Bond’s Goldfinger Hacking Jacket and DB5
Sean Connery as James Bond, British government agent and super spy
Switzerland, Fall 1964
Release Date: September 18, 1964
Director: Guy Hamilton
Tailor: Anthony Sinclair
Wardrobe Supervisor: Elsa Fennell
For those weekends where you feel like jaunting through the Swiss Alps in your brand new European sports car, Goldfinger‘s got you covered with an elegantly casual sartorial suggestion.
Connery’s Bond appropriately sports a brown look for his day in the country. He begins at the Stoke Poges golf course in Buckinghamshire and, unexpectedly, ends up in Switzerland. Luckily for him, his country-inspired look is appropriate for both locales.
Four years (and two blog posts) earlier, Dean Martin wore a very Americanized version of a similar outfit in Ocean’s Eleven. Dino’s look was more swinger than English gentleman, but it is interesting to compare the differences in the look.
Additionally, this is the sequence in which we first get to see Bond’s DB5 – the first and arguably finest of his “gadget cars” – in action.
What’d He Wear?
A common countryside look for Sean Connery is the brown tweed hacking jacket and trousers with a tie. He would later sport this look in Thunderball and paired with a waistcoat in the non-Bond film Woman of Straw, according to Matt Spaiser’s excellent blog.
The first question some of you may have is: what exactly is a hacking jacket? Not a very common term anymore, especially in the United States (and, naturally, countries that don’t speak English at all), a hacking jacket is a wool sports coat that is cut for casual horseback riding in the country. Like Sir Sean’s jacket in Goldfinger, it is usually tweed with a long rear single vent and slanted hip pockets. This information is also on Wikipedia, but isn’t it nice when I can put it all in one concise package for you?
Bond’s hacking jacket is brown tweed with a barleycorn weave pattern. It follows all of the conventional hacking jacket traditions; it is single-breasted with slanted flapped hip pockets and a long deep single vent. In addition, there is a straight breast pocket and a ticket pocket on the right side. The front buttons with two horn buttons and the notch lapels are narrow, as was the trend in the ’60s. A finishing touch of the jacket is four buttons on each cuff.
Sir Sean pairs his jacket with a pair of light brown cavalry twill flat front trousers. They have frogmouth front pockets and plain-hemmed bottoms. Not much is seen of these narrow trousers’ waistband, but I think we can safely assume that Bond continues to forgo a belt or braces and has his usual three-button “Daks top” side-adjusters to fit around the waist.
The shirt is a very light ecru with the slightest of white-patterned stripes, best seen in the close up of Bond’s double (French) cuffs, which are fastened with gold oblong cuff links.
The shirt has a moderate spread collar and a front placket with white buttons.
Bond’s necktie is light brown knit silk. For Thunderball, he will swap this out with a darker brown grenadine tie. It is tied in a tight and narrow four-in-hand knot.
Bond’s footwear is a pair of unique dark brown suede laced shoes that resemble chukka boots but are in fact low-cut derby shoes with a high two-eyelet fastening at the top of a cutaway V-shaped front. He wears these shoes with a pair of thin black dress socks.
Bond also wears his Rolex Submariner 6538 wristwatch on an undersized black, olive, and red striped RAF strap, his standard timepiece throughout Goldfinger unless he’s wearing the subdued Gruen Precision as seen most clearly during his climactic fight with Oddjob at Fort Knox.
The most legendary of all Bond cars, Goldfinger first introduces the long association between James Bond and Aston Martin. Q presents to Bond one of the greatest company cars in the world, a 1963 Aston Martin DB5 coupe… “with modifications”.
Before we get into the machine guns and tire-cutters, which were not standard on most DB5s, let’s discuss the car itself. Bond is given what is, in fact, a prototype DB5. Based on the registration plates, it was likely built in May 1963. This further confirms the speculation that it was a prototype, as the DB5 didn’t go into production for sale until September or October of that year. In fact, Bond’s prototype was road tested by Motor magazine for its piece on the new DB5.
The DB5 was an evolution from Aston Martin’s previous model, the DB4. The latest generation of the DB4, the Series V, was used as the boilerplate from which the DB5 was developed. The changes were mostly internal; the all-aluminum inline-6 cylinder engine was expanded from 3.7 L to 4.0 L. In addition to the three carburetors, the DB5 had enough power to propel it to 60 mph in about eight seconds and reach a top speed of 142-143 mph.
A five-speed ZF manual transmission and, later, a three-speed automatic were also added for the DB5. However, Bond had one of the early models, which was paired only to the original four-speed transmission with optional overdrive.
Bond’s DB5, with chassis DP/216/1 and registration plates BMT 216A, is suggested to be the first DB5 ever built. The original color, Dubonnet Red, was still on the car when it was featured on a 1964 episode of The Saint, which coincidentally starred Roger Moore. The Dubonnet Red paint was switched to Silver Birch for its appearance in Goldfinger.
Body Style: 2+2 coupe
Engine: 243.8 cu. in. (4.0 L) Tadek Marek I6 with three SU HD8 carburetors
Power: 282 bhp (210 kW; 285.9 PS) @ 5500 rpm
Torque: 288 lb·ft (390 N·m) @ 3850 rpm
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Wheelbase: 98 inches (2489 mm)
Length: 179.9 inches (4572 mm)
Width: 66.1 inches (1676 mm)
Height: 53 inches (1346 mm)
The base car was also equipped with Marchal fog units and side-mounted turn signals. It did not leave the Aston Martin factory with .30-caliber machine guns and an ejector seat, though, I can assure you.
Bond: Where’s my Bentley?
Q: It’s had its day, I’m afraid.
Bond: But it’s never let me down.
Q: M’s orders, 007. You’ll be using this Aston Martin DB5, with modifications. Now, pay attention, please. Windscreen; bulletproof, as are the side and the rear windows. Revolving numberplates, naturally. Valid all countries. Here’s a nice little transmitting device, called a homer. You prime it by pressing it back like this. You see? The smaller model is now standard field issue, to be fitted into the heel of your shoe. Its larger brother is magnetic. Right. It’ll be concealed in the car you’re trailing while you keep out of sight. Reception on the dashboard here. Audiovisual range 150 miles.
Bond: Ingenious, and useful too. Allows a man to stop off for a quick one en route.
Q: It has not been perfected out of years of patient research entirely for that purpose, 007. And incidentally, we’d appreciate its return, along with your other equipment. Intact, for once, when you return from the field.
Bond: You’d be surprised at the wear and tear that goes on out there in the field. Anything else?
Q: I won’t keep you for more than an hour if you give me your undivided attention. We’ve installed some interesting modifications. You see this arm here? Now, open the top and inside are your defense mechanism controls. Smoke screen, oil slick, rear bulletproof screen, and left and right front-wing machine guns. Now this one I’m particularly keen about. You see the gear lever here? Now, if you take the top off, you will find a little red button. Whatever you do, don’t touch it.
Bond: Yeah, why not?
Q: Because you’ll release this section of the roof, and engage and then fire the passenger ejector seat. Whish!
Bond: Ejector seat? You’re joking!
Q: I never joke about my work, 007.
While the BMT 216A registration plates were registered for Fordham, England, the DB5 also featured two other plates. The French plate is 4711-EA-62 and the Swiss plate is LU6789. Interestingly, Bond retains his British plates while driving through Switzerland.
Also worthy of mention is Tilly Masterson’s Mustang, the car that Bond is tempted to pass while in Switzerland. Goldfinger is notably the first film to feature the Ford Mustang. Tilly’s is, in fact, a pre-production 1964½ Mustang that Ford rushed onto the set to get some publicity and exposure for its brand new pony car. Fifty years later, I think we can say that hasn’t really been a problem for them. Considering how their cars fared in the film – the Mustang is torn open like a can and the Lincoln Continental is crushed into a cube – it seems that Ford was really desperate for the attention.
How to Get the Look
Bond follows the “no brown in town” maxim that was preferred by London gentlemen for ages by sporting this appropriately countrified outfit outside the city.
- Brown barleycorn tweed hacking jacket with a 2-button single-breasted front, narrow notch lapels, straight breast pocket, slanted flapped hip pockets and ticket pocket, 4-button cuffs, and a deep single rear vent
- Light ecru self-striped dress shirt with moderate spread collar, front placket, and double/French cuffs
- Gold oblong cuff links
- Light brown knit necktie
- Light brown flat front trictone trousers with frogmouth side pockets, waist side-adjusters, and plain-hemmed bottoms
- Dark brown suede derby shoes
- Thin black dress socks
- Rolex Submariner 6538 wristwatch with stainless case and black dial on an undersized black/olive/red-striped RAF strap
Iconic Alternatives has a great rundown of affordable options to channel elements of this, such as the suede derby shoes, and many other 007 outfits. You can also find a great recreation of this outfit posted by Iconic Alternatives on Instagram here.
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Check out the movie.
Since only about 1,000 DB5s were made, you’ll probably break the bank trying to purchase one. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t live the Bond lifestyle on a smaller scale and pick up a die cast metal replica!
Discipline, 007. Discipline.
Dressed up for highland sport on the Glorious Twelfth, and geared up to get there in a big damn hurry. That’s why he’s Sean Connery, and we’re not.
No reason why we should stop trying though!
A question about cuff links. I don’t have a copy of Goldfinger right now, so I can’t clear it myself, but hey – screencap of Connery hands holding tracking device shows us that cuff links are yellowish-brown ovals. But, if you look closely on the pic of Bond leaning on DB5 side window, you could see that opposite side of seen cuff link is quite bigger that aforementioned oval, somewhat bulky and square-ish. Don’t you think he just reverse-locked his cuff links?
Good call with this. I also wonder the same thing and have a couple of theories.
1) Connery put the links on himself and, either by choice or by accident, placed the reverse part of the links on the outside. Since Terence Young, the Dr. No and From Russia With Love director who had “groomed” Connery for the role, was now replaced by Guy Hamilton (who probably had more on his mind than cuff links), the sartorially-minded Young wouldn’t have been on hand to step in and fix it. Of course, maybe Connery thought the original links were too loud so he made the change himself.
2) When the time came to film the scene, and the close-up of his cuffs, Hamilton or someone else with decision-making power thought the cuffs didn’t look right. Rather than getting another set, they just reverse-locked them and no one would be the wiser.
I’m probably over-thinking all of this, but at least I’m having fun doing it. What do you think might explain it?
Who knows. Maybe this pair of cufflinks had some kind of intricate pattern of loud colours, so they distracted viewer’s sight from Bond’s hands at quite important moment. As I wrote, I don’t have Goldfinger DVD right now, and I can’t clear how long does this shot lasts, and if there’s enough time to look at both his cuffs and hands, turning on the device. Duh.
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