007's Cars Are Also Stars
Since the early '60s, no one has driven cooler automobiles than 007. We take a look at the rides that defined Bond style.
The metallic silver birch Aston Martin DB5 is synonymous with James Bond. Sadly, the original Goldfinger (1964) DB5 was stolen from a private collection in 1997 and still hasn't been recovered.
In 20 films, whether personified by Sean Connery or Roger Moore or Timothy Dalton or Pierce Brosnan, James Bond has shown driving moves that would make NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon salivate. Like everything else he does, Bond is smooth behind the wheel.
The difference between the two men (okay, besides the fact that Gordon isn't speeding through populated metropolises, trying to chase or escape bad guys) has to be the cars. Since the early '60s, no one has driven cooler automobiles than 007. All of them mirror—and enhance—Bond's sex appeal, while making the car chase sequences extraordinary eye candy for moviegoers. Oh, and then there are the gadgets: Once NASCAR starts equipping their race cars with oil slick devices or ejector seats—then we'll start debating.
There have been approximately 150 different types of vehicles featured in James Bond films over the past four decades (no, 007 hasn't driven them all). Let's take a look at some of the high-profile machinery that helped shape James Bond's legendary image.
- Aston Martin DB5—James Bond's signature car was first written about by author Ian Fleming in the novel Goldfinger, and then featured in the film of the same name in 1964. Metallic silver birch in color, the tiny sports car is synonymous with Bond. When it first makes its appearance in Goldfinger, Q-Branch has tinkered with the vehicle, making it a mobile weapon as well as a 330-horsepower getaway car. It contains two machine guns that emerge from behind the parking lights; rotating license plates; smoke screen capabilities; oil slick discharger from taillights; passenger ejector seat; spikes deployable from the side of the taillights; bulletproof windows; tire cutters in the wheels (a personal favorite); and a car phone. All of these devices are controlled from a panel near 007's fingertips. The DB5 made three subsequent appearances in Bond films. In 1965 it appeared in the pre-title sequence for Thunderball, this time sporting a bulletproof steel plate over the rear window and two flashy water cannons firing streams of spray at gangsters outside Paris. The car was retired for thirty years before being pulled out of storage in GoldenEye (1995) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). Sadly, the original Goldfinger DB5 was stolen from a private collection in '97 and still hasn't been recovered.
- Aston Martin Vantage/Volante V8—Both models are seen in The Living Daylights (1987). They are often used on ice, so the tires come equipped with spikes to keep the car on track. For gadgetry, the car has rocket drive, rocket launchers, wheel-mounted lasers and a self-destruct button.
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