LONDON, Oct 27 — James Bond may be inextricably linked with Aston Martin. One of the eccentric British sports car company’s vehicles has graced the screen in no fewer than 12 of his 24 official outings, but as the following selection shows, if the going gets tough, Bond is less than picky about what he’s driving, as long as he can make his escape.
Toyota 2000GT Convertible
Much fuss is being made of Bond’s latest ride, the bespoke Aston Martin DB10 — a car only he will ever own. However, it is by no means the only specially built car for the secret agent. In 1967’s “You Only Live Twice”, set in Japan, the wonderful 2000GT coupe had been chosen as the hero car. However, at 1m89cm Connery was too big to fit in it. The only solution was to cut off the roof and create a one-off drop top. The car is also noteworthy as it’s the only hero car in the franchise’s history that Bond doesn’t drive.
The Triumph Stag
He only drives it for a few frames, but Bond gets behind the wheel of the bizarre British V8 drop top in order to board a hovercraft to Amsterdam and pose as a diamond smuggler. Probably a good job, too. Even when brand new, the car was prone to overheating and to the engine block breaking. Still, to this day it is one of the UK’s most popular classic cars.
The Ford Mustang Mach 1
In an effort to appeal to a US audience, “Diamonds are Forever” was set in America and, before Connery agreed to return to the role, an American actor, John Gavin, had been cast as Bond. Gavin went but the Mustang stayed and the car chase through the streets of Las Vegas has become famous for a glaring continuity error. The car passes on its right-hand wheels down an alley, yet exits on its left-hand wheels when pulling onto the strip. This is because the first half of the stunt was performed by British stuntmen in the UK and the second half on location with a French team.
The AMC Hornet
In terms of vehicular style, this has to rank as a very low ebb, however, the car is saved from infamy thinks to a truly spectacular stunt during “The Man With the Golden Gun” in 1974 where the car performs a barrel roll jump from one side of a bridge to the other. It was also the first car stunt to have been calculated on a computer with MIT, such was its complexity. At least it wasn’t a Pacer.
The Citroen 2CV
How does a car built for French farmers for transporting goods to market outrun a pack of potent Peugeots? With phenomenal manoeuvrability. The sequence in “For Your Eyes Only” in 1981 would have been impressive if performed in any car, but with the underpowered Citroen, it became a true Bond highlight.
Alfa Romeo GTV6
How good a driver is James Bond? So good that he managed to complete a journey in the wonderful to look at but woeful to own Alfa GTV6. Alfa Romeos of the 1980s were less than reliable and it’s a testament to the spy’s capabilities that he made it through the streets of Eastern Europe and to the circus in time to defuse the bomb without the car’s clutch melting, brakes seizing or electrics dying. However, no one can claim to be a true fan of cars until they’ve owned or driven an Alfa Romeo and in 1983’s “Octopussy”, Bond passed with flying colours.
The Renault 11
The 1985 family hatchback with a digital dashboard became a stock car racer on the streets of Paris with Roger Moore’s Bond behind the wheel, descending staircases, driving across the roofs of buses, getting its own roof chopped off and eventually being smashed down to little more than two front wheels as part of “A View to a Kill”.
The BMW 750iL
Under the cover story of being an investment banker, Bond’s vehicle of choice for “Tomorrow Never Dies” in 1997 was a tricked-out executive sedan. The autonomously driven chase through a carpark using a smartphone as a remote control really was a glimpse of things to come. But this car wasn’t autonomous. The stunt driver lying flat under it and racing it around the carpark had to keep stopping to be sick.
The BMW Z8
No complaints in the looks department with the next BMW Bond drove in “The World is not Enough” two years later. The Z8 was beautiful to look at but as its owners discovered when they took delivery, was less so to drive. In true Bond product placement fashion, the vehicle wasn’t completely ready when shooting started, meaning that its performance in the film is limited to firing rockets and being cut in half, lengthways.
The Ford Mondeo
Although it will be remembered for the spectacular Aston Martin DBS crash which set a world record for complete rolls, for a brief moment in 2006’s franchise reboot “Casino Royale” Daniel Craig drove a Ford Mondeo — like an average adult UK male. Like the Z8, the car wasn’t finished in time for the shooting and Ford had to create a ‘Frankenstein’ car using a finished shell with the underpinnings from something else in order to get it in front of the camera. All the car could do was go backwards or forwards in a straight line. Good job the villains weren’t aware of it. — AFP-Relaxnews