Monday, December 22, 2008

BONDzology's Top 10 Bond Cars

I'm still waiting to get my first Aston Martin (probably a DBS at this point as seen in "Casino Royale"), but I did manage to acquire a Jaguar XKR (turbocharged XK8) similar to the green car seen chasing James Bond's Aston Martin in the movie "Die Another Day"...please note that Ford Motors had a long time association with the Bond movies, even eventually acquiring the Aston Martin and Jaguar companies. Anyway, here is a list of what I consider to be the top ten Bond cars from the 22 movies that have been released so far:

10. Ford Mustang (Thunderball, 1965)

The mid-year introduction (1964 and 1/2 model year) of the first Ford Mustang made a splash when Miss Volpe, Spectre's hired assassin, picked up James on her way to their the end of the 120mph hair-raising ride she quips to Bond after he complains about her driving "Some men don't like to be driven"...Bond smugly replies, "No. Some men don't like to be taken for a ride". Ha. (Actually it was first seen in Goldfinger being driven by Miss Masterson and wrecked when James ripped the side of the car with the spinning wheel spindles).

9. Aston Martin DBS (Casino Royale, 2006)

This car has a defibrillator in the dash and medical kit along with a place to keep guns...aside from that it was beautiful and fast. It now holds the record for the most flips in a car crash sequence in a movie, which is seven. I want one...I want one...Santa?

8. Aston Martin Vanquish (Die Another Day, 2002)

When Aston Martin returned to the Bond series after the brief BMW interlude (?) it was the latest model, the 2002 Vantage. It came with familiar gadgets like an ejector seat, rocket launchers, machine guns and ice-spike tires, as well as a cloaking device that made the car invisible.

7. BMW 750iL (Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997)

The BMW 750iL may have seemed more sedate than the sports cars Bond had driven previously, but it was no less spectacular during a chase around a parking garage in Tomorrow Never Dies. While this car featured a sexy female talking onbaord computer, it also had rocket launchers, re-inflating tires, wire cutters, and a driving remote control which allowed 007 to drive from the comfort of the back seat. They went through nine of these cars in order to shoot the garage sequence.

6. Ford Mustang Mach-1 (Diamonds Are Forever, 1971)

007 gets to acrobatically drive an American muscle car for a change in 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever. Sean Connery took a massive Ford Mustang Mach-1 on a wild car chase with the cops in hot pursuit around the "The Strip" in Las Vegas. Bond flips the Mustang up onto two wheels to squeeze it through a narrow alleyway, but the film’s editors made a big boo-boo. A continuity error has the car entering the alleyway on one set of wheels, but emerging on the other side driving on the opposite pair...oops!

5. Toyota 2000GT (You Only Live Twice, 1967)

For filming in You Only Live Twice, Toyota supposedly cut the roof off of the high-performance sports car, the 1967 2000 GT. Apparently the roof had to be removed because Sean Connery couldn’t fit inside the coupĂ©; Aki drove the car. The gadgets included a TV, a cordless telephone and a voice-controlled stereo system.

4. Bentley Mark IV (From Russia With Love, 1963)

In the Ian Fleming novels, the Bentley Mark IV was James Bond's car of choice. Actually, Bentley never produced a car under this name. What is seen instead in From Russia With Love for instance is a Derby Bentley convertible briefly used for the purpose of bedding Miss Sylvia Trench. In Goldfinger, a Rolls was driven by Oddjob, Auric's driver, which was made of gold.

3. BMW Z8 (The World is Not Enough, 1999)

The BMW Z8 was driven by Pierce Brosnan and the retro-design paid homage to the famous BMW 507 roadster from 1956 (actually, in 1963, the first Bond girl Ursula Andress received a BMW 507 roadster as a gift from its first owner, Elvis Presley). Bond's version was fitted with surface-to-air missiles, a remote control device and six cup holders as "R" jokingly pointed out. In reality, the Z8 model was still in prototype form when the film was being shot, so the car seen onscreen is in fact a Shelby Cobra plastic kit car with specially-built BMW Z8 replica body panels. When the model came out for sale to the public (I test drove one) it had an undersized engine that did not make it very speedy in its first model year. By the second production year it had a beefed up engine that fit the sporty look of the car.

2. Lotus Esprit (The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977)

“Wet Nellie” is the second on the list; the sleek white Lotus Esprit with the ability to transform into a submarine at the flick of a switch. It is armed with surface-to-air missiles, depth charges, underwater sight screens and torpedoes. The Lotus Esprit was used again for the next film, For Your Eyes Only, but its self-destruction mechanism was triggered by bad guys when they attempted to get into it. Later, it was replaced by a red Lotus Esprit Turbo, but Lotus’s involvement in the Bond films ended after that. FYI: Someone last year actually developed and now markets a car that has the ability to convert into a submarine while driving!

1. Aston Martin DB5 (Goldfinger, 1964)

Ah...the ejector seat helped to make this gadget-laden car the most famous of the Bond vehicles and made it a movie icon as well. Sean Connery drove it in Goldfinger. Aside from the ejector seat, it has machine guns, an oil slick deployer, bullet-proof glass, rotating license plates and an early version of a GPS tracking device in the dashboard, remember? Connery originally opposed the use of these gadgets believing they would detract from the James Bond character's driving ability...but fortunately he did not win out on that one. The DB5 re-appeared in other Bond films, including Thunderball, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, and the Casino Royale. The Aston Martin DB7 was driven by George Lazenby in the movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Scenes featuring the car were cut from the final version of The World is Not Enough).


Vincetastic said...

Bond Master,

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Best Regards,

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