much sucking through teeth and shaking of heads.

They don’t have a list of paint codes, we don’t know the original paint code and we don’t know if it was repainted in exactly the same colour when it was last resprayed.

Some research will be required. I bet the factory keep records of paint codes, and they are some very nice helpful people at Newport Pagnell, so there’s a starting point. Otherwise the paint shop will attempt to make a custom colour that looks the same.

Introducing the Aston Blog

I’m Malcolm, the guy responsible for the Aston Martin Restoration on these pages. I’m hoping to write about the last stages of the restoration – the “just need to do this great list of little things and it’ll be finished” stage.

Progress on the restoration has been slow for a while – it’s not that the car has taken longer than I thought, just I have less time to spend on it than planned. I made the mistake of treating the car as a weekend project. Now I’m going to reorganise my workload a little and treat it as a week day project.

The project has been a good experience. The Aston V8 is a lovely car. I’ve learned a lot (particularly about aluminium welding). Apart from the aluminium, and the sheer extent of rust, there isn’t much on the V8 that couldn’t be done by DIY restorers. That’s why this website went together – to provide a source of information for other restorers.

The website has been good. I’ve started to become a little involved in the Aston scene, and there are now 3 Aston V8s at the farm. More on the other ones later…