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The Name's Bond, James Bond

Jun 24, 2008
There aren't many men who don't see James Bond as their ultimate hero. Doing all those stunts in all those fantastic cars, writing them off as if they were bought from pocket money, making it all look so easy, getting the baddie and always, always, getting the most beautiful women in the film. Seeing a picture of James bond propped up on his car looking like a C & A advert is one look that your average man would do well to steer clear of though!

Tomorrow Never dies was a Bond film from the 1990's that saw a truly spectacular stunt from Pierce Brosnan as James Bond. For this film they used a BMW 750iL. This was the first four door car that bond had ever used - maybe they were thinking of turning him into a family man!

The BMW came to a messy end when it was involved in a car battle around a multi-storey car park, which was actually controlled from the back seat via a remote control. It may be every car manufacturers dream to have their vehicle in a bond movie but this cost them dearly - more than a dozen BMW's were wasted during filming.

The BMW was much more prestigious a vehicle than that which was used in for Your Eyes Only. A bright yellow Citroen 2CV was enlisted for it's famous suspension and the vehicle was seen careering down a mountain-side.

The Spy Who Loved Me showed us the mother of all futuristic cars with it's Lotus Esprit. Being chased by a helicopter, bond drives his vehicle into the sea and turns it, with the help of some mock up vehicles, into the world's first supercar submarine. The toys on this vehicle included rockets that could be launched from the engine bay (great for traffic jams!), depth charges (where would your average car be without these?) and an oil slick cloaking device that would have today's eco-warriors up in arms.

It took some geniuses in maths and science to work out that the corkscrew jump performed in The Man With The Golden Gun could really be done. And, in fact, it was. In one take. The aeronautical experts from Cornell University, New York, calculated that if the driver and vehicle together weighed exactly 1,460.06 kg and the distance between the ramps was to measure 15.86 metres, then the jump would be possible. A stunt driver used an AMC Hornet to perform the stunt in 1974 and it is still hailed as one of the best moves of any films.

Surprisingly the Aston Martin used in the 1964 Goldfinger movie has been held up as the ultimate Bond vehicle. The DB5 saw just a few minutes of action but is revered as the ultimate in cool action cars. Maybe it was the passenger ejector seat, retractable hub blades, bullet proof screen and oil slick gadgets that were unbeatable as a spymobil. Aston Martin were not that keen on the use of their car but eventually handed over two DB5's, one without gadgets and another to be worked on to install them.

I would imagine that the Aston Martin team are now pleased that they submitted and allowed the DB5 to become such an icon. How could it possibly be bad for any car manufacturer to have their product seen to be used by James Bond, of all people?
About the Author
Movie expert Catherine Harvey looks at the cars, including BMW that were used by spy, James Bond.
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