Thursday, 19 March 2015

THE CARS OF JAMES BOND - PART THREE



THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS: 1985 ASTON MARTIN V8 SERIES IV / 1985 ASTON MARTIN V8 VOLANTE (VANTAGE ENGINE) / 1986 AUDI 200 AVANT TURBO QUATTRO C3



Confusingly, Bond drives two separate Astons in the film, first a Convertible and then (what is meant to be) the same car with a hard-top. The Convertible, a V8 Volante has a Vantage engine and was the personal car of the Chairman of Aston Martin, on loan for the production. The 'winterised' car, the coupe, is a V8 Series IV, introduced as such by 'Q'. Bond uses the car to extract Kara Milovy from Bratislava in a memorable scene packed with stunts and clever gadgetry. Later, Bond is seen briefly driving an Audi 200 Avant Turbo Quattro.
 ABOVE AND BELOW: A stunning sequence showcases the Aston's gadgets.

 ABOVE AND BELOW: TIMOTHY DALTON (007) AND CAROLINE BLISS (MONEYPENNY) POSE WITH THE CAR. (I'M JUST OUT OF SHOT AS THE PHOTO OF BLISS WAS TAKEN ON BRIGHTON BEACH)

TOP SPEED: (HARD-TOP SERIES IV )217 KHM/135 MPH (CONVERTIBLE VOLANTE)
300 KMH/186 MPH
HORSEPOWER: (SERIES IV) 290 BHP (VOLANTE) 432 BHP
GADGETS: POLICE BAND SCANNER BUILT INTO RADIO/LASERS MOUNTED IN HUBCAP/FORWARD-FIRING MISSILES WITH HEAD-UP DISPLAY TARGETING/RETRACTABLE TYRE SPIKES/RETRACTABLE OUTRIGGER SKIS/ROCKET BOOSTER/SELF-DESTRUCT SYSTEM
RATING: My personal favourite, this car ticks all the boxes; gadgets, great lines, great performance (mainly the Vantage engined model) and a fantastic Bond car.




LICENCE TO KILL: KENWORTH W-900B
Bond drives these during the finale. Sanchez has millions of Dollars' worth of cocaine, suspended in gasoline in four Kenworth tankers. Specially modified for the film, these trucks were capable of (variously) running on one set of wheels – a bigger version of the Mustang-on-two-wheels stunt from Diamonds are Forever and popping a 'wheelie', which Bond does to get the truck through a wall of burning gasoline.
 ABOVE: THE CATALOGUE FOR THE COMMEMORATIVE MODEL
BELOW: THE SCREEN-USED TRUCKS WERE GIVEN THE BOND TREATMENT!

TOP SPEED: UNKNOWN
HORSEPOWER: 1,000 BHP
GADGETS: NONE
RATING: More suited to hauling heavy loads than Double-O's , the Kenwood's sheer grunt and screen presence remain memorable... but its not a car. Mainly included because Licence wasn't a car-fest...



GOLDENEYE: 1964 ASTON MARTIN DB5, 1995 BMW Z3, MODIFIED T-54B MAIN BATTLE TANK, 
ABOVE: XENIA'S FERRARI GIVES BOND'S ELDERLY DB5 A RUN FOR ITS MONEY
 
As the main action starts, Bond is driving his Aston Martin DB5 to Monaco with Caroline, an MI6 evaluator. He engages in a playful chase with a Ferrari F355 GTS driven by Xenia. Later, he is issued with a BMW Z3 by Q, though he spends far more time on-screen driving a Russian tank, which he uses to chase General Ourumov in a breathtaking sequence. 
 ABOVE AND BELOW: THE BMW BOND... DIEHARD FANS HAD TROUBLE WITH 007'S TEUTONIC TRANSPORT...

TOP SPEED: (DB5) 240 KMH/149 MPH (Z3) 205 KMH/127 MPH (T-54B) 55 KMH/34 MPH
HORSEPOWER: (DB5) 282 BHP (Z3) 138 BHP (T-54B) 520 BHP
GADGETS: (DB5) FAX MACHINE CONCEALED IN RADIO/MINI-FRIDGE IN CENTRAL ARMREST (Z3) DROGUE PARACHUTE/ALL POINTS RADAR SYSTEM/SELF-DESTRUCT/FORWARD FIRING STINGER MISSILES (T-54B) 100MM RIFLED MAIN GUN WITH 'CYCLONE' STABILISER SYSTEM/SELF-SEALING FUEL TANKS/NIGHT-SIGHTS/'LUNA' INFRA-RED SEARCHLIGHT/SEARCHLIGHT/SMOKE-GRENADE LAUNCHERS/REACTIVE ARMOUR

RATING:(Z3) Badly under-used and we only see a hint of gadgetry in the 'Q' scene. Plus, is BMW really the right marque for James Bond?
RATING: (T-54B)Well, it's a tank. YOU try arguing with one. Would get a higher rating, but they're too noticable for a Double-O. Plus, awful fuel economy...


TOMORROW NEVER DIES: 1997 BMW 750IL
 BOND'S DB5 MAKES A CAMEO APPEARANCE

James Bond arrives in Hamburg to be met by a rather familiar car-rental agent; Q! (dear old Desmond Llewelyn). In a wryly amusing scene, Q hands over the BMW to 007 who uses it to escape Elliot Carver's goons in a multi-storey carpark. There is also a brief glimpse of Bond's Aston Martin DB5 in the film.
 ABOVE: CARVER'S GOONS FAIL TO GET INTO THE BMW 
BELOW: WHICH BOND THEN DRIVES REMOTELY OFF THE CAR PARK

TOP SPEED: 250 KMH/155 MPH (ELECTRONICALLY LIMITED)
HORSEPOWER: 322 BHP
GADGETS: REMOTE CONTROL VIA CELLPHONE/AIRBAG COMPARTMENT SAFE WITH FINGERPRINT RECOGNITION/TEAR GAS DEFENSIVE SYSTEM/ELECTRIFIED DOOR HANDLES/HARDENED GLASS AND BODYWORK/GROUND TO GROUND MISSILE ARRAY CONCEALED IN SUNROOF/TYRE SHREDDER TRAY/SELF-SEALING SELF-INFLATING TYRES/CABLE CUTTER CONCEALED BENEATH BONNET BADGE/

    ABOVE AND BELOW: THE SECRET DRIVER'S COMPARTMENT FOR THE STUNT-DRIVERS



RATING: A gadget-packed, powerful, practical car. The BMW-marque doesn't carry that much prestige though...





THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH: 1999 BMW Z8 (REPLICA BUILT ON AC 289 COBRA BASE)
 PIERCE BROSNAN, THE '90'S BOND POSES WITH THE Z8

In Q's final scene, he introduces 'R', his replacement (John Cleese) and Bond's new BMW Z8. Due to production delays, the screen car is a replica shell built onto an AC Cobra kit. The car is seen in a few scenes, notably when Bond calls it to him with the key-fob and targets the KING helicopter. Sadly, the tree saws hanging from the helicopter cut the car in two (Despite the claims of 'Titanium armour!).
 FILMING THE OIL-FIELD SCENE

TOP SPEED: 250 KMH/155 MPH
HORSEPOWER: 394 BHP
GADGETS: REMOTE CONTROL VIA KEY-FOB/TITANIUM ARMOUR/MULTI-TASKING HEAD UP DISPLAY/SURFACE TO AIR MISSILES
THE ANDY SMITH FX SHOP (PHOTO COPYRIGHT ANDY SMITH)

RATING: Sadly cut short, this car should have scored higher.
DIE ANOTHER DAY: 2002 ASTON MARTIN VANQUISH



 ABOVE: PIERCE BROSNAN POSES WITH THE VANQUISH
Introduced to Bond by R in an abandoned London Underground Station, the car is known as the 'Vanish' because of its adaptive camouflage. The Aston was used to great effect in the film, notably in an ice-chase scene with a Jaguar XKR convertible, itself stacked with advanced weaponry. Fans were unimpressed by the car though, many feeling the 'Vanish' is a gadget too far.
BELOW: SHOOTING THE ICE PALACE SEQUENCE; (STUNT LEGEND VIC ARMSTRONG IN THE BLUE PUFFER JACKET IN THE LAST SHOT)



TOP SPEED: 306 KMH/190 MPH
HORSEPOWER: 460 BHP
GADGETS: REMOTE CONTROL VIA KEY-FOB/THERMAL IMAGING DISPLAY/EJECTOR SEAT/FORWARD FIRING MISSILES BEHIND GRILLE/FORWARD-FIRING MACHINE GUNS/AUTOMATICALLY-TARGETING SHOTGUNS/RETRACTABLE TYRE SPIKES/BULLETPROOFING/ADAPTIVE CAMOUFLAGE: MINIATURE CAMERAS ON ALL SIDES PROJECT IMAGE ONTO A LIGHT-EMITTING POLYMER SKIN ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE, RENDERS CAR INVISIBLE/TORPEDOES
 ABOVE: FILMING CLOSE-UPS...
BELOW: ...AND THE ICE CHASE, FILMED IN NORWAY, ICELAND AND THE REMOTE AND FORBIDDING WILDERNESS OF...RAF LITTLE RISSINGTON, GLOUCESTERSHIRE!





RATING: A STUNNING MACHINE, PACKED WITH GADGETS AND BLISTERING PERFORMANCE. DENIED TOP RATING BY THE SILLY INVISIBILITY GADGET.

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