Top Ten 007 Cars

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After a recent announcement by Daniel Craig that he will be starring in the 25th 007 film, here is our top ten favourite Bond cars of the silver screen.

10) Renault 11 – View to a Kill

A magnificent stunt in a largely dreadful Bond film, and one that delighted Renault’s PR department. Three 11s were used by L’équipe Rémy Julienne - one that was bisected, one sans roof and a complete model. Note also how Roger’s double for the driving scenes does resemble a young Vladimir Putin rather than 007.

9) AMC Hornet X – The Man with the Golden Gun

Why have I not given a higher rating to the Bond adventure in which a Hornet is the star of the world’s first cinematic astro spiral stunt? For one, Roger Moore looks so ill-at-ease in several scenes and a PR shot shows him looking equally unenthusiastic about the AMC product placement. However, my main reason is the stupid whistle dubbed over this ground-breaking stunt that was completed in just one take!

8) Triumph Stag – Diamonds Are Forever

Only a cameo role (and with an overdubbed Herald engine note) but splendid publicity for Triumph’s last open-topped Grand Tourer.

7) Citroen 2CV6 – For Your Eyes Only

On occasion, 007 demonstrates his prowess behind the wheel, rather than rely on Q’s gadgetry and this is the finest example. Yes, the Citroen was fitted had a GS engine but it is still one of the most entreating chases of any Bond film – ‘‘I love a drive in the country. Don’t you?’

6) Sunbeam Alpine Series II – Dr. No

The first Bond car, hired at a daily rate of 15/- and the star of a chase so wonderfully inept it could have been in an episode of The Saint. The editing between Jamaica locations and the Pinewood mock-up is blatant, the villains’ La Salle hearse turns into a Humber Super Snipe mid-crash and the back-projection looks as though it has a mind of its own.

5) Mercury Cougar XR-7 – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

The Mercury is the property of Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo, the future Mrs. Tracy Bond who is played by the sublime Diana Rigg. Underrated for many years, OHMSS is now a favourite of many enthusiasts and the scene at the ice rink is just one sublime moment in a seminal Bond picture. ‘This never happened to the other feller’.

4) AEC Regent III - Live and Let Die

Nice theme song, courtesy of Wings, but shame about the film. Asides from Paul McCartney’s music, Live and Let Die is worth viewing for the bus chase sequence in which Roger undertook some of his own driving. If only Scaramanga had employed Arthur and Blakey as his sidekicks – ‘I ‘ate you, Bond!’

3) Toyota 2000GT – You Only Live Twice

007 is a passenger in the set-piece chase scene in which over-acting stunt men in a black Crown saloon singularly fail to defeat our hero. When You Only Live Twice first went on general release in the UK, few cinemagoers would have been familiar with the Toyota marque so the impact of the white 2000GT cannot be underestimated.

2) Lotus Esprit – The Spy Who Loved Me

‘Right, now pay attention 007, I want you to take great care of this equipment. There are one or two rather special accessories’. Roger Moore’s third and finest outing as Bond in which actor and car were perfectly matched.

1) Aston Martin DB5 - Goldfinger

The moment when Desmond Llewellyn uttered the immortal words ‘Now, pay attention, please. Windscreen - bulletproof. As are the side and the rear windows. Revolving number plates, naturally. Valid - all countries’ - marked the point when the Bond cinema franchise acquired its own identity. The Aston Martin DB5’s screen time in Goldfingermay have been comparatively limited but its impact inspired generations of filmgoers.