Licensed To Thrill

Posted on: 26 September 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

What's your favourite James Bond car?

The new James Bond film Quantum of Solace is set for release in cinemas on the 31st October and to celebrate the new film, Octane magazine have assembled the largest number of genuine 007 cars ever photographed in one location.

Quantum of Solace will be the 22nd film in the 007 series and sees the return of Daniel Craig as the spy with a license to kill in his Aston Martin DBS.

Pooled from museums and private collectors, the priceless cast of vehicles are responsible for providing some of the most jaw-dropping and imaginative chase scenes ever captured on film; from a rocket-firing Aston Martin battling on a frozen lake, to a Lotus Espirit that can drive under water, right through to a 29bhp yellow Citroen 2CV that outran a fleet of henchmen - despite rollovers and several airborne excursions.

Photographing the precious cast of MI6 transport history fell to diehard Bond fan, George Bamford. The son of JCB owner, Sir Anthony Bamford, used his father’s factory and its vast facilities to provide some stunning and explosive backdrops.

Octane magazine has dedicated 19 pages of its November issue to feature nine of the actual cars that have helped to define Bond over his 46 years of cinematography.

The feature also reveals in great detail the commercial and often political reasons why certain models were used in their respective films and gives a unique insight into how some of the incredible stunts were achieved and their effects on the vehicles themselves.

Four Of The Cars Featured Are:

Aston Martin DB5

Featured in: Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965)

‘Ejector seat, you’re joking!’ Sean Connery’s 007 gasped. ‘I never joke about my work,’ Q humourlessly responded. It was in this moment that Bond, Q, and MI6’s Aston Martin DB5 were cemented into popular culture.

Aston Martin DB5The DB5 may have been chosen because it was the newest British sports car on the block but it remains fondly remembered thanks to its huge array of built-in armoury.

The car pictured was used in publicity for Goldfinger and was the actual film car from Thunderball.

Toyota 2000GT

Featured in: You Only Live Twice (1967)

Though 007 had more fun in this film piloting a gyrocopter called Little Nellie, the Japanese setting of this film called for an exotic vehicle hailing from the east.

Toyota 2000GTThe stunning 2000GT was never commercially available as a convertible; its open-top version came about when Sean Connery couldn’t comfortably fit in the standard coupe.

Toyota’s influence extended beyond the leading car – it supplied chrome-laden Crown saloons for evil villain Osato’s henchmen to look threatening in. One of which ended up on the end of an electro-magnet, suspended from a CH-47 helicopter before being dropped into Tokyo Bay.

Lotus Esprit S1

Featured In: The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

Lotus Espirit S1Probably second in terms of fame to the Aston Martin DB5. Bond’s Lotus became the stuff of dreams while attempting to evade a chasing, machine gun-toting Jet Ranger helicopter, 007 drove it straight off a pier only for the British-built car to transform into a submarine car.

Six models were used to create the land-to-sea transformation – including a full-sized car and a fully functioning three-foot long remote control submersible.

Citroën 2CV

Featured In: For Your Eyes Only (1981)

Perhaps the most unlikely Bond car ever, 007 was forced to use the banana yellow 2CV when his first Lotus Esprit Turbo perished. Roger Moore’s eyebrows went into overdrive when he first clapped eyes on it – 29bhp from 210 is a fair downgrade…

Citroen 2CVDespite a series of rollovers and airborne excursions, Bond managed to escape a pair of Peugeot 504s driven by Hector Gonzales’ henchmen which was undoubtedly the star-turn of the film.

The original car from the film is probably a thousand bean cans now (they destroyed six in total), but the 2CV in the picture was an honoured guest at the film’s Paris premiere.

Aston Martin Vanquish

Featured In: Die Another Day (2002)

Though Aston’s new monster, V12-engined DBS is the choice of Daniel Craig’s Bond, his £160,000 super company car is destroyed in both Casino Royale and the new film, Quantum of Solace.

Aston Martin VanquishBut appealing as the DBS, it lacks the Bond gadget appeal of the Vanquish used in Die Another Day.

Pierce Brosnan’s final appearance as 007 saw him drop the BMW company cars of the last three films for a car with a cloaking device and more fire power than an army.

Aston Martin supplied a pair of Vanquishes for the film; one of which featured a trick gearbox that meant it could run faster backwards than it could going forwards – a feature it used to great effect during the chase filmed on a frozen lake.

Four other cars are featured in depth in the magazine including the Aston DBS (1960s) from On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), Lotus Esprit Turbo from For Your Eyes Only (1981), Aston Martin V8 from The Living Daylights (1987) and Aston DBS from Quantum of Solace (2008) and Casino Royale (2006).

The entire cast of Bond cars features in the November issue of Octane, on sale September 24.

Which Bond car is best? Which Bond car-chase scene is the best?

Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below. 

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