The Cars of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”

The 1969 James Bond movie, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” has fallen through the cracks in the 007 world. It was the only Bond flick to star George Lazenby, Sean Connery retired after “You Only Live Twice” but came back to Bond after “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”.

I’m a devout fan of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”.  I feel it’s on one of the better 007 movies and Lazenby was solid in his only turn as Bond. To differentiate Lazenby from his predecessor Connery, Bond drives a 1969 Aston Martin DBS in the movie.

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 29: David Walliams and George Lazenby attend the 50th anniversary screening of “On Her Majestyconnoisseur’s Secret Service” at BFI Southbank on September 29, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

The 1969  Aston Martin DBS was intended to be the heir apparent to the DB6, but production of it continued until 1970. The DBS was produced from 1967-1972 and was powered by a 4.0-liter straight-six engine paired with a ZF five-speed manual transmission, an automatic was also available as an option. Aston Martin produced 787 DBS over its run.

“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” was the lone appearance of a DBS in a 007 movie. An Aston Martin would not make another James Bond movie appearance until “The Living Daylights” in 1987 when a Vantage Volante was used.

Bond’s DBS was a tame Aston Martin by the franchise’s standards. Apparently “Q” was on holiday during the production because the car has no gadgets and the only customized bit is a secret compartment for a rifle.

As a Bond connoisseur and owner of numerous 007 DVD’s, it’s weird to have one of his cars without the usual bells and whistles of destruction but it’s my take that the production was trying to distance themselves again from Sean Connery and his James Bond.

Regardless of the reason for no gadgets, the simplified DBS provides a real world 007 in a movie that is often overlooked.

Actors Diana Rigg and George Lazenby at the premiere of the new James Bond film ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ at the Odeon Theatre in Leicester Square, London, December 18th 1969. (Photo by Leonard Burt/Central Press/Getty Images)

Diana Rigg stars as ” Contessa Teresa “Tracy” di Vicenzo” the female protagonist in the movie and Bond’s special lady. They had an unusual courtship but by the end of the movie they were happily married (I don’t need to throw out a spoiler alert because this movie came out 52-years ago.)

Throughout the movie Tracy drives a red 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 convertible and it is a glorious sight.

Under the hood is a 428ci Cobra Jet V8 engine that is paired with a C6 three-speed automatic transmission. The exterior is finished in Red, Ford #2008-A, and features a Ram Air hood with hood pins.

Last December Bonhams auctioned one of the Cougars used in the movie, it is believed to be one-of-four that the movie production used. The auction hammer dropped at $491,460 for the XR7 and that is quite the bargain for a car equally adept on snow and sand.

Plus it was driven by Dame Diana Rigg. When Emma Peel has touched a car the value shall skyrocket.

“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” is a great part of the 007 canon and is one of the grittiest and realistic Bond movies until “Casino Royale”.

It was a unique production and that facet of the film is augmented by the DBS and Cougar XR7. Both cars only appeared in this Bond movie, much like Lazenby.