DEC 05th 2014

Thank Frankel it's Friday: The best and worst of Bond cars

By now you will know that for his 24th outing, James Bond’s company car will be an Aston Martin DB10, a car that does not and, we are assured will not venture beyond the world of Eon Productions and as such will never be offered for sale.

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How far the world’s least secret secret agent has travelled. This top ten (in no particular order…) trawls through some of the lesser known highs and lows of Bond’s personal transport solutions of the last half century or so reveals… 


1. Car: Bentley 4.5-litres, supercharged.

Seen: In Ian Fleming’s first Bond book, Casino Royale, published 1953

Thought Bond was an Aston man? Think again: Fleming first put him in a Bentley, but by the time the films were made, Bentleys were rebadged Rolls-Royces and Astons the coolest things on wheels. Upon the release of Spectre, half of all Bond films will have featured Aston Martins.

2. Car: Triumph Stag

Seen: Diamonds Are Forever, 1971

OK, he’s only driving it because he’s pretending to be someone else, but there are limits. Could Eon not have persuaded Leyland to lend an E-type convertible? It would have been a great deal cooler and almost certainly rather more reliable.


3. Car: Renault 11

Seen: A View to a Kill, 1985

It is perhaps only appropriate that the very worst car Bond ever drove was in the very worst film in which he ever appeared. You’ll remember wondering how it was still able to propel itself once it had been torn in half, bearing in mind the bit that went missing contained the fuel tank…


4. Car: Alfa Romeo GTV6

Seen: Octopussy, 1983

Actually a very cool choice and I think the only Italian car Bond ever drove on screen, though I invite you to prove me wrong. Great looks and a fabulous V6 motor and unlike any GTV6 I drove it wants to go sideways everywhere which just goes to show you can’t believe everything you see in the movies.


5. Car: AMC Hornet

Seen: The man with the Golden Gun, 1974

Not as bad as Pacer or Gremlin but by Bond standards still right out of the bottom drawer. This is the car in which Bond and Sheriff JW Pepper perform an aerobatic river crossing complete with a full roll. The crew prepared for every eventuality but thanks to some bright boffin getting his sums right, the car performed the stunt exactly as seen and to complete perfection the very first time.


6. Car: BMW Z3

Seen: Goldeneye, 1995

The only saving grace with this car was that, despite being Bond’s official car ‘with all the usual refinements’, its appearance in the film is of the blink and you’ll miss it variety. Never took part in a car chase presumably because it would never have been be able to get away from the bad guys. Still perhaps more appropriate than the 750iL seen in Tomorrow Never Dies.


7. Car (well, van): Leyland Sherpa

Seen: The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977

Despite being largely eaten by Jaws and having all its wheels pointing in different directions, was still able to drive Bond and Barbara Bach away from the evil clutches of the metal-mouthed monster. Worth watching for the least convincing diagnosis of head gasket failure ever filmed.


8. Car: Saab 900 Turbo

Seen: In John Gardner’s The Man From Barbarossa, 1991

Gardner was clearly a Saab fan because Bond kept on turning up in them in his novels. Not a bad car, but a curious choice for a British alpha-male spy. Front drive, lots of lag and a gearbox that could eat itself if you changed gear too fast – not ideal getaway material for an oversteer-addicted secret agent.


9. Car: Citroen 2CV6

Seen: For Your Eyes Only, 1981

Far, far cooler than it’s given credit for, especially as it was fitted with a 1015cc engine from the GS, so able perhaps still a little implausibly to outrun the bad guys in their Peugeot 504s. Sired a special edition complete with stuck on gunshot holes.


10. Car: Renault 5 Turbo 2

Seen: Never Say Never Again, 1984

OK, this wasn’t an official Bond film and Bond didn’t even drive it, but I’ve always regarded this as the coolest car ever to appear in a Bond film and the fact it was driven by the hilariously dressed Barbara Carrera made it all the more appealing.


Which is your favourite 'forgotten' Bond car?

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