The Establishing Shot: We visit The Ford Centenary Tour at Elstree Studios and up close to iconic film cars like James Bond’s Ford Mondeo & Thunderbird’s FAB1, Harry Potter’s flying Anglia


Posted by Craig Grobler on Google+ On Tuesday, May 08, 2012

A while back we were fortunate enough to be invited along to the legendary Elstree Studios to celebrate a 100 years of Ford Motor’s in the UK with the opportunity to get up close 5 iconic Ford cars from film, exhibited as part of the part of The Ford Centenary Tour.

Not only was it a thrill being on Elstree Studios’s George Lucas Stage (home of Star Wars in the UK) but I got a one time only close up look at some of the most iconic cars from cinema including; James Bond’s Ford Mondeo from Casino Royale, Jack Regan’s Consul GT (Ford Granada) from The Sweeney, A replica of Dr Who's SIVA Edwardian - Bessie, a replica of the Ford Anglia used in Harry Potter and most impressive of all Lady Penelope's modified Ford Thunderbird Fab1 from Thunderbirds.

James Bond’s  Ford Mondeo seen in Casino Royale
In 2006’s Casino Royale we are re-introduced to James Bond played by Daniel Craig. James Bond is younger, leaner and hungrier he is also car - less. Later in the film he wins arguably the most famous car ever featured in a film - his trademark Silver Aston Martin DB5 from Dimitrios in a game of Texas Hold'em Poker at the The One & Only Ocean Club in the Bahamas.

But before Bond earns his wheels and on his arrival in the Bahamas he his given a 2007 Ford Mondeo rental car. Which he drives to The One & Only Ocean Club on Paradise Island.

Video: Casino Royale (2006) 720p Ford Mondeo and James Bond

This is the  first car we see the new James Bond drive and the first time the public got to see new Ford Mondeo body shape which was released a year after Casino Royale was released.

Video: 2007 Ford Mondeo in Casino Royale ad

But as this is James Bond new ordinary Ford Mondeo would do and this particular model is has a one-off prototype with a hand built sports body fabricated at Ford’s Design Studio in Cologne, Germany and featured a special Tonic blue paintwork.

James Bond’s Ford Mondeo can be seen at the Bond in Motion Exhibition at the Beaulieu National Motor Museum: http://www.beaulieu.co.uk/attractions/bond-in-motion and James Bond will be back in Sam Mendes’s Skyfall this October.


Detective Inspector Jack Regan’s Ford Granada seen in The Sweeney
The Sweeney is the definitive British cop show as well as one of the UK’s most popular TV shows and spawned 2 feature films. Starring Dennis Waterman as George Carter and John Thaw as the original British bad ass Detective Jack Regan.

Video: The Sweeney Opening Titles

This Strato Silver Mk2 Ford Granada 2.8iS was featured in 7 episodes of The Sweeney season 4 as well as Sweeney 2 film. But probably most well known as the Ford Granada in The Sweeney season 4‘s title sequence and brought both muscle and menace to the flying squad.

A remake of The Sweeney starring Ray Winstone as Regan and Ben Drew as Carter along with Hayley Atwell and Damian Lewis is currently in production with a September release date.

The Establishing Shot: The Sweeney Trailer Ben Drew, Ray Winstone - 12 September


Arthur Weasley's flying Ford Anglia from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Possibly the most recognised car of this generation is Arthur Weasley's blue 1963 Ford Anglia 105E Deluxe as seen in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter films this one came complete with Hedwig.


The turquoise 105E car prominently featured in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when Harry charmed the car of his father Ron Weasley to be invisible and able to fly.

Video: Harry Potter - Harry Potter Fun Fun Fun Beachboys Mashup

Ron later crashes the Anglia into the Whomping Willow attempting, along with Harry, to reach Hogwarts on time after missing the Hogwarts Express. Harry sees the Anglia later on running wild in the Forbidden Forest.

The Ford Anglia is a British car designed and manufactured by Ford in the United Kingdom. It is related to the Ford Prefect and the later Ford Popular. The Ford Anglia name was applied to four models of car between 1939 and 1967.

Unfortunately the original Anglia was stolen but there are many replicas around and you can get up and close, very close to one on The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter Tour - http://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/


The Dr Who SIVA Edwardian replica Bessie
After the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) was exiled to earth by the Time Lords, to get around he borrowed a canary yellow antique roadster. He liked it so much he got one for himself with the registration WHO 1 and it proved a crucial bit of kit for Dr Who.

The Doctor made a number of useful modifications to Bessie including: an anti-theft force field; a remote control and a minimum inertia hyperdrive.

Video: Doctor Who - Pertwee era - a clip from The Silurians

There are only about six left in the world and Bessie was actually one of about 100 cars made by an inventor based in England that used Ford 103E Populars as a base, with a fibre-glass body. These kit cars were sold as 'Siva Edwardian' cars, available as both two and four seaters

Dr Who’s SIVA Edwardian was brought to Elstree by owner and Ford employee Dean Rose.

Lady Penelope's FAB1 as seen in the Thunderbirds movie
Easily the most spectacular car of the day was Lady Penelope's 6 wheeled FAB1. A show piece of Ford engineering FAB1 is a fully functional, completely road-legal  heavily modified Ford Thunderbird.


Video: Thunderbirds: Lady Penelope's Pink World

Featured in the live-action film Thunderbirds the pink, six wheeled FAB1 had a number of useful modifications including:

The boot panels could open to expose the gas turbine engine before flight and wings would extend from the undercarriage. During flight, the rear set of wheels folds into the vehicle's body completely. This prevents them from creating unnecessary drag and so slowing the aircraft down.

Skis for going over heavy snow are also added to the vehicle. The bullet-proof, run-flat tires are fitted with studs in order to give extra traction.

The central passenger compartment of FAB1 doubles as an emergency life raft in the event of an emergency at sea. Buoyancy tanks hidden in the body panelling ensure that the compartment remains afloat after it has broken away from the rest of the vehicle.

Lady Penelope's FAB1 can now be seen at the Heritage Motor Centre - http://www.heritage-motor-centre.co.uk
Slideshow: Ford Centenary Tour at Elstree Studios at Elstree Studios

The Ford Centenary Tour went on to visit 20 locations across the UK in 31 days, including Ford plants and dealers, allowing Ford customers, employees and enthusiasts to engage with special and unique cars from Ford’s portfolio.

THE ESTABLISHING SHOT: WE VISIT THE FORD CENTENARY TOUR AT ELSTREE STUDIOS AND UP CLOSE TO ICONIC FILM CARS LIKE JAMES BOND’S FORD MONDEO & THUNDERBIRD’S FAB1, HARRY POTTER’S FLYING ANGLIA

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