9 Cars We Wish James Bond Hadn’t Driven
Sorry, Your Majesty, but that car is a travesty.
The James Bond series is a big, juicy, Technicolor catalog of fantasy. It conjures a world in which women can be seduced by double-entendres, vintage Aston Martins never break down and Denise Richards is a nuclear physicist. The backdrops are National Geographic-exotic, the women are amiable and the cars are the stuff of dreams.
Well, usually. As with any franchise so large, there are bound to be misses. Sometimes, Bond’s commandeering of an oddly pedestrian car was part of the campy charm of series. Other times—1974 Ford LTD, anyone?—the choices just seemed bizarre. Here are some machines we wish hadn’t made it on screen.
1974 AMC Hornet
This Hornet went airborne in 1974’s The Man With the Golden Gun. We get that it’s period-appropriate, but an American economy car from the time when America made terrible economy cars is pretty low for Britain’s premier fictional spy.
The Lada Niva played a bit part in The World Is Not Enough. Though arguably the best Russian-built compact SUV, the Lada is rough, not suave. For our $15 in movie ticket money, we’d like MI6 agents in Land Rovers, please.
The Z3 in Goldeneye, even with stinger missiles, always seems a little diminutive. Later in the movie, Bond drove a Z8, whose proportions and V8 seemed much more fitting.
Again, in isolation, the 2CV is fantastic. As a character in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, it’s odd. Citroën’s people’s car was built to picnic, and we love that. But the automotive fantasies in Bond hinge on speed and power. The 2CV, sweet though she is, has neither.
1974 Ford LTD
Big, slow, ponderous and upholstered in velour and vinyl. It wasn’t exactly the pinnacle of taste. Then again, neither was Roger Moore.
Lincoln Continental Mark VII
A Mark VII Continental is a proud conveyance, presuming you’re a Fort Lauderdale-based grandmother or sell homemade grain alcohol from your trunk. When Timothy Dalton drove one in License to Kill, people scoffed.
1973 Chevrolet Impala
Live and Let Die featured a whole scene of 1973 Impalas and Chevelles as Bond careened up New York’s FDR Drive. Bond’s own 1973 Impala, in white, looks a little bland. A 1973 Impala NYPD squad car? Rad. A 1973 Impala low-rider? Sweet. A 1973 Impala with Roger Moore inside? Nah.
2006 Ford Mondeo
Maybe it was product placement. Maybe it was a joke. Thankfully, Bond’s Mondeo jaunt in Casino Royale ends after he wins an Aston Martin DB5, in silver birch, at a card game.
Aston Martin DB10
Forgive us, rabid fans: The DB10 just doesn’t quite do it for us. The stance is strange, the headlights small and the overall impression is of a styling exercise rushed prematurely to the set. It’s awesome that Aston Martin collaborated with the franchise to make the car, but renderings and photos do it few favors. Perhaps watching it tango with a Jaguar C-X75 in Spectre will sway us.