Saturday, 28 February 2015

THE CARS OF JAMES BOND - PART TWO



LIVE AND LET DIE: 1947 AEC REGENT III LONDON BUS/1963 CHEVROLET IMPALA CONVERTIBLE/MINI MOKE
(ABOVE) A replica of the Live and Let Die Bus
(BELOW) A 1963 Chevrolet Impala Convertible similiar to (But in better condition) than the film car.
 Apart from the Impala and the Moke – blink and you miss them, James Bond didn't do much in the way of driving in this outing. Known for its spectacular boat stunts, LALD's main stunt sequence involves an old London bus, bought by the production company. At Pinewood Studios' workshops, the bus was cut in half, the top deck re-affixed on rollers for the scene where Bond hits a low bridge in Jamaica and double decker becomes single. Shipping the bus all the way to Jamaica, the bus was driven by Roger Moore himself – with actress Jane Seymour hanging on for dear life!. Before this though, Moore was given a crash course in driving by London Transport Instructor Maurice Patchett (And offered a job if acting didn't work out!). Overall then, this rating is for the bus...

1947 AEC REGENT LONDON BUS
TOP SPEED: UNKNOWN
HORSEPOWER: UNKNOWN
GADGETS: NONE
RATING: Better suited to a day trip than a Double-O mission.





THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN: AMC HORNET X
 (ABOVE) Bond in Motion at Beaulieu (Now at the London Film Museum)
(BELOW) The 1974 AMC catalogue

Sheriff JW Pepper takes a holiday in Thailand and decides – for some reason, to check out the local AMC dealership, sitting in a new Hornet. Isn't there one in Louisiana?. Whatever, James jumps in and steals the thing, to chase – the only other AMC on Thai roads – Scaramanga's Matador. What are the odds, eh?. The next thing, they've lost Scaramanga – with the hap and use-less Mary goodnight in the boot. Suicidally, Bond jumps an old warped bridge – but you know the rest... Currently, the Javelin sits in pride of place at the Bond in Motion show (Now at the London Film Museum). The stunt was performed in a modified car by a British stuntman 'Bumps' Willard based on the original stunt developed by Jay Milligan, performed as the 'Astro Spiral Jump'.

TOP SPEED: 101 MPH/162 KMH
HORSEPOWER: 100 BHP
GADGETS: NONE
RATING: No gadgets, but a nifty shifter gets two bullets from us.




THE SPY WHO LOVED ME: LOTUS ESPRIT S1
The Lotus PR manager Don McLaughlan left a pre-production model of the Esprit outside Cubby Broccoli's offices at Pinewood. Not surprisingly, the car became the next Bond wheels... The S1 suffered from various problems, notably a lack of power - but it handled. Boy, did it handle! - the stunt drivers couldn't get the best out of it, so Lotus test driver Roger Becker showed them how. That's him you see taking the Esprit around the corners in the Helicopter chase. In the film, of course, Q turns up and delivers the car to Bond and we discover it's a sub in the most dramatic scene of the film...
 (ABOVE) MOST SECRET-THE BLUEPRINTS FOR 'WET NELLIE'
(BELOW) THE PERFECT CAR TO MAKE INTO A SUBMERSIBLE
TOP SPEED: 133 MPH/214KMH
HORSEPOWER: 160 BHP
GADGETS: SUBMERSIBLE CONVERSION SYSTEM/SURFACE/UNDER-SURFACE TO AIR MISSILE LAUNCHER/MINE DEPLOYMENT SYSTEM/TORPEDO LAUNCHER/FORWARD FIRING HARPOON GUNS/PERISCOPE/REAR-FIRING CEMENT GUNS
RATING: Up there with the DB5, this car is Q's finest. Fast, deadly and it swims...


MOONRAKER: MP LAFER
Bond's contact in Rio, Manuela drives this VW-Beetle based convertible. Resembling an MG, the fibreglass-bodied Lafer was made from 1974 to 1990 in Brazil.
TOP SPEED: 81 MPH/130 KMH
HORSEPOWER: 50 BHP
GADGETS: NONE
RATING: Stylish and practical - a Beetle engine won't win many races, but they run for ever. A gadget or two would have seen a better rating.




FOR YOUR EYES ONLY: LOTUS ESSEX TURBO ESPRIT
A special model to commemorate Lotus' Formula One links, the Essex was named after sponsors Essex Petroleum – just 45 were made. 007 is issued two of these rarities; one in Copper red and one in Monaco white. (There remains debate whether the film cars are full Turbo-spec cars)




TOP SPEED: 150 MPH/240 KMH
HORSEPOWER: 210 BHP
GADGETS: EXPLOSIVE BURGLAR ALARM/DOUBLE SKI RACK
RATING: Fast, agile, powerful - wouldn't you love that alarm?.

 
FOR YOUR EYES ONLY: 1981 CITROEN 2CV 6
Quite possibly the worst car made outside of the Soviet Union, the 2CV is owned by Melina Havelock. After 007's white Turbo Esprit goes up, the pair escape in the Citroen, which proves itself a sturdy little car and if not the most powerful, certainly agile in the right hands.



TOP SPEED: 71 MPH/115 KMH
HORSEPOWER: 29 BHP
GADGETS: NONE
RATING: A reluctant two - more Horsepower needed. Still, this little car took a bashing and kept going...

 
OCTOPUSSY: BAJAJ RE 'TUK TUK' TAXI
Bond gets a ride from Vijay, MI6's man in India (Played by tennis player Vijay Amritraj) in a Tuk Tuk. With the bad guys in pursuit, Vijay reveals it's a 'company car' – the model driven by stuntman Remy Julienne was suitably souped-up.

OCTOPUSSY: 1981 ALFA ROMEO GTV
In the desperate race to defuse the nuclear bomb, Bond steals a German woman's car – choosing well, the 2.5 Litre V6 goes from 0 to 60 in just 7.8 seconds.
                                 (BELOW) A 1980 GTV - SIMILIAR TO THE FILM CAR

TOP SPEED: 131 MPH/ 211 KMH
HORSEPOWER: 158 BHP
GADGETS: NONE
RATING: Blistering performance in an everyday car. Italian styling and a V6 lifts this car above the competition. A great choice for a Bond on a budget, these can be picked up for a song.

 
A VIEW TO A KILL: 1983 RENAULT 11 TSE 
Under cover as a racehorse buying toff, Bond is driven in a 1958 BENTLEY S1, but the real Bond car is a Renault TSE Taxi that he 'borrows'. Smashing the roof off it, he then ends up with the car cut into two in a memorable scene courtesy of French stunt Legend Remy Julienne.
TOP SPEED: 103 MPH/ 165KMH
HORSEPOWER: 71 BHP
GADGETS: NONE

RATING: Should be three bullets, but deathly-dull styling kills an otherwise nifty car. Good comedy value and a better car than looks indicate.

No comments:

Post a Comment