James Bond’s cars usually need some pretty extensive work by the end of the film, which is probably why comparison site MyCarNeedsA.com asked me too propose my top 5 Bond cars.
Obviously Aston Martin has to go in there, but how can I avoid only including Aston Martin cars?
Wet Nellie is almost as iconic as the DB5, so that is a must.
But although tempted by the BMW Z8 from The World In Not Enough I threw out the German car manufacturer completely.
Perhaps the Citroën 2CV from For Your Eyes Only? It’s a fun chase and an iconic car in its own right, but doesn’t really cut it as a Bond car.
After checking out this INSPECTRE infographic I pondered the topic a while, eventually coming to the following choices:
1. Aston Martin DB5
Is there any other choice for the top spot? The DB5 remains the quintessential James Bond car after its iconic introduction to the series in 1964 with Goldfinger. It is also the essential toy owned by boys both big and small, the Corgi version having long achieved classic status.
Returning for Thunderball a year later, the DB5 then dropped out of the series for a full three decades. The original car was famously fitted with an ejector seat, front machine guns, a rear bullet shield, tire slashers, revolving number plates and a smoke screen among the optional extras fitted by Q-Branch. Subsequent appearances have seen it equipped with a water jet and fax machine (remember those?). In Casino Royale Bond won a left hand drive DB5 at poker.
But finally, in Skyfall, the films went full circle with the ejector seat threatened and those machine guns put to good use against Silva and his men.
2. Lotus Esprit Turbo
While the DB5 is probably the first car that springs to mind in association with James Bond, the Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me fulfils the same function for the Roger Moore era. Seemingly cornered by a machine gun toting helicopter while in Sardinia, Bond drives the car straight into the Mediterranean.
At the flip of a switch it turns into a submarine and Bond deftly deals with the chopper using the car’s sea-to-air missiles.
3. Aston Martin DB10
Let’s just look at the facts here. The film makers wanted an Aston Martin for SPECTRE. But the Newport Pagnell-based auto manufacturer not only supplied ten cars for use in a car chase through Rome, they built a completely new model for the film!
Seven cars were damaged or written off during filming leaving three drivable. One of those has been kept by Aston Martin, another by EON Productions.
That leaves just a single example that will be auctioned for charity. That is almost the most exclusive car ever. Who in their right mind wouldn’t want one?
Not only is it extremely rare, it has a ton of great gadgets. A rear machine gun protrudes through the rear when the Aston Martin badge flips down, but remember to load it with ammo before heading off on your mission!
Got an evil henchman hot on your tail? Make him even hotter with the rear flame thrower.
And need to escape from the car fast? It has a nice spin on the old ejector seat too.
4. Toyota 2000GT convertible
What is it about James Bond and exclusive cars though? In You Only Live Twice Bond is driven in a 1967 Toyota 2000GT. It is far from standard though as it the cars provided for the film are the only convertibles manufactured. That’s right, the version seen on screen was sadly never available for sale.
Although the car had little in the way of gadgetry, it does have a video link over which Aki can speak to Tiger Tanaka and call in the Japanese Secret Service heavies.
However, that is not the reason for including the car in this list. It is the drop-dead beauty of the soft-top Toyota 2000GT that makes it worthy of inclusion but, at least in retrospect, a missed opportunity for Toyota.
5. Moon Buggy
Photo: MGM/EON Productions
Maybe this is cheating a little but Diamonds Are Forever doesn’t get much love these days. The film is closer to Roger Moore era camp than the Sean Connery’s earlier Ian Fleming-based Bond films, but it still has its moments.
Having discarded a number of other cars that almost made the grade, including all the BMWs from the Pierce Brosnan era, I did consider Tiffany Cases’s Ford Mustang. It’s a great car, another classic, but I’m going to rule it out because they messed up the continuity of that stunt so badly. And there is no way an invisible car is going to make it to my list.
Instead I propose the moon buggy used by 007 to escape from Willard Whyte’s Space Labs.
Originally designed to be used on the flat, the moon buggy had no suspension according to this article. The result was a wheel fell off during filming, which can be seen on screen during the chase. But it is still memorable and an unusual mode of transport, even if it is stretching things a bit to call it a car.
That’s my five, let me know what you think of those choices in the comments below.
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