The Birth of the James Bond and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Franchise
The Birth of the James Bond and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Franchise

The Birth of the James Bond and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Franchise

Larry Holzwarth - December 23, 2019

The Birth of the James Bond and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Franchise
The only Aston Martin driven by Bond in the books was a DB III in Goldfinger. Pinterest

23. Bond’s Aston Martin DB 5 never appeared in the books

James Bond is associated with Aston Martin automobiles as a result of the films, beginning with Goldfinger. Fleming did not so equip his secret agent. In the early Bond books he drove a supercharged Bentley, described as “battleship grey”. The car was destroyed in Moonraker, and Bond drove another Bentley, a Mark II Continental. In Goldfinger Bond was assigned the Aston-Martin DB III, which was equipped with the homing device through which he followed the title character. For the rest of his career as created by Fleming, he drove the Bentley.

Fleming’s Bond did not reflect his own taste in cars. Following the success of Casino Royale the author purchased a 1955 Thunderbird. Four years later he was tired of the car and after shopping around he purchased another Ford, the 1959 Thunderbird. He also owned a British Aceca coupe and demonstrated a marked taste for American cars – one of the few things American of which he approved – by owning a Studebaker Avanti.

The Birth of the James Bond and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Franchise
Fleming gave grudging approval of Connery’s portrayal of Bond. Getty Images

24. Fleming grew to approve of Sean Connery’s interpretation of James Bond

Ian Fleming lived to see the first of his novels made into a feature film, 1962’s Dr. No, starring a then little-known Scottish actor, Sean Connery. “The man they have chosen for Bond, Sean Connery, is a real charmer — fairly unknown but a good actor and the right looks and physique”, he wrote to a friend, despite having described Bond as resembling Hoagy Carmichael previously. Connery and Carmichael bore little resemblance to each other. Connery years later told a different story on British television, and one which seems to be more compatible with Fleming’s character.

“What was it he called me, or told somebody? That I was an over-developed stunt man. He never said it to me. When I did eventually meet him he was very interesting, erudite and a snob – a real snob”, Connery said in 2008. Fleming had originally wanted Cary Grant to portray Bond, but the production of Dr. No had a limited budget. Fleming’s approval of Connery came after the success of the film, which boosted the sale of all of his books into the millions.

The Birth of the James Bond and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Franchise
The last Bond novel was completed just before Fleming died. Amazon

25. Fleming’s last Bond novel was published after his death

In March, 1964, Ian Fleming returned to London from his Jamaica estate much the worse for wear. He was in the advanced stages of heart disease, and during his stay at Goldeneye he was too weak to work at his former pace. The manuscript he brought back and submitted was the first draft of The Man with the Golden Gun. As with all of his past works, he used the names of acquaintances and events which had occurred to individuals he knew or had known. The novel also included Bond and the villains using devices much more than in the previous books, an idea absorbed from the two Bond films which had been released.

Fleming suffered yet another heart attack after a day of golf and dinner with friends in Canterbury. He died the following day, August 12, 1964. It was his twelve-year old son’s birthday. His final novel and another collection of short stories, Octopussy and The Living Daylights, and the three volumes of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang were published after his death. Fleming left an estate valued at the equivalent of £6 million pounds today, and to date his books have sold over 30 million copies. The character he created in his own image, James Bond, is among the most famous literary and film characters of all time.


Where do we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

“The James Bond Dossier”. Kingsley Amis. 1966

“Ian Fleming”. Andrew Lycett. 1996

“James Bond: The Man and His World”. Henry Chancellor. 2005

“Ian Fleming left teasers about Bletchley Park in James Bond novel, expert claims”. Lydia Willgress, The Telegraph. October 2, 2016″

“Secret plan to bury soldiers alive inside Rock of Gibraltar”. Ann Penketh, The Independent. February 4, 2007

“Ian Flemings Commandos”. Nicholas Rankin. 2011

“T-Force: The Race for Nazi Secrets”. Sean Longden. 2010

“Dark side of 007 author Ian Fleming”. Neil Clark, Daily Express. December 21, 1013

“‘Bond, James Bond’. The Creation of Ian Fleming’s World Renowned Secret Agent”. Sarah Mares, St. Mary’s University History Media. Online

“The man behind Bond”. BBC News. November 19, 1999. Online

“The Life of Ian Fleming”. John Pearson. 1967

“Fleming vs. Goldfinger: What really happened when the architect took on the author”. Michael Duncan, Footprints of London. November 12, 2015. Online

“Bottoms Up”. Christopher Hitchens, The Atlantic. April, 2006

“Ian Fleming’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to fly again”. Mark Brown, The Guardian. March 22, 2011

“Letter to Geoffrey Boothroyd”. Ian Fleming, Letters of Note. May 31, 1956. Online

“Sean Connery: Snob Ian Fleming didn’t want me to play Bond”. The Express, October 19, 2008