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Honda equips James Bond with a special set of wheels
Honda drivers include Prime Ministers and rock stars – but only one boasts a licence to kill.
The Japanese car giant, which has a plant in South Marston , has motored onto the silver screen with its CRF250R motorbikes landing a part in the new Bond movie Skyfall.
Though the classy machines are not made in the town, Swindon’s link to Honda – and the 007 series – go back longer than the MI6 man’s list of female acquaintances.
Honda launched the new CR-V in a blaze of publicity at the plant last week, at the same time as announcing a £267m investment in the factory, which employs 3,500 workers.
But the ‘H’ sign has received perhaps an even bigger slice of kudos by featuring in the slick opening sequences which form part of the 23rd instalment due out next month.
Fiona Cole, Honda UK’s corporate communications manager, is handling promotional matters from Swindon.
She said: “We’re delighted to be a partner for Skyfall and are very much looking forward to seeing our Honda CRFs in action in the film and rolling out some great associated activities we’ve got planned from October when the film is released.
“We like to try and do things differently at Honda, including finding innovative, yet relevant ways to showcase our diverse products, while really engaging with our customers.
“It’s great to not only have Honda machines chosen as the choice of Bond, but also to be working with such a longstanding film franchise.”
The motorbikes were put through demanding action sequences by the film’s stunt crew teams.
The machines were modified for the opening sequences, shot in Istanbul and Adana in Turkey earlier this year.
Honda provided 20 sets of wheels which were adapted and turned into two native-style bikes. One is a Turkish merchant’s bike used by Bond, played by Daniel Craig, to pursue a henchman through the streets. The other is police CRF seized by the henchman.
Two more were used by the film crew to keep up with action.
Skyfall will be at cinemas in Swindon on October 26.
LOCAL LINKS TO 007:
Live and Let Die (1973) – Described as the fifth Beatle, music producer Sir George Martin, who lives at Coleshill, near Highworth, was asked by Paul McCartney to help write, arrange, and
produce the theme tune to this movie. He also provided the soundtrack and was considered the only person capable of replacing the legendary John Barry, who until then wrote and produced every
piece of music in the series.
A View to a Kill (1984) – Roger Moore’s final appearance as James Bond featured scenes filmed inside the award-winning Renault building in West Swindon. Actress Fiona Fullerton, who also
appeared in the film, lives in Kempsford, and can be found shopping in and around Swindon.
The World Is Not Enough (2000) – This Bond film, starring Pierce Brosnan, was filmed in the former Motorola factory, doubling as a Turkish oil refinery. Brosnan and Judi Dench, who plays
M in the movies, were in Swindon for the filming.
- Quantum of Solace (2008) – Featuring current Bond Daniel Craig, this film takes its title from a short story written by Ian Fleming while he was living in nearby Sevenhampton. This was one of the last 007 stories he wrote. Fleming died in 1964, and was buried at St. James’s church.