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Live and let drivea.

Byline: Neil Atkinson ,

No mr bond, i expect you to drive The new DB9 model that will be the plaything of new Bond Daniel Craig

bond across the eras James Bonds past and present, Sean Connery (left) and Daniel Craig (right) flank former Aston Martin owner Sir David Brown

IT has long been regarded as the aristocrat of British cars.

And news that the new James Bond will be behind the wheel of a fifth different Aston Martin should engender a sense of pride in Huddersfield.

For the David Brown company, which had its headquarters in the town for more than 100 years, was a one-time owner for the famous marque.

Sir David Brown bought Aston Martin in 1947 and took over production of the cars until the company sold it on again in 1972.

In that time, he resurrected the firm's triumphs at the famous Le Mans races and created a super car which became a film star.

Sean Connery was the first Bond to drive an Aston Martin, slipping behind the wheel of a DB5 in Goldfinger and seeing off the evil menace of Oddjob.

One-off Australian Bond George Lazenby was behind the wheel of a DBS in On Her Majesty's Secret Service in 1969.

And 18 years later, Timothy Dalton climbed into a Volante for The Living Daylights

Most recently Pierce Brosnan drove and Aston Martin Vanquish in the 2002 hit Die Another Day.

Now new James Bond Daniel Craig will be seen behind the wheel of an Aston Martin DB9 in the upcoming 007 movie Casino Royale when the film reaches screens in November.

Last week Craig visited Aston Martin's headquarters in Warwickshire and took a test drive in the car.

Aston Martin chairman Dr Ulrich Bez said: "It is great news that Bond will drive an Aston Martin again.

"We have built him something special to enable him to do his job in style."

Ful details of the new Bond car will be released at a later date.

After Sir David Brown acquired Aston Martin and Lagonda cars in 1947, production of chassis were handled at Brown's Lockwood plant.

Although better known for tractors, Sir David successfully reintroduced Aston Martin on to the sports car scene.

The cars had been a familiar fixture on the old Brooklands racing circuit and in 1948 Sir David entered a car in the Spa Special 24-hour race.

By the early 50s, Aston Martin cars were firmly back on the racing scene and in 1959 they won the world sports car championship - the first time ever by a British firm.

Aston Martins went on to win the Le Mans outright and triumphed three times in a row in the Nurburgring 1,000km sports car race.

But in the Sixties the firm struggled and, in 1972, Aston Martin was sold by David Brown, which had just lost pounds 1.2m on the company.
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jan 18, 2006
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