David Worrall, James Bond 'Most Famous Car' author talks '007' and cars

Fifty iconic classic cars are being exhibited at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, England, to mark 50 years of the James Bond film franchise.

The Bond In Motion expo's official opening was attended by Bond aficionados past and present, alongside former Bond girls including Britt Ekland. Also there was Dave Worrall.

As with most fans of James Bond, Dave's passion for agent 007 goes back to his childhood. The collecting bug hit Dave soon after, leading to his acquisition of a Corgi toy Aston Martin DB5.

But it didn't end there: Dave's passion for James Bond's iconic Aston Martin grew and grew. This lead to his co-authoring of 'The Most Famous Car in the World' with American collaborator Lee Pfeiffer. Two more Bond books followed, The Essential James Bond and The Art of Bond.

These books have since proven essential to fans of Bond the world over. Dave was then appointed the UK Field Producer on the majority of the James Bond DVD documentaries.

Dave photographed with bond actress Madeline Smith

Worrall and Pfeiffer continue to work together, publishing the world-wide film magazine Cinema Retro. They have also authored books for 20th Century Fox including on The Planet of the Apes, The Sound of Music, and Fox's Great War Movies.

Yet Dave is always on-hand to lend his extensive James Bond expertise. Below, he chats exclusively to Paul Fraser Collectibles about his love of Bond, his passion for collecting Bond memorabilia, and why 007 still has so much appeal after all these years...

Meanwhile, keep an eye out for Dave Worrall's latest book, Cinema Sex Sirens, which has just been published in Brazil and Russia.

PFC: How did you background lead to you becoming an expert on James Bond's films, cars and Corgi toys?

Dave Worrall: My first collectible was the Corgi Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger, released in 1965. I was 12 years-old at the time. From there on I became a huge fan, followed the films, collected memorabilia, etc.

Later in life, when working in marketing, I used this knowledge, and after writing "The Most Famous Car in the World" (a book about the Goldfinger DB5), EON would recommend me to companies as a consultant on various projects. Hence me writing the packaging notes for the Corgi toy car product range.

PFC: Which is your favourite vehicle in the Bond In Motion exhibition - and why?

DW: My favourite car in the 'Bond in Motion' exhibition at Beaulieu has to be the Aston Martin DB5, for reasons stated previously. However, Tracey's Mercury Cougar XR7 comes a close second, as On Her Majesty's Secret Service is one of my favourite Bond films.

PFC: Can you tell us a bit about your own collection of James Bond-related items?

DW: I do not collect, as such, anymore. I have an attic full of old toys, Corgi cars and movie posters. But, at my age, one has to make the decision when to stop and ask one's self: "Do I have the room for this anymore?" I've run out of room!

Bond Aston Martin
Dave's first love: James Bond's iconic Aston Martin DB5

PFC: Which item of James Bond memorabilia would you most love to add to your own collection?

DW: I love the idea of owning props, something used in a James Bond film. I have the actual knife from the briefcase in From Russia With Love in my collection.

But, as far as a piece of memorabilia is concerned, the one item I would still like to own would be the Sean Connery action figure/doll sold in the UK. [It was] made by Cecil Coleman, which I had as a child - and lost it!

PFC: Do you know any funny stories behind the vehicles included in the Bond in Motion expo?

DW: One of the most interesting stories relating to a Bond vehicle on display at the exhibition, is that of the underwater Lotus from The Spy Who Loved Me.

During the filming in the Bahamas, a local guy supplied a crane from his scrap yard. When filming finished, Cubby Broccoli gave him one of the Lotus shells used in the movie.

The Ian Fleming Foundation, of which I am a UK board member, discovered that the guy still had the shell - now painted red, covered in Christmas tree lights, and positioned in his garden!

The Foundation did a deal, bought the car, and renovated back to filming spec. It is on show at the Beaulieu now, and looks terrific.

PFC: In your view, why does James Bond and his vehicles and Bond In Motion have such strong continuing appeal among collectors and the public after 50 years?

DW: The reason why Bond has survived for 50 years, and why people are flocking to see the vehicle exhibition at Beaulieu, is that people of all ages have a memory of a certain time that OO7 meant something to them.

By seeing something on display, be it from the Sixties or the Noughties, brings back those memories of being entertained and having fun.

PFC: Finally, do you have any advice for collectors of James Bond memorabilia?

DW: The only advice I can offer to collectors of James Bond memorabilia, is to buy what gives you pleasure. Today, everyone is aware of collectible items being of some worth in the future.

However, unlike items from the Sixties and Seventies, when a value was not put on these goods at the time, current products will never achieve the same value - there are too many of them out there. Buy what you can afford and appreciate it for what it is.

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