The only Jag in a Bond film that I can recall is the green XK from that terrible film "Die Another Day"... I prefer the Vanquish that Brosnan bombed around in in that outing though so he chose the right one.
What car should James Bond really drive? It's a hotly disputed question. Our man on film is closely associated with the Aston Martin, the DB5 initially and DBS V12 of late. Clearly the producers of recent Bond outings hope to identify their character with the spirit of an earlier time regarded as iconic and special. And they …
The first Esprits weren't turbo's, and the 750 they started filming with was such a steaming pile of excrement that BMW snuck in a 740 8 cylinder for the rest of the recording. Although the 8 cylinder Beamers are just an ever so slightly less steaming pile of excrement, at least they kept going.
I personally felt CR earned one of it's downticks for that travesty alone. I mean...Jimmy Bond...in a rented Mundane-o...that isn't being crashed, riddle with bullets or being driven like it was stolen (usually by him).
And I hear the next one means ditching his vodka martini's for...of all things...a Heineken. FFS.
That film was ruined by Fords being shoehorned in to inappropriate areas (amongst other things); the only good things were the beautiful beautiful Alfa 159s used by the bad guys. It's funny how Hollywood, err Pinewood, always makes the good guys so wet you end up rooting for the other side!
Ford owned Aston at the time, so it made sense for them to shoehorn in their new cars.
This is why the likes of Die Another Day everyone had a Ford (eg. Thunderbird), Jag or Range Rover - all owned by Ford at the time.
In Quantum of Solace he was even being driven around in some sort of Ka.
A Mondeo would actually probably be quite apt - big size and reasonable power, yet conspicuous enough to be anonymous (as per the Arctic Monkeys 'When the sun goes down')...
The bmw era was poor in terms of blatant product placement. The Z3 was a bit of a girly car, the 7 was a CEO-wagon and the Z8 wasn't ready so it was a kit car on a Corvette. Mind Dalton drove an Audi at one point too.
The BBC are usually good at car casting - the good guys usually drive Alfas!
Front bumper? I remember the DB5 model that had machine guns and whatnot that popped out the front when you pressed a button. The Vestas-launcher that I remember was the white Esprit that had rocket launchers in the rear windscreen (and the little plastic rockets got lost so got replaced by matches)
I still have my Esprit sub-car held in the box with the undertray clip, all the missiles present. It got played with, but was garaged at the end of each 'mission'...
It's that "played with" bit that upsets proper collectors cos they want the missiles still fixed to the molding stem. Boring sods.
"....a Sunbeam Alpine, in Dr No." Yes and no. It is the first car Bond does a chase in, but it is not his own car, merely supposed to be a rental. IIRC, it was borrowed from a local resident as the only sportscar available on the island for filming! The first car that is identified as Bond's own is the Bentley, very briefly in "From Russia With Love", and the first "Q" car is the Aston in "Goldfinger".
No way should an e-type been used.
IMHO, an e-type is or was a pretty celeb car. Its too fashionable and pretty for a hard nosed spy. Yes it is one of the most fantastic gorgeous cars ever made, but never a spy car. The Aston has strength, punch, hardness and raw manliness about it. Image wise, it can take a bullet. An e-type would cry if its make up was smudged. The Aston was and still is a much more suitable for a Bond.
In fact, I'd say the e-type suits Austin Powers perfectly. The Aston suits Bond.
Summary of conclusion: "My recommendation: Never use the phrase yourself — use 'assume the conclusion' or 'raise the question', depending on what you mean — and cultivate an attitude of serene detachment in the face of its use by others."
"Serene detachment" - doesn't that sound nice?
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"The silver-birch DB5 only appeared on screen for about ten minutes in Goldfinger but it has become completely synonymous with the character "
You don't suppose that the addition of the ejector seat (which I assume is not listed as an option in the DB5 price list) might have had something to do with it?
N.b. I also had one of the Corgi cars - on mine it was the ejector seat that kept jamming + I suspec that the small plastic "Oddjob" probably got lost fairly quickly as well. Strangely, until they brought the DB5 back in Casino Royale I'd had the idea that it was a bronze rather than silver! Can't remember the details but I've got a feeling that I might have given mine a new paint job at some point!
Many years ago I went to see Desmond L. do a theatre show ("an evening with" kind of format, just him talking) about his role as Q. He had along some of the original gadgets, including the briefcase from "From Russia with Love" - looking rather battered. He explained that he himself knew squit-all about technology; he also explained how some of the gadgets - at least in the early films - were actual commercial products. And he said that he particularly liked the ejector seat - because it was a late addition. He'd already completed his filming, when he got a call back to the studio to do the ejector seat - so an extra day's work.
I saw one in the VIP Parking area of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway two years ago for Pole Day. A crowd had gathered and they were drooling, politely behind the ropes, at an immaculate DB5 and a new Maseratti Gran Turismo. The rest of the cars, including a new Ferrari, were largely ignored.
Had you been at Leatherhead B&Q in the early 90's you'd have seen an even more incongruous sight - my father, in the process of building a brick wall in the garden at home, ran out of cement. Being a logical sort of chap, he took the most suitable car he owned for the job off to buy some more. Since his DB5 drophead Vantage (one of only 12) had a lower boot sill than the family estate, a Peugeot 504, he took the Aston for ease of loading.
More recently, at a car show, we had to change my baby daughter's nappy, and I'm afraid the low, flat boot floor was pressed into service once again - possibly the most expensive changing mat in history. And the quickest too - the Vantage engine (nowadays) gives a genuine 300bhp and 300 lb/ft of torque.
".....Bond never drove a half 2CV....." Not quite. A souped-up 2CV with a 4-cylinder engine was hilariously used in "For Your Eyes Only" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvJp1X3qiog) after the over-engineered theft-prevention system on the Esprit Turbo blew it up! However, having driven a few 2CVs and the awful Mehari "Jeep" version (courtesy of the Fwench Marines - vive le difference!), I can confidantly state it would not have survived half the crashes in the chase scene as the buggers had a nasty habit of folding in the middle! The Renault 11 was in "View To A Kill", when Bond was chasing the paragliding Grace Jones after she assassinated his contact at the Eifel Tower, and it did accurately reflect Renault's build quality when it took one tap and split in two.
I've met the owner of one of the Bond 2CVs - not the special edition, but the ones used for the chase in the film. Basically a standard 2CV, but with the 4-cylinder GS engine and a hydraulically operated arrester hook underneath to catch a wire if a jump had to be aborted..
I had a standard 2CV myself. They are extremely tough cars.
Ian Johnston wrote :-
"I had a standard 2CV myself. They are extremely tough cars."
Believe it or not, someone in the Hotwells area of Bristol made a stretch limo out of 2CVs. I used to see it around there and in the Bedminster area about 10 years ago. I think it had 6 doors. Looked hilarious.
For some time there was the back half of a 2CV, presumably a left-over, in a public car park near the Nova Scotia pub. The chassis members stuck out forward and I was always suprised when I passed to see that no yobbos had yet wheeled it like a hand cart into the nearby Cumberland Basin. Perhaps they did in the end.
Hmm. A well-maintained E-type will still hit sixty in under seven seconds and go on to 150mph, pretty-much identical to a current-generation Focus ST. OK, race them round a twisty course in the wet and there'll be no contest, but give it a dry drag race and there'll be a lot less dust eaten than you might expect. Pretty sweet given the damn thing's probably 45 years old.
As you say, though, in terms of price, fuel economy, carrying capacity, general running costs, safety, recycle-ability...
Does make you think, though... your typical passenger car in 2050 will no doubt have the performance of a Veyron and the fuel economy of a bicycle.
I had the use of an 3.8 E-type for about a month. It's cool and sticks to the road like s**t to a blanket.
Took it for a cruise up the King's Rd, it had to be done :)
As for the 2CV, they will get you where even a 4x4 will have trouble. I drove one from London to Israel. Got it up roadless mountains and over coral sand beaches. When they get stuck in sand you only need a piece of 3x2 about 30" long and a rock to lever the wheels up. No jack needed.
Also you can fix a puncture with two small motorbike tyre levers in an hour. I had about ten patches on every tube and some on the inner tyre walls by the time I'd finished. Perfect for spying off the beaten track.
... until GM bean counters started to insist they rebadge generic stuff (which they didn't really do to a great extent - SAAB were always engineer-led).
Original 900 Turbo is still a quick and quirky thing - folks will always mention the ignition key down in the centre console, but they had other thoughtful ideas like proper drain taps in the heating system; beats undoing a jubilee clip, yanking off a hose and dodging coolant like on Cavaliers...
The 9000 was a button-fest inside, joint project with FIAT for the Chroma and Alfa 166. Of course, being SAAB they didn't just stop at swapping in their own engines, but out of that trio Bond would surely be better suited to a 3.0 V6 Alfa 166... if only Alfa's iconic GTV6 hadn't already been seen elsewhere.
MrT wrote :-
"Original 900 Turbo .... had other thoughtful ideas like proper drain taps in the heating system; beats undoing a jubilee clip, yanking off a hose and dodging coolant like on Cavaliers..."
Why single out Cavaliers? Tell me of any car that now has drain taps - I'm not saying there aren't any, I just don't know of any; Rolls Royce perhaps.
For some years I would solder a drain tap onto any car I had, but then they stopped me doing that with plastic headers.
It's the GM connection, since the later 900 model was built on Cavalier-C/Vectra-A platform. Same model name as the earlier 900 but a gradual degradation of the SAAB DNA, even if their engineers tried their best to avoid assymilation. I've owned Cavs (B and C) and tinkered with 900s of pre and post GM acquisition, so it's familiarity and because the two are cousins in part.
There is the old anecdote that Saab did away with so much of the GM platform, that GMs beancounters were horrified. Heck the mk3 Cavalier wasn't even that bad a car!
The kind of people who diss Saabs are likely those for whom anything more interesting than a fleet-leased A3 diesel is scoffed at. (Dalton drove a 100, back when they were interesting, like a German Saab/Citroen).
... IIRC that was the one that had it's Cd figure in a badge on the rear three-quarter glass (0.30 or so).
My "most intesting cars" garage would include a SAAB, but probably a 99 Turbo, or maybe one of the very last 9-5s which were starting to look good after the 'spectacle' phase.
But then again I'd also have a Citroen DS23 (or SM if I had plenty of spare change), but also a Xantia Activa. To keep with the old/new theme I'd also buy the best Firenza I could (Droopsnoot would be perfect - saw one go for 13k last year, fond memories of my own non-DS '75 model) and also an Astra 888 Coupe. Plus a Golf Mk1 cabrio and Corrado G60.
The list could go on... Of course everyone has their own opinion of what they'd include. And they'd all be right for one reason or another :-)
.. at least not since the UK had "two Jags" Prescott - can't get that association out of my head.
Wasn't it the new version of Casino Royal where Bond gets a DBS to play with (why oh why do they always have to wreck those cars :( )? Personally, I like that one best (although I'd spend that dosh on an RS5 with the new V8 - less prestige but at least the fuel bill is survivable and it feeds all that power into 4 wheels).
The Aston Martin design has been copied extensively, ironically starting with Jaguar - you can even see serious touches of it in the S5 series from Audi. However, what I never liked was Bond in a Beemer. That just did not work *at all*.
Hardly surprising. David Brown was not as financially adept as William Lyons and probably never considered what he could have sold the cars for.
When Astons changed hands recently, it was remarked at the time that it was the first time in the firm's history that it had been sold as a going concern, as opposed to being rescued from bankruptcy. As an illustration of the problems behind this, a short tale was related:
David Brown showed Clark Gable around the Aston factory and at the end of the tour, Gable said:
"Thank you Mr Brown, that was most interesting and I'd actually like to buy one of your cars. However, as the association with my name will obviously be of great benefit to your company, I am not prepared to pay any more than the cost price."
Brown's response was; "Thank you Mr Gable, that's very generous of you. Most of our clients pay around a thousand pounds less than that.".......
the chance to rip up the road in a Caterham 7? Or a Lotus 7 for that. In British Racing Green with a yellow intake shroud. And a thumping trumpet, bass and percussion track too as he drives into the secret underground entrance of MI6 to hand in his resignat... hang on, gone off on a wrong track here I think. ;-)
Icon: Vote for Number 6.
The car in the films isn't actually a DB5 - it's a works special, originally a Series 5 DB4 Vantage, modified as a DB5 prototype. And Goldfinger wasn't its first appearance; it was used in an episode of the Saint ("The Noble Sportsman", Jan 1963) first, and the same chassis was in Goldfinger, Thunderball and... the Cannonball Run (yes, it really _was_ Sean Connery's car that Roger Moore was messing around in...)
While those "English" cars are nice, I prefer good German engineering in the form of a nice Porsche 356 (the 1964 Carrera 2 liter one is pretty good). My dad had to settle for a 356SC. It was a convertible, and quite nice. Unfortunately, he did total it, but saved all the nice parts for his "other" car the one from two years before. Four wheel disk brakes with a nice independent rear suspension, and it does preform quite nicely, even if limited by a small (90 HP or so) engine. Unfortunately the local highway patrol doesn't take nicely to driving with the top down at 90 MPH (I believe it was a full moon as well). It was nice until the red lights from the rear spoiled it (it was 1971 or so).
Ah, the 60's. As the saying goes: If you remember the 60's, you weren't really there.
"..... I prefer good German engineering...." I'm always amused by Septics that trot out that line without ever actually having looked at the alternatives. The Porsche 356 was as toy compared to comparable British sportscar. My favourite is the Septic enthusiams for the BMW 2002, a car which in the UK was completely shown up by the Triumph Dolomite Sprint which also cost a lot less! In America, the 2002 was lauded as "amazingly good" and went on to form the basis for BMW's rise to a leader in luxury saloons. Now, if only the unions had STFU in the UK the Spetics would all be hankering to driving Triumphs and Jags rather than BMWs and Mercedes.
"....in the form of a nice Porsche 356...." The 356 would not have been plausible as it did not have the grunt to carry the bulletproofing and gadgets without being reduced to the pace of its VW Beatle progenitor. The DB5 did.
It wasn't the unions, it was idiotic design decisions and underinvestment. German cars were expected to get from A to B without needing attention by AA in the middle. I have absolutely no nostalgia for British cars. I drove my last one in 1989 whereupon my company went German and I was never roadsided in the next 50000 miles.
"It wasn't the unions....." Yes it was. British managers were spending ten times as much effort and money on dealing with the idiotically self-destructive unions compared to their German counters, despite the German workers being lower paid! The unions destroyed British industry and stupidly put themselves out of jobs.
Apart from Jensen not being seen as a gentleman's car producer, the proper Inteceptor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jensen_Interceptor) came much later by which time the Aston was the established Bond car, usually had a soggy automatic box, and an American engine better at making noise than real progress. The '50s Interceptor was just plain ugly (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jensen_Interceptor_%281950%29). The Astons had a long tradition of being rich boys' toys going back to the pre-War days which also made them a good choice. The later Jensen FF (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jensen_FF) was interesting and innovative but also spent most of the time falling to bits. Now, if you had said the little-known Jensen 541R from the '50s I would have more support for such a suggestion as the 541R was not only brutally fast but actually looked like it would eat slower cars that got in its way!
I love the E-type Series 1 coupe - it's stunning. Just stunning. But for Bond, it's a little, well, gauche.
The DB5 is almost as perfect to look at as a DB4 and just so much more restrained than the E. No modern cars seem to match the elegance of the DB4/5.
The Lotus was undoubtedly very Roger Moore, but it wasn't very Bond. The first Turbos are to this day still very intense looking cars too.
There was an article in Autocar about 15 years ago on the original Autocar & Motor (as I think it was) test on the E Type. The test car did get to 150mph but it had been tweaked and was not standard. According to the article, Jaguar admitted this but not until many years later.
Not that it matters, it was an absolute stunner no matter how fast it went.
A couple of years ago, my wife bought me a track day driving classic Le Mans cars, including a DB6 Vantage and an E-type.
The E-type was like driving a lorry! The clutch was heavy, the gearbox obstructive, and the steering so over-assisted, it felt like you were driving on ice! Totally devoid of any feedback or feeling whatsoever! The brakes were also viciously over-assisted!
In contrast, the DB6 was perfection! Everything fell perfectly to hand, the clutch was smooth, the gearbox a delight, and it *communicated* with you! You always knew exactly where you were with it - a real thoroughbred!
I also got to drive a D-type! It was a total contrast to the E-type, and an infinitely better car to drive!
OK, all these cars were track-day hacks, that had probably been flogged within an inch of their lives, but even that could not hide the sheer thoroughbred nature of the DB6. It was a joy to drive.
I know which I'm buying if my lottery numbers ever come up.....!!!
"....The E-type was like driving a lorry!...." I suspect you drove one of the later V-12 cars as the straight-six model was actually the nicest handler. The early 3.8-litre cars had a shorter wheelbase which helped the cornering, and the later cars had their suspension jacked up to bring the bumpers up to the height required for American regulations. The ones for American markets usually have big rubber blocks as front bumpers and do not have headlight covers. The 3.8s have a lot less power but are much better through the twisty bits, but the big 5.3-litre V-12 will outdrag even many modern sportscars and most sports saloons. I had an uncle that had a two-seat 3.8 coupe which he used almost daily for ten years before he upgraded to a 5.3 covertible in the early '70s, drove it for a week, then went back to the Jaguar showroom and asked for his 3.8 back! TBH, it was probably the prettiest car I've ever seen, but was a real wolf-in-showdog's-clothing, being capable of being seriously quick! Unfortunately, when my uncle died, his wife sold it to an exporter before I could scrape toegther the cash to buy it off her, and it went to Vegas. Probably a fitting environment for such a pretty car.
Funny that nearly everyone seems to forget that in two James Bond movies with Timoty Dalton Audi was the official James Bonds car.
It was an Audi 200 limousine and an Audi 200 Avant, both pre model 1988 face lift cars.
In the movie with Rutger Hauer (and the blonde with the violin) an Audi V8 was used.
An similar looking Audi 100 can be picked up for little money.... and is an excellent daily driver.
".....and the blonde with the violin...." Que? Do you mean Maryam d'Abo and her Strad cello in "The Living Daylights"? That was the film that saw the Aston return as Bond's car, in the form of the V8 Vantage. The Audis were incidental cars thrown in and not Bond cars.
".....In the movie with Rutger Hauer....." AFAIK, Rutger has not appeared in any Bond movies. Do you mean Klaus Maria Brandauer in "For Your Eyes Only", which had the very short appearance fo the Lotur Esprit Turbo, or maybe Christopher Walken in "A View To A Kill", which did not have a Bond car?
I just spent some time destroying tyres in a new RS 5 doing 4 wheel drifts (the one with the same V8 and 40/60 4 wheel drive as the R8). It is very clear that the Audi 5 design has been inspired by the classic Aston Martin DB5 lines, but debadged this is probably the best hidden road monster you can get your hands on - it is good looking, but you can close the exhaust valves so it sounds almost normal - until you put your foot down and simply *vanish*. I *love* invisible power - no shouting, no bling, all gun metal gray and black. Yum.
Being Teutonic it will fail as miserably in iconic value as a BMW (can't beat an Aston for elegance and standing, sorry), but in a chase this silly thing will beat the living cr*p out of any Aston whilst giving the driver serious fun in the process. As its V8 redlines somewhere close to 9000 RPM it must also be great for the movie sound engineers - it is worryingly inviting :).
If I had the dosh I'd buy the RS 5 first - and only then the DB9, which I personally like the best..
".....it will fail as miserably in iconic value as a BMW....." TBH, I think the BMWs have got progressively uglier over the last decade, and the Audis have gradually cast off their staid designs and got a bit sportier. The A5 Sportback is probably the handsomest fastback saloon around at the moment, and far more appealling than any current BMW.
"Sorry.. i can't stop it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLZp68YwkVs&feature=watch_response
Audi 200 quattro was a Bond car, enjoy the 5-cylinder sound... :-)"
Sorry, but nil points for you! The Audi in "the Living Daylights" is not a Bond car, it is actually the car belonging to Bond's MI6 contact in Bratislava, Saunders. Back to Bond School for you, I'm afriad!
You are right, at least in both movies Timoty Dalton was driving Audi's 200's quite prominently. Still much better than the Ford Mondeo seen in one of the more recent movies.
Officially announced JB cars are out of my league. Most Aston Martins will require 5 digits in any currency for a tune-up at the friendly dealership....
A high-school friend of mine worked as a reporter for the Daily-American in Somerset, Pennsylvania, USA. One Saturday morning in the fall of 1965 he called me to rush over to his house.
We went to a local towing-company garage, and there was most of the DB5 stunt car! The guy on duty said that when the car was towed in the driver yelled "Nobody hears about this!" and ran off to find a pay phone; of course the mechanic called in the local paper.
The roof panel was open, the ejection seat popped up, guns and axle knives hanging out, license plate loose. Apparently somebody's brother/nephew/partner convinced the front office the vehicle might be damaged by the shipping company, so he'd drive it back from the New York World's Fair to California. He managed to stuff it into the back of a tractor trailer after only about 300 miles, so he may have just kept running.
I still have a paint chip from the car. I'll have to ask my friend if he has any of the photos he took, but I doubt it. It wasn't all that important to a couple of teenagers, just interesting.
And my wife's CVT Jeep Patriot can probably outrun it, at least out here where the roads are twisty and hilly.
Somewhere in the toy box from my youth I still have the Scalextric slot car set from Goldfinger. It is complete with the rock in the middle of the track to trigger the ejector seat on the Aston Martin DB5. The original passanger is still there. The Black Mercedes is there as well. I still bring the slotcar set out every now and then and set it up and play (especially when I have friends over for drinks and to watch the F1 or V8s).
I also currently drive an E38 series 740iL (1998 model, 3rd owner, 285000 km) . It is still as solid as the day it was made. A mate has a 750iL that has over 300000km on the clock and it is still smooth and quick.
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