10/6-2001, updated 20/12-2014 by PS
Goodlooking, powerful car heavily equipped with Q-branch devices - In my opinion very successful successor of the famous DB5 traditions.
AM Vantage version debuted in 1977. For the movie purposes 2 different models in the newest series 3 car (fuel injection instead carburetors) were used. First of all the Volante (convertible) model appeared - in origin preproduction model, owned by the AML chairman Victor Gauntlett. In further scenes, after 'Winterrization', as Q says, car received a rigid roof - in reality a serial Vantage was applied for the action, receiving the number plates and all the badges of the Volante version to keep the continuity impression.
The actual Vantage car, fitted with skis etc. was once owned by the museum Cars of the Stars in UK.
A running Vantage replica with the Bond numberplates is owned by the factory and sometimes it appears on the classic cars events.
A total of 11 'cars' was used for the filming. 3 was real cars, 1 a look a like and then 7 shells.
The three real cars was used models bought by Eon at reasonable prices. They were found in motor ads in local papers.
One car was the road car used for the driving shots with Timothy Dalton at the wheel. The second car was the stunt car. That's the one that flew over the russian troops. It hit a ram at 75 mph and landed on cardboard boxes. The third car was the special effects car, equipped with missiles front, rocket booster back and 'lasers' (lights) in the wheel hubs.
The look alike car had a real body, but only brakes and steering, nothing else. It was used for filming the knock off of the skis in the wood.
The seven shells was used for mock-ups and closeups of the different gadgets in operation. They were all handbuild by the special effects department at Pinewood.
Aston Martin build 458 V8 Vantage in the period 1977 to 1990.
The New Observer's Book of Automobiles, Stuart Bladon, Frederick Warne & Co Ltd., London, 1985, page 18
Dream Cars Past & Present, Ken Vose, The Image Bank, 1989, page 21.
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