Junk Bonds: 5 Car companies (unofficially) cashing in on the 007 craze
With people flocking to theatres to see the latest spy thriller, there’s No Time To Waste marketing secret agent-related vehicle goods
Big-budget mainstream movies mean big-budget mainstream marketing opportunities, and the biggest companies with even a loose tie-in to the film will almost assuredly hawk some Officially Licensed™ merchandise in the lead-up to, and during, its run in theatres. That’s definitely true of the 007 franchise and its new No Time to Die release.
However, there’s only so much of that licensing to go around, which explains why you’ll also see a handful of companies suddenly start building and pitching not-quite-Official™ secret-agent cars and products as well. This is not to criticize the efforts of these people; after all, the most I’ve managed to build are a couple of LEGO sets and a few derby cars.
So let’s look at these slightly skewed James Bond tributes, all released within just the past month, through that lens. Besides, here’s something even potentially more embarrassing than any of the brands on this list shamelessly joining in on 007 fever: your author, who is generally of sound mind and body, will defend to the death his opinion that the Brosnan-era Bond flicks were good and enjoyable films.
Suddenly, the entrants on this list don’t seem so bad, eh?
Perhaps seeking to cash in on the current Bond frenzy, the crew at British Automotive Engineering (BAE) waited until early October to announce they’re taking modern Aston Martin DB9s and redressing them in sheetmetal meant to evoke Bond’s DB5 from the 1960s. BAE (perhaps one of the most unfortunate acronyms) says it uses lightweight materials and bespoke specialist parts to create the car, while continuing to deploy the tasty naturally aspirated V12 engine known and desired by gearheads worldwide.
Hey, if you’re going to make a 007 tribute, please put in more of an effort than a bit of paint and wallpaper. This off-road Defender, called the “Tuxedo Black” – billed in the press release as “a car not to die for,” with “special paint [that’s been] shaken, not stirred” – is from an outfit called Heritage Customs, a group which bills itself as a “contemporary studio for carchitecture.” Its design team works on Defenders of all stripes, integrating customer wishes to build a rig which reflects individual ideas and tastes, from subtle details to grand gestures.