Bond Car Exhibition at Beaulieu

For more pictures of James Bond props and gadgets, click HERE

Click below for a walkthrough of the exhibition

Click on the photos for the larger image

BMW Z8 from TWINE Goldfingers Rolls Royce Oddjobs deadly bowler hat Goldfingers golf shoes and gold bar

Please Note : The Bond Car exhibition at Beaulieu has now closed.

Another Bond vehicle exhibition is now open. Click Here for more details

If you arrive by train, Brockenhurst station is about 15mins by taxi to the Motor Museum. Inside the entrance hall, the obligatory gift shop has a large selection of Corgi Bond cars and books to purchase, together with plenty of other souvenirs of your visit. The entrance fee gives complete access to the grounds, as well as a ride on the monorail that passes through the museum building on its way round the Beaulieu Estate. After passing through the reception area and walking down past the food court, the Bond Car exhibition is encountered directly upon entering the National Motor Museum, a modern building opened in 1972 . You are immediately confronted by the BMW Z8 from 'The World is not Enough', complete with the circular saw blades dissecting the car. To the left stands the yellow Rolls Royce Phantom III, Goldfingers pride and joy. In front of this beautiful car are a couple of display cases with Oddjobs deadly bowler hat, and Goldfingers spiked golfing shoes, together with a gold bar with Sean Connery's signature on it. Next is the BMW 1200c motorbike from 'Tomorrow Never Dies', with Desmond Llewelyn's red 'Avis' suit from the same film. Alongside is the BMW 750iL, complete with rockets in the sun roof. Another display case has Bond and Wai Lin's handcuffs, and 007's mobile phone.

BMW R1200C bike, 750iL car and mobile phone from 'Tomorrow Never Dies'

The centre of the room has the Aston Martin Volante from ' The Living Daylights', with ski outriggers, rockets in the front bumper, and rocket engine to the rear. Another Aston, the most famous of them all, the DB5, is opposite. No extras on this model, which was used in the film 'GoldenEye'. It's 'sister' car was recently sold at Christies for £140,000. Behind the DB5 is a pile of Russian chemical barrels, used in the Arkangel weapons facility in 'GoldenEye, and also in the Caviar Factory in 'TWINE'. A display case contains the 'GoldenEye' key in its attaché case, together with Bond's drivers licence (Issue number 30, what ever happened to the other 29!) Behind this are two extremely convincing model 'nodding donkey' oil derricks from 'TWINE'. On loan from the Ian Fleming Foundation is the submarine Lotus Esprit from 'The Spy who Loved Me'. The small periscope and ballistic missile can be seen protruding from the roof and rear window. Jaws stainless steel teeth are displayed alongside a divers propulsion unit from 'SPY'. Storyboards from the car chase in 'TND' and the boat chase from 'TWINE' can be seen, and the back of the room is covered with posters from the relevant films.

Aston Martin Volante from 'The Living Daylights' Aston Martin DB5 from 'GoldenEye' Lotus Esprit from 'The Spy who loved me' Storyboards from 'The World is not Enough'

If you have any interest in motoring history, or just like looking at old cars, bikes and other vehicles, the rest of the museum is well worth a look. In the main hall, the full scale 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' car is on display (look out for the stage musical, coming to London in March 2002). A selection of land speed record cars are also shown to good effect. On leaving the building you can take a short bus trip (on an open double decker) or the modern monorail to the southern end of the estate. 

Other cars on display included 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang'

We were blessed with fine weather on our visit, so the gardens were a welcome relaxing break to all the motoring history. Beaulieu Abbey may be in ruins, but the cloister, bounded by the Domus and church, is a beautifully peaceful square surrounded by many plants and shrubs. A short walk brings you to the Palace House, an idyllic building, reminiscent of a French Chateau perhaps? I could easily envisage some dastardly Bond villain residing in such splendour, with Bond's Aston Martin parked on the approach driveway.

Beaulieu Palace, home of Lord Montagu's family since 1538

More links to Ian Fleming and James Bond can be found inside the Palace House. A Goldeneye duck, stuffed and displayed near the kitchen, is probably the most tenuous link to 007 I could find. More substantial is a photo displayed in a cabinet in the corridor leading to the kitchen shop. It shows Kim Philby (the notorious Russian spy who worked against the UK during the cold war) with Paul Dehn. After the war, Paul Dehn wrote the screenplays for many very successful films, including 'The Spy who came in from the cold', 'Murder on the Orient Express', but his most famous credit must be for 'Goldfinger'. During the war, Beaulieu was commandeered by the SOE (Special Operations Executive) and run as a 'finishing school for Secret Agents'. Paul Dehn was the chief propaganda instructor for the SOE, before moving to Canada and working at the famous 'Camp X', where Fleming was supposedly trained.
The Palace House is a beautifully maintained slice of architectural history, a mixture of Medieval and Victorian gothic, and has been the home of Lord Montagu's family since 1538. Many of the rooms are open to the public, and as well as antique furniture and trinkets there is a wonderful selection of portraits of the family, painted in many interesting styles, up to the present day.
Adjacent to the lawns outside the House is the Mill Pond, and a footpath alongside gives a very pleasant walk to the Wilderness Garden.

The Church and Domus at Beaulieu

All in all, a day out to Beaulieu is a very pleasant excursion. Whether you are a fan of James Bond or not, there is plenty to see and do during your stay, and if the weather is kind the views around the estate and in the surrounding New Forest are spectacular.

For further information on the Beaulieu estate and how to get there, click on the link above


Click below for a walkthrough of the exhibition

For more pictures of James Bond props and gadgets, click HERE