As a kid, I was not originally a James Bond fan. During the height of the spy craze era, it seemed that most of my friends fell into one of two camps: those who were fans of James Bond, and those who were fans of "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." TV show. I was in the latter group. I knew a little bit about James Bond, but I had never seen any of the movies. My parents thought they were inappropriate for an 8-10 year- old, and they found the TV show to be much more acceptable. My friends who were Bond fans had the cooler story lines to act out, had the cooler toys and guns to play with, and were just cooler overall. Fans of the TV show had poor story lines from the show to act out, inferior toys and briefcases to play with (they were cheaper and did not do as much), and we knew the other kids were cooler. But for the most part I stuck with agents Napoleon Solo and Ilya Nickovitch Kuryakin.
That all changed for me in 1966.
The producers of the Bond films had two extra Aston Martin DB5's built and outfitted with all of the gadgets from the Goldfinger movie car, and these cars toured the world as publicity for Thunderball and the other Bond movies. While touring the eastern United States, one of the two publicity cars stopped for the night in my small, rural hometown in eastern North Carolina. Presumably because he had nothing better to do that evening, the EON Productions representative displayed the Aston Martin DB5 at the local shopping mall. Although the specific memories have become a bit fuzzy over the ensuing 50+ years, I have a clear recollection of my Dad taking me to see the car. When I first looked upon it, I thought it was the most beautiful and thrilling automobile I had ever seen. I still feel that way.
Someone led me across the rope that kept the public from the car, and I was placed in the driver's seat. I found the telephone hidden behind a pull-down flap in the driver's door. I pulled the weapons tray from under the driver's seat and held the knife I found in the tray. I made the license plates revolve. The cover to the tracking device screen was raised, which activated a spinning mechanism seen through a hole cut in the mirror on the driver's side of the car. A piece of tape was placed over the gearshift knob (I assume to prevent anyone from accidentally engaging and firing the ejector seat!). I'm certain I played with other of the gadgets that evening, but those memories have been lost to time. Sitting in James Bond's Silver Birch Aston Martin DB5 was a magical experience, one that temporarily made me the envy of my friends. I was still not cool; that was hopeless. But I had become a Bond fan.
I began watching the Bond movies as they were broadcast on television; my parents assumed the films had been made safe for impressionable young boys. I believe the showings were on the "ABC Sunday Night Movie". The first Bond film I saw in the cinema was Live and Let Die. I have not missed seeing one on the big screen since. The joy and delight from watching the Bond films has remained with me all these years, and somewhat naturally led into collecting items associated with Agent 007. This website contains the results of those efforts. Please take your time as you peruse my Collection. I hope what you see will bring back fond memories for you to enjoy.