Photo: Wikimedia/Ed Callow
Everything James Bond touches — adult beverages, gadgets, women — becomes an instant icon, but few things capture the public’s imagination like what the man rides.While today’s Agent 007 traverses the globe in simpler, elegant-yet-muscular machines, the more fanciful rides of the past are still an important part of Bond lore.
Though the man has the power to make even a Ford LTD seem almost desirable, the following 10 vehicles are the greatest Bond machines ever.
Aston Martin's already mean-looking V8 Volante gets an extra dose of aggressiveness thanks to the team at MI6. In The Living Daylights, this British muscle car gets the Bond treatment and packs necessities such as booster rockets, hubcap-mounted lasers and a pair of skis. Clad in all black, this Volante was the meanest thing on a pair of skis in cinematic history.
Though not as famous as the gadget-equipped cars that came after it, the Sunbeam Alpine Series II seen in Dr. No is important because it's the first Bond car ever. The lack of gadgets makes this car forgettable to even the most devoted Bond fan, and the actual machine's paltry 80hp and 13.6-second 0-60 time also make it forgettable to traditional car fans.
If we were the type to indulge in bad puns, we'd make more than a few stating that Bond's BMW 750iL from Tomorrow Never Dies is the ultimate Q-ship. After all, it was built by a man named Q, and like the World War II ships that inspired the term, it's rather dignified exterior hides a massive amount of firepower. Modifications include a cutting cable mounted behind the front emblem and a caltrop dispenser in the rear, but the highlight of this Beemer is the assortment of missiles mounted in the car's sunroof.
Japan's first true exotic car established itself on the world stage thanks to its appearance in You Only Live Twice. Toyota's 2000GT remains a highly sought-after collectible thanks to its tactile lines, technologically advanced powertrain and incredibly limited production run. The 2000GT seen in the Bond film is even more of a collectible -- and not just because of its gadget list.
The 2000GT was only offered as a hardtop coupe, but Toyota created two convertible versions of the 2000GT just for the film. While Bond didn't actually drive the car himself (he was chauffeured by Bond girl Aki), this Toyota can be considered a car custom-built for the man: The only reason Toyota chopped off the roof was because Bond actor Sean Connery couldn't fit in the standard coupe.
Though we associate the man with European rides, one of the greatest Bond vehicles ever is the AMC Hornet from The Man With the Golden Gun. No missiles, rocket boosters or ejector seats in this piece of American iron, just 360 cubic inches of pure muscle.
Much like the man himself, the modern Bond car abandons gadgetry in favour of focused, athletic performance. 007's current car, the Aston Martin DBS, is the mechanical machination of elegantly brutal performance. With its gunmetal skin and carbon fibre trim, this ride conveys both refinement and intelligent strength, and it does so without the need to resort to laser-guided missiles.
While this DBS may lack the toys that made the old Bond cars fun, it certainly is no slouch. This is a capable machine that can tackle a twisty Alpine road just as confidently as it can tour grandly through Europe. The car's 510 horsepower V12 also gives it the ability to give unwanted company the slip in less time than it takes for a glitchy cloaking device to activate.
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