A Nod to Roger Moore

We lost Sir Roger Moore this year, aged 89, after a short battle with cancer. His debonair style and role as the longest serving James Bond, made him synonymous with some of the finest automotive moments of cinema. In honour of his memory, we look back with AutoTrader at the 12 years he spent as Bond and bring you our favourite five 007 cars.

Lotus Esprit, The Spy Who Loved Me

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Barbara Bach and Roger Moore, stars of James Bond film ‘The Spy Who Loved Me,’ lean on the now-famous ‘amphibious’ Lotus Esprit in this circa 1977 photo. (Photo Credit: HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

Sometimes considered the greatest car movie of all time, the 1977 The Spy Who Loved Me has one of the greatest Bond car chases. Not to mention, an amazing Lotus Esprit Submarine! The Esprit had just been released in the year of the films development. At the time, the Lotus was a relatively little car manufacturer without a huge marketing budget. Knowing where the film was being developed, the PR for Lotus deliberately left the new model outside of the film’s producers address to spark interest. It worked, and the Lotus Esprit became one of the movie iconic cars in the franchise. The moments when Bond hits the Esprit gas pedal, to the Lotus hitting the Mediterranean are arguably the best 3 minutes of any Bond film to date.

AMC Hornet in The Man with The Golden Gun

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The infamous scene of the AMC Horent doing a mid-air twist corkscrew jump, in James Bond: The Man with the Golden Gun. (Photo Credit: The Man with The Golden Gun)

In the 1974 movie The Man with The Golden Gun, Moore drives the sleek and stylish Hornet, at the time, a recent product by the American Motors Corporation or AMC. Bond nabs the red and white beauty just as it’s about to be test driven, to instead chase the villain Scaramanga in a hair-raising sequence of events. Performing a 360-degree mid-air twist corkscrew jump, Bond manages to traverse a broken bridge. It is not surprising to find out the stunt car was significantly modified in order to manage this feat. The actual jump was captured in just one take by British stuntman ‘bumps’ Willard, which later was described as the ‘first astro spiral used in a movie’ by the Guinness World Records.

Alfa Romeo GTV6 in Octopussy

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Bond driving off in the grey Alpha-Romeo GTV6 in Octopussy (Photo Credit: Octopussy)

Seen in the high-speed chase with the police in Octopussy, the Alfa Romeo GTV6 helps Bond make it in time to warn the NATO general of a deadly Soviet plot. The designer of the GTV6 Giorgetto Giugiaro was also responsible for creating the Lotus Esprit, helping to develop some eye-catching 1980’s elements such as the instantly recognisable chunky black bumper. Sometimes considered the forgotten film hero car by Bond fans, it often lies low on the radar because it was not packed with gadgets and weaponry. However, the car does support some of the best stunt driving, sliding around tight corners and blasting down the Autobahn with its V6. While in 2017, Bond might just make a mobile phone call to alert the authorities, this car made sure in 1983, Bond could save us from an Armageddon in some style.

Citroën 2CV6, For Your Eyes Only

Citroën 2CV6, For Your Eyes Only
The Citroën 2CV6 from ‘For Your Eyes Only’. (Photo Credit: For Your Eyes, Via REX/SHUTTERSHOCK)

Only Moore and his style could pull off the 1981 Citroën 2CV6. Having lost his Lotus spirit to a really nasty set of events, in For Your Eyes Only, Bond has to really put his foot down in order to get away from the impending henchmen. The Citroën 2CV6 is undoubtedly a basic, albeit charming vehicle, that is completely lacking in the speed often prized in a 007 getaway car. Yet Moore makes this French iconic car look fun, with its bashing, careening, roll over, slides, u-turns – sporting some adrenaline rich and humorous moments. Despite the poor credentials as a getaway car, Moore and Carole Bouquet manage to shake off the trouble and save the day. So popular was the expected sight of bond in this car, the 2CV had a special edition launched to coincide with the launch of the film. It sported the same glaring yellow paint scheme and a smattering of stick-on bullet holes. Not surprisingly, these 1981 year editions are now highly sought after by 2CV enthusiasts.

Renault 11, A View to a Kill

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While Bond drives some amazing cars, he also has to in a pinch, make a hasty chase in truly whatever is handy. The most maligned of these ’make do’ cars, has to be the Renault 11. While it may have been the winner of the 1983 European car of the year award, the Renault 11 is often scathed for its’ poor power and bad handling. Yet in A View to a Kill, the Renault 11 makes for one of the most exciting and memorable sequences. Again, Moore steals the Renault 11 taxi from a cab driver in order to undertake a high-octane pursuit through the streets of Paris to chase May Day (played by Grace Jones). The Renault 11 really suffers, firstly by losing its roof. Secondly, by vaulting on, then off, a sightseeing bus at high speed. Finally, the entire of the back end is severed off after a collision, which leaves Bond with the front wheels only. While the stunt team had three separate vehicles for the stunt work, the complete car that was used for close-ups and the initial scenes have been kept for many bond displays and exhibitions until going on sale and being snapped up for £4,200 in an auction.

 

In our array, we gave you the best, funny and humdinger. The style and charisma of Moore as Bond made these cars and their features something that will always live on and be remembered. Find your favourite Bond classic car with AutoTrader.

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