The Cars of James Bond: Ford Country Squire

James Kraus

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Oddjob drives 007 to Goldfinger’s Kentucky stud farm

In Goldfinger we see James Bond held captive and transported by Auric Goldfinger’s cohorts via a 1964 Ford Country Squire station wagon.

Prior to the introduction of the Country Squire in 1950, American estate models were sold as generic Station Wagons or Estate Wagons. The Country Squire was the first ever U.S. station wagon to merit its own name.   Continue reading

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The Cars of James Bond: Mercedes-Benz 600

James Kraus

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Mercedes-Benz 600 carries Blofeld and Bundt on lethal mission

The Mercedes-Benz 600 represented the pinnacle in automotive luxury and engineering extravagance in its day and was accordingly featured in no less than three James Bond extravaganzas. Its first appearance came in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in 1969, driven by Bond’s nemesis, SPECTRE Number 1: Ernst Stavro Blofeld.   Continue reading

The Cars of James Bond: Ford Falcon Ranchero

James Kraus

JK - 1 (5)

Oddjob returning from the scrapyard with precious cargo

Until World War II, American pickup trucks were simply passenger cars with a rear load bay and drop-down tailgate. Following the war, manufacturers phased in purpose-built pickups that were far more truck-like, lacking any pretension to passenger car civility. The final Ford passenger car-based pickup was the 1947 model.  Continue reading

The Cars of James Bond: Aston Martin DBS

by James Kraus

Bond's Aston parked at the Hotel Palácio, Estoril, Portugal

Bond’s Aston parked at the Hotel Palácio, Estoril, Portugal

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service presented quite a challenge to loyal Bond moviegoers. Not only was Sean Connery replaced, so was the legendary Aston Martin of Goldfinger and Thunderball; the M-enhanced DB5 incorporating the “usual refinements” that had become integral to Bond mythology. In its place was a new Aston, the DBS.  Continue reading

The Cars of James Bond: Lincoln Continental

by James Kraus

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The final journey of Mr. Solo

The early 1960s Lincoln Continental, in common with Ford’s Mustang and Thunderbird, was featured in two Bond extravaganzas; Goldfinger and Thunderball.

The new 1961 Continental was a radical departure for Lincoln. The clean-sheet design was 38 cm (15”) shorter than the outgoing version, and with its unadorned sides, simple lines and distinctive rear suicide doors, represented a complete break from its predecessor. Except for minor detail alterations, the new Lincoln remained basically unchanged until a slight refresh for the 1966 models.  Continue reading

The Cars of James Bond: Volkswagen 1300

by James Kraus

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Agent Shaun Campbell climbs the Alps in a VW 1300 shadowing James Bond in a clandestine visit to the headquarters of Ernst Stavro Blofeld

Although one of the most popular and iconic cars of the 1960s, the Volkswagen Beetle did not play a role in a James Bond film until the very end of the decade. In 1969, a VW 1300 is driven in Switzerland by agent Shaun Campbell, Bond’s MI6 backup, in the sixth movie of the series; On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The Volkswagen is used to trail Bond through the Bernese Oberland en route to Blofeld’s Allergy Clinic. The discreet VW was a wise choice as covert Alpine transport with its generous ground clearance, carefree air-cooling system and rear-engine traction. Although not provided for product placement by Volkswagenwerk AG, the Beetle used was nonetheless the very latest model.  Continue reading

The Cars of James Bond: Ford Thunderbird Jet Bird

by James Kraus

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CIA agents Felix and Johnny in pursuit of Goldfinger henchmen Oddjob and Solo

The 1964-1966 Thunderbird has the rare (though not unique) distinction of appearing in not one, but two James Bond films. Its first appearance was in Goldfinger, the Bond film more remembered among automotive aficionados for the debut of 007’s Aston Martin DB5. Goldfinger marked another milestone as well; it was the first of the series to feature automobiles officially provided for promotional consideration.  Continue reading

The Cars of James Bond: Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow Mulliner Park Ward Drophead Coupé

by James Kraus

Bond is held captive in the back of a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow as it speeds toward the lair of Unione Corse kingpin Marc-Ange Draco

The 1960s were a time of change at the venerable firm of Rolls-Royce Limited. Although they only introduced a single new model, the Silver Shadow; the new car represented a huge break from RR traditions. Incorporating unitized monocoque construction, all disc brakes and independent rear suspension; the Silver Shadow also utilised self-levelling hydro-pneumatic suspension technology licensed from Citroën.  Continue reading

The Cars of James Bond: Toyota 2000GT

by James Kraus

Bond (undercover as Mr. Fisher of Empire Chemicals) hastily departing from Osato Chemical & Engineering Co. Ltd. headquarters to evade suddenly malevolent Osato security agents

You Only Live Twice was the cinematic Bond’s first visit to the exotic and mysterious East. Following the old adage when in Rome… it was decided to utilize a Japanese vehicle for the MI6 Agent. With that criteria; what could be better suited to transporting the world’s favourite secret agent than Japan’s first high-performance sports car, the sleek new Toyota 2000GT?

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The Cars of James Bond: Triumph Stag

by James Kraus

Peter Franks arrives at the Port of Dover in his Saffron Yellow Triumph

Diamonds Are Forever, the seventh James Bond film, marked the return of Sean Connery as Secret Agent 007. Early in the film, operating under the cover of an assumed identity, he commandeers a Triumph Stag.

The evolution of the Stag began in the mid-sixties, around the time Goldfinger was being filmed. It was originally intended to be simply a convertible drophead version of the 1963 Triumph 2000 saloon. However, during its extended development the concept was revised to become more of a gentleman’s grand tourer and partly as a result, the Stag did not go on sale until 1970.

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The Cars of James Bond: Sunbeam Alpine

by James Kraus

Lake Blue Alpine in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica

The Sunbeam Alpine featured in the film Dr. No is significant to Bond aficionados because it is the first time audiences see Bond driving his “own” (although portrayed as a hire-car) vehicle, as opposed to a car commandeered from a foe.

Bond drives the car in Jamaica in order to rendezvous with the enigmatic Miss Taro at her Magenta Drive residence in the Blue Mountains above Kingston, whereupon she becomes Bond’s first cinematic feminine conquest. On the way, Bond is pursued without success by Dr. No’s henchmen.

Later that night he drives the Sunbeam down to the shore to meet up with Quarrel and Felix for a clandestine boat trip to Crab Key.

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