Report: Goldfinger Reloaded event in Switzerland
In the weekend of 13 and 14 September 2014, the Swiss James Bond Club organised a fantastic Goldfinger event in Switzerland, the scene of the famous car chase in the movie Goldfinger. The weather was incredibly good all weekend, the attendees were exuberant and the cars were stunningly beautiful on this historic location. A miraculous day where the fiction of a movie blended with the reality of the sunny Swiss mountains.
On Saturday morning, 13 September 2014, a group of more than 80 fans gathered at the train station of Andermatt, a small town close to the Furka Pass, where the car chase scene was filmed. Attending this special event were Bond Girl Tania Mallet (who played Tilly Masterson), Norman Wanstall (Oscar-winning Goldfinger sound engineer), a stunning silver birch Aston Martin DB5, white Ford Mustang with red leather interior and a black Rolls-Royce Phantom III. A special van with representatives of the media completed the group.
Steffen Appel and Michael Hackl and the Aston Martin DB5
The DB5 was steered by its owner Steffen Appel and in the passenger seat was Michael Hackl, the winner of an auction for this seat this day. The Ford Mustang was driven by owner Peter Lanz with Tania Mallet as his passenger. The Rolls-Royce Phantom III was driven by owner Peter Heidler with Oscar-winner Norman Wanstall and Bond-fan Beat Hochheuser (winner of the second auction) as his passengers.
The fans were loaded into three buses, and under an escort of the Swiss traffic police this colorful parade made its way up the Furka Pass for a first welcome drink and photoshoot at Hotel Belvedere. The hotel can clearly be seen in the movie as a backdrop of the cars driving on the Furka Pass.
Markus Hartmann (president James Bond Club Switzerland), Tania Mallet and Norman Wanstall
All the fans at Hotel Belvedere (and yes, there are three Bond cars behind them)
The first photoshoot included all three cars, Tania Mallet and Norman Wanstall, and every single fan got a chance to have his or her photo taken by a professional photographer. The local police made sure that the touristic traffic on the busy Furka Pass didn't interfere with the photoshoot without jamming the narrow road.
After the first photoshoot at Hotel Belvedere, the caravan of fans and cars moved to the second location, Hotel Galenstock which is visible in a shot with the Rolls-Royce in the film. Here, everyone had a chance to take pictures of the three cars driving down the road. The police closed off the road for several minutes so that the cars had all the space to drive and the fans had a chance of a good photo of the cars.
Another photo-op came a few miles down the road, where the cars once more made several drive-by's so that perfect photos could be taken.
Between 18.00 and 19.00 hours, everyone checked in to their hotel, in my case the Hotel Aurora, which is the location where Tilly Masterson is dropped off by James Bond in his DB5 so she can call a garage.
Bond car galore at the Aurora Hotel
It was a surreal experience of being in this hotel. The gaspumps of this former gasstation were recently removed unfortunately, but the overall feeling and view of the surrounding area is still very much the same as in the film. The hotel is not in the middle of nowhere, as one might expect from the way it is shot in the movie, but actually is located right on the edge of the small town of Andermatt.
From 19.00 on, the evening continued at Hotel Bergidyll, the hotel where the Bond cast and crew stayed during the shoot in 1964. My fellow dutchman Martijn Mulder, author of the excellent travel guide to Bond locations On the Tracks of 007, gave a behind the scenes presentation with additional information from guests of honour Tania Mallet and Norman Wanstall.
Martijn Mulder presents The Making of Goldfinger
The menu was the same as the dinner that the Bond crew had eaten 50 years ago. Before and after the dinner, people could buy Bond memorabilia, or get a photo or object signed by Tania Mallet and Norman Wanstall.
Tania Mallet signs a Ford Mustang scale model for Bond Lifestyle
Around midnight, most fans retreated to their hotels after an incredible day.
The Lotus Esprit from Hansi Zweigle parked at Hotel Bergidyll
The next morning, Sunday 14 September, some remaining fans and the DB5 once again went up the Furka Pass to recreate some photos of Sean Connery and the Aston Martin. Marja Nieuwveld, the local tourism manager, played the role of Tilly Masterson, including AR rifle and similar outfit, to recreate the failed assassination attempt on Goldfinger. see the result in the photo below.
Marja Nieuwveld, the tourism manager, in the role of Tilly Masterson
photo © James Bond Club Schweiz
Adding to the fun were three Lotus Esprit cars, the white one from Hansi Zweigle (see photo above), a white Esprit signed by Roger Moore among others from Gernot Wolf (see below) and a red one from Nguyen-Dien Nguyen (also on photo below).
The Esprits from Gernot Wolf and Nguyen-Dien Nguyen on the Furka Pass
Many thanks go out to Markus Hartmann, president of the James Bond Club Switzerland, Peter Hermann (Event Manager James Bond Club Switzerland), who made sure that everything went exactly according to plan, not an easy task with so many fans, media and precious cars on the busy and narrow roads in the Swiss mountains. And thanks to all the organisers from the James Bond Club Switzerland. Many thanks also go out to Marja Nieuwveld, Product Manager San Gottardo at Andermatt Tourismus, who was a key figure in getting the event off the ground.
Let me not forget to thank Michael Hackl from 007collector.com, who graciously invited me to a lovely James Bond dinner the night before, on Friday 12 September, with fellow agents Luc Le Clech and Olivier Lebaz (James Bond Club France), Morten Steingrimsen (Norway), and Peter Lorenz (UK, the Illustrated 007) and for providing the Ford Mustang scale model. Thank you, Michael!
All photos © Remmert van Braam / Bond Lifestyle unless otherwise noted