Top 5 Vintage James Bond Cars

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The Top 5 Cars of 007

Before James Bond’s Aston Martin V12 Vanquish could turn invisible in Die Another Day (2002), the spy we all love and the villains he faced raced some top notch cars through the pages of Ian Fleming’s works.

Bond’s first car was a battleship-grey, 1933 4½ litre Bentley convertible – fitted with an Amhert Villiers supercharger.1 This Bentley is his car of choice in Casino Royale (1953), but is written off in Moonraker (1955) after first losing a chase to Hugo Drax’s Mercedes 300 S and then colliding with “some fourteen hundred tons of newsprint”.2 Though some Thunderbirds and even a Studillac (in Diamonds are Forever [1956]) appears in the books, the most famous of James Bond’s cars is probably the Aston Martin DB III – chosen from MI6’s fleet cars above the Jaguar 3.4.3

The most personalized of Bond’s cars, though, was dubbed “The Locomotive”4 – a Mark II Continental Bentley. Getting the car secondhand, he goes on to kit it out with:

  • a Mark IV engine with 9.5 compression
  • an “Arnott supercharger controlled by a magnetic clutch”5
  • a convertible hood
  • twin two-inch exhausts

and then Bond has it painted battle-ship grey like his 1933 Bentley.

In Goldfinger (1959) the villain Goldfinger’s 1925 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost6 – with a solid gold chassis – does, however, stand out above Drax’s Mercedes 300 S (Moonraker) Ernst Blofeld’s red Maserati (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service [1963])7 for pure character and theatrics. The cars in the James Bond books – and films – play almost just a big a part as the girls, gadgets, and guns in taking the audience on a action adventure they’ll never forget.

Chancellor, Henry. (2005). James Bond, the Man and His World: The Official Companion to Ian Fleming’s Creation. London: John Murray Publishers. ISBN: 9780-7195-6815-2

1 Chancellor, 2005:154

2 Chancellor, 2005:155

3 Chancellor, 2005:157

4 Chancellor, 2005:155

5 Chancellor, 2005:155

6 Chancellor, 2005:157

7 Chancellor, 2005:204

 

 

About the Author: Carin Marais

Carin Marais is a trained language practitioner living in South Africa. Her interests range from language, archeology, and mythology to speculative fiction, media, and technology. Links to her articles, fiction, posts, and contact information can be found at www.carinmarais.blogspot.com or follow her on @CarinMarais.