So the wait is over, Daniel Craig has announced he is not yet hanging up his licence to kill and he will reprise his role as 007 in the next James Bond movie.
The next, the 25th in the James Bond film franchise, will be released in November 2019 and it will be Craig’s fifth outing as the world’s most famous spy.
Bond films and novels are famous for hot leading ladies and even hotter cars – the high speed chase scenes dovetailing seamlessly with the uber cool Mr Bond’s steamy bedroom conquests.
Our hero has had the pick of the finest and fastest cars in which to battle his foes and many have been equipped with elaborate weapons and a plethora of espionage-related extras.
The car most associated with James Bond is, of course, the Aston Martin DB5 and many grown ups of “a certain age” will recall with great delight their die-cast Corgi DB5 with pop-up rear screen shield, bumper fitted canons and working ejector seat.
Here the insurance experts at Adrian Flux look past the DB5 and provide a list of their favourite cars driven by 007 – seven supercars to keep James Bond in 007th heaven.
James Bond driving in 007th heaven
A Toyota 2000 GT was used in You Only Live Twice which was released in 1967. The car used in the film was unique as the 200GT did not come as a convertible but at 6ft 2in Sean Connery couldn’t fit comfortably in a standard model. With that in mind, Toyota removed the roof altogether and sent two adapted vehicles for the shoot.
The Mercedes 250SE proved its remarkable resilience in Octopussy in 1983. After the tyres were ripped off by a “stinger”, Bond drove along railway tracks in hot pursuit of the circus train. It was eventually hit and smashed into a river by another train coming in the opposite direction. It was later seen being hauled from the river covered in seaweed.
There was no danger of James Bond flooding the clutch in the Lotus Esprit S1 used in The Spy Who Loved Me in 1977. The Lotus, “Wet Nellie” transformed into a submarine equipped with an anti-aircraft missile system. The car sold for £550,000 at auction in 2013 and is currently on display at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu.
And, talking of weapon systems, the Jaguar XKR used in Die Another Day (2002) was a car not to be messed with. It was kitted out with front grille machine guns, door panel missiles, rear mounted Gatling gun and boot mounted mortars. The James Bond Jag is also on display at Beaulieu.
Harking back to the more genteel days of motoring and espionage for that matter, the first ever car driven by Bond on film has to get a mention. It was a Chevrolet Bel Air convertible in Dr No and it was way back in 1957. The continuity team slipped up however, in a close up of the Chevrolet’s dashboard they actually showed the speedo from a 1957 Ford.
One of the best James Bond driving stunts was pulled off by the Ford Mustang Mach 1 in Diamonds are Forever (1971). In the climax to a chase through the streets of Las Vegas the Mustang balances on two wheels to drive through a very narrow alleyway and make good the escape. Mysteriously, the Mustang goes into the alley on two wheels and then comes out the other side on the other two wheels….
Packed with handy extras is Bond’s BMW 750iL in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). Collected by Bond from an Avis rental station in Germany, the Beamer boasts missile launchers, tyre-bursting caltrops, self-inflating tyres, and armour-plated bodywork. The car can be remotely controlled and during a chase inside a multi-storey car park James Bond jumps out of the car and then drives it remotely to the top of the carpark and off the rooftop. It crash lands in another Avis rental centre across the road.
James Bond would present insurers a special challenge
The team at Adrian Flux like a challenge and they would happily cover 007, despite his somewhat suspect track record with cars. Find out what happened the last time Flux ran the numbers for Bond’s insurance on the DB7.
Which is your favourite James Bond car?