"Mein name ist Bond, James Bond"



 007 Automobiles Cinema James Bond

In the history of cinema there are few series as successful as James Bond. Begun in 1962, its end is nowhere in sight, with the release of new movies every so often. The secret for its success consists of a mixture of action, technology and romance that is renewed with every movie, according to the current trends. This makes the movie saga perfect for analysing the last 50 years of our society, quite the Anthropological study!

The trends, the cultural references, the myths, the clichés, the technology - everything shows up, subtly, in James Bond movies. Some icons are especially moulded and represent a trademark of the series, as is the case of cars. True dream machines and technological displays, the Bond Cars mirror the social and cultural environment of each movie and, together, form a movie than, in itself, reveals very interesting things...

In the series' first movies the car wasn't given a lot of importance as an iconic element. Ordinary cars, at the time, were used, although with a sportier look. In Doctor No, in 1961, 007 drives a dark blue Sunbeam Alpine Series 5 convertible and, in the following year, in From Russia With Love, he shows up at the wheel of a very British Bentley Sports Tourer, which some people say was Ian Fleming's favourite car...

 007 Automobiles Cinema James Bond

It's only in the third film from the saga, Goldfinger, in 1964, that a car becomes associated with Bond: the mythical silver birch Aston Martin DB5, which I believe, is the most famous car from the series and one of the most beautiful cars of all time. For the first time, they were careful enough to personalize the vehicle, making it less ordinary, more exclusive. The special services of SM installed in it a series of technologically-advanced gadgets: concealed machine-guns, gas bombs, armoured shields, ejector seats, radar (ancient GPS), detachable license plates, telephone, etc.

 007 Automobiles Cinema James Bond

The following movies contributed to strengthen the paradigm of the British sports car, a place occupied by the fabulous Aston Martin, even after Bond ocasionally drove other cars in the subsequent films. We had to wait until 1977 and for The spy who loved me, already with Roger Moore as the lead, to see a new Bond Car, with a different British brand: the Lotus Esprit Turbo. The transformation of this beautiful white car into a submarine and its coming out of the water went down in History. This is the psychedelic fase of the series, epitomized by the famous chase in the yellow Citroen 2Cv, in For your eyes only (1981).

 007 Automobiles Cinema James Bond

However, the Aston Martin never stopped appearing in James Bond movies, even if with a more discrete protagonism, as the most attentive viewer might have noticed. In 1987, the brand returned to the limelight with Timothy Dalton's debut as the secret agent, in The Living Daylights. This time, Bond drives an impressive dark grey Aston Martin DBS V8 Vantage, armed with tire spikes, jet engine behind rear number plate, retractable outriggers, heat-seeking missiles behind fog lights, lasers in front wheel hubcaps, bulletproof windows, fireproof body and self-destruct system! Two Audi 200 Quattro were also prophetically features in this movie.

 007 Automobiles Cinema James Bond

Goldeneye (1995) is a transitional movie: of leading actor and car. Pierce Prosnan is James Bond and seats behind the wheel of a magnificent silver Aston Martin DBS, his "official vehicle". However, it is rivaled by a shiny blue BMW Z3 Roadster. Actually, German cars were always present in the saga, especially the Mercedes, although the presence of BMW was discrete. The big European brands understood that the movies were a powerful platforms for commercial projection and it wasn't by chance that the over-exposure of BMW in this movie coincides with the buying of the Rover Group...

 007 Automobiles Cinema James Bond

 007 Automobiles Cinema James Bond

From hereafter, the cooperation with the German brand grew bigger and bigger. A fabulous remote-controlled BMW 750i, with a wire-cutter disguised under the hood's logo, is, more than Aston Martin, the star of Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). And whoever was paying attention must have also noticed the logo in the motorcycles... The world is not enough (1999), assured German domination by creating a model to be released at the same time as the movie: the BMW Z8. The silver model used in the movie has various exclusive extras, such as a navigation system with a remote control. Mr. Bond is powered by BMW

 007 Automobiles Cinema James Bond

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