The Mustang Convertible of Goldfinger

© Wolfgang Kohrn

The Timing was bad for Ford
To have a new car in a Bond movie has been always a promotion that each car manufacturer lusted for. When the 3rd. Bond movie Goldfinger was scheduled, Ford had a problem. The first scenes were already filmed from 20.-24th. of January 1964 in Miami at the hotel pool, where Gert Froebe (Goldfinger) and Shirley Eaton (as Jill Masterson) played false. Still at this time doubles were used, while the close-up shots of the actors were done later in the studio.
Fort Knox was rebuilt in the Pinewood studios in England in March 1964 - without any detailed plans, just according to Ken Adams visionary film set designs - which was very close to the real thing - as officials later confirmed. Flying over Fort Knox several times with running film cameras and no approval would be definitely a no-go today, but was initiated by Director Guy Hamilton back then. These scenes were even used in the final movie.

The 3 million dollar budget apparently allowed the producers to acquire some interesting cars. The most famous movie car in the world (as of today) is certainly the special DB5. It could have been the golden Mustang Fastback as described on this website, but Ford was late. Spending big money on the Bentley of Goldfinger plus a crashed new black Lincoln - a scandal at that time - took its toll on the car park budget. A Ranchero was in the movie as well as a Ford Country Squire Station Wagon and a Thunderbird convertible driven by CIA rep Felix Leiter.
A side note - if looking close, you can see that the engine in the crashed Lincoln was missing, so they saved some money, which was probably left for hiring the most beautiful car in this movie for the female Bond counterpart in Europe - Tilly Mastersen - played by english star model Tania Mallet.

Ken Adams, Goldfingers production designer was known for his interest in sports cars, probably he was influental that a new Mustang had just to be in there despite that Ford could not manage to get the special Mustang built in time. Of course he was the man, who had the idea for the special equipment in the Aston Martin DB5. So we can be pretty sure that it was him who requested a Mustang to be used. An advertisement from Lincoln Cars in the autumn of 1964 with a white convertible and Tania Mallet may be proof that they delivered the car and used this connection for promotion later on.

Back to the schedule the Golf Course scenes were filmed at Stoge Poges in May 1964 as well as the famous chase scene in the night at Black Park, both locations being close to the Pinewood Studios in England.
Aside from the Miami shots and some scenes being filmed in Washington, only the other chase scene with the Mustang was filmed at the Furka pass in Switzerland around May/June 1964.

As Alan Mann of Alan Mann Racing Ltd./UK told me, 
they were approached by Walter Hayes, the lengendary Public Affairs boss of Ford Europe. The film producers had asked Allan for some help on the stunt scenes and requested a Mustang convertible for a female actress as well.
As Allan recalls, "he had a convertible around" and it was easy to locate it for the filming. Lincoln cars actually had handled the Ford Performance cars imports to UK early in the 60ies and John Grant said that most cars delivered to Alan Mann in 1964 came via Lincoln Cars around the corner.
It must have been still tough to get a 64 1/2 convertible in May/June in my view. But if Walter Hayes was in the background... should have been easy.

The white (or some still said for a longer period phoenecian yellow) 64 1/2 convertible was the first appearance of a Mustang in Bond movies. Blueray disc research shows, it was rather white.

Alan Mann was in Monte Carlo at the time of the filming and could plan ahead for the support indeed. Some suspension modifications were done to make it race-ready for the small curves and steep tiny roads at the Furka pass.

Alan Mann did not remember the VIN nor what happened to the car later. He thinks it might be scrapped, but we all know, movie cars apparently pop up here and there. In the end Alan Mann confirmed that he will be able to verify any car by specific changes they made, so attempts to produce fakes will not really be successful.

John Grant from Alan Mann Racing remembered the car very clearly.
He told us a decade ago in his interview a nice anecdote about the actual filming at the Furka pass. Andrew Cowan drove the car in some scenes and had to wear a wig, which was quite funny to see for his  race team mates, as he was quite tall. They all had a lot of fun being there.

The red interior is clearly visible, although the white or light yellow color were discussed for a period. Most of us today are convinced - and as far as I remember the Ian Fleming Organisation confirmed - it was a white Mustang.
John Grant (ex-Allan Mann mechanic) told me it featured a regular 289 engine, not a HiPo.

Note the big UK licence plate MLO973B clearly indicating that this car was brought over from England and probably by the Alan Mann Racing team.

In 2008 Tania Mallet joined a special photo event with Peter Lanz Mustang convertible being used as a replica at the Furka pass.
The Ponysite was partially involved in making the contact and Peter as well as Tania enjoyed this day very much.

In March 2019 Tania Mallet died unfortunately at the age of 77. Rest in peace.
We feel sorry for her family and friends.

An orbituary is currently written by Richard Truesdell and  published in April 2019 in Mustang Monthly.

Where is the white convertible today?
This question has been posed so often over the past decades.
We asked John Grant from Alan Mann and he did not remember, suspected that it was simply scrapped. Around the yearr 2000 we had been contacted by somebody from the Ian Fleming Organisation telling us that the car is around. We fortunately got in touch with Doug again recently and he told us that the white convertible was owned by a higher rank of the production company back then.

"The white Mustang was given to the producers by Henry Ford and Lee Iacocca back in 1964. The car was actually a 1964 1/2  due to the time frame when it was built.  After the production was finished the car was given to a woman as a gift. That means the car stayed in Europe.  Lost forever now I'm afraid.  Without the actual VIN # for that particular car there's really no way of know which one it is." (D.R.)
There appeared two nice articles in 2011 in a german mag called Oldtimer Magazin (Octobre issue) about the convertible (not the real movie car, but a replica from a rental car company) and another 007 magazine about all the details.

Back to Goldfinger Main page