“James Bond fans will lap this volume up as they should do and the whole book would make a great gift under the Christmas tree for the discerning 007 fans”
Ok, so we should, by rights have already seen the new James Bond film ‘No Time To Die‘ by now. We should have seen Daniel Craig strut his stuff for the final time as 007. But thanks to the pandemic that has swept the world, we won’t now get to see the film until early next year (or next November, if the rumors are to be believed). But we can get our fix for all things Bond by watching the rest of the franchise’s best movies. Or we can read Ian Fleming’s books. Or we can delve into this new book dedicated to the best cars that have been seen in the films up until now. And we even get a sneak peek of the new Bond car, seen in the trailers for the new film. In the book ‘007: 50 Greatest Bond Cars‘, we are presented with 50 of the cars seen throughout the 25 movies. Every one of them is highlighted with superb cutaway sections showing the reader the gadgets that the car contains as well as an in-depth text to go along with them. This is a Bond fan’s dream book, one they will be chomping at the bit to open and enjoy.
50 Greatest Bond Cars | Hero Collector
The front cover gives us nice photographs of six of the cars we will encounter inside the book. Of those, the Aston Martin DB5 that first appeared in ‘Goldfinger‘ and has been seen in the latest Bond films is front and center but Goldfinger’s Rolls-Royce Phantom III also makes an appearance as does the Lotus from ‘The Spy Who Loved Me‘ and became the first diecast model of a Bond car that I ever owned. The back cover shows us more of what we will find inside the book including the Range Rover from the opening to ‘Octopussy‘ and the Mercury Cougar from ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’. A nice brief is provided to us preparing the reader for what they will encounter inside the pages and the book’s title is displayed quite prominently along the spine. As we enter the book, we come to the contents page where the cars we will encounter are listed in sections. The first section is devoted entirely to those vehicles ‘Driven By Bond‘ with the sections ‘Driven By Bond’s Allies‘ and ‘Driven By Bond’s Enemies‘ following afterward. We are given an introduction where some of the cars that fill the book’s pages are discussed and not only to those driven by 007. So, we turn the page to start our look at what Bond has been driving over the years and are immediately greeted by a full-page spread of an Aston Martin DB5 with Daniel Craig’s Bond leaning against it, all dressed up in his white dinner jacket and looking ready for action.
The first car we encounter is the classic Aston Martin DB5. It had to be up first, didn’t it? Here, it is displayed for us all to see and marvel at, weapons and all. Every aspect of the classic car is brought to the reader and every gadget that has been built into the car is revealed in great detail, from the machine guns that lurk behind the headlights, the revolving number plate, and the protective shield that rises from the back, all are examined here with rich text and terrific information to go along with our look at the inner workings of the car. We turn over and meet the Aston Martin V8. This version of the car appeared in ‘The Living Daylights‘ with Timothy Dalton as James Bond. Again, the car is dissected and its secrets are revealed along with text explanations and descriptions of what the car holds at the touch of a button. The Moon Buggy from ‘Diamonds Are Forever‘ even gets a look in during the section as does the AMC Hornet from the car chase in ‘The Man With The Golden Gun‘. We come across the Lotus Esprit from ‘The Spy Who Loved Me‘ and can only marvel at the look of the car. Again, all the gadgets are displayed for all to see, all bundled inside what is probably a favorite vehicle amongst Bond fans. Many different cars that appeared in the films and were driven by Bond feature here and not all of them contain the best that Q Branch has to offer.
We now discover the vehicles that have been driven by Bond’s allies. We start with the Toyota 2000GT that was driven by Aki in ‘You Only Live Twice‘. Aki was a secret agent herself and as such, her vehicle has a few hidden surprises of its own, such as video cameras hidden inside the headlights, wire wheels, and a rear communications console located behind the front seats. The Ford Thunderbird that was driven by Jinx in ‘Die Another Day‘ gets a look-in too, all sleek with 1950s motoring heritage packed into a modern vehicle. The Leyland Sherpa Van from ‘The Spy Who Loved Me‘ is here, all banged up and damaged by Jaws’ attack on Bond and Anya Amasova and the damage inflicted on it by Anya herself. The Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II that was driven by Sir Godfrey Tibbet and Mayday in ‘A View To A Kill‘ and was unceremoniously dumped in a lake during the film is here too, all shiny and polished before its fateful meeting with the water ruined it forever. Even the version of the car that was seen in ‘Licence To Kill‘ is featured here. Many of the motors that were seen on screen are all present and correct. And we are given a peek at the new Aston Martin DBS Superleggera that is driven by 003, Nomi in ‘No Time To Die‘
We now come to the section dedicated to those vehicles that the evil villains of Bond’s world drive. Starting with the classic Rolls-Royce Phantom III from ‘Goldfinger‘, we are taken on a journey through some of the vehicles that have given 007 a run for his money throughout the years. Again, we are shown what is under the hood of these cars. We discover that the engine in Goldfinger’s Rolls-Royce was made from solid gold so it could be smuggled wherever he wanted it. Of course, we know about the little in-joke that his number plate refers to. ‘AU 1’ is what resides on his car and we all now know that AU is the chemical symbol on the periodic table for Gold. The Dragon Tank from ‘Dr. No‘ decides to put in a special appearance here too, its dragon painting on the front of it and the flamethrowers it contains which sadly take the life of Bond’s ally, Quarrel laid bare for all to see. The Cadillac Hearse from ‘Diamonds Are Forever‘ is driven in, the ‘Slumber Inc’ window included. Whisper’s Corvorado from ‘Live And Let Die‘, all gleaming white and described as a ‘Pimp Mobile’ by Felix Leiter decides to swing on by so we can take a look at it, avoiding the wing mirror and its deadly darts contained within. And it wouldn’t be proper not to acknowledge the deadly Scaramanga’s AMC Matador with its wings and plane engine attached that also makes an appearance here. Many villainous cars are featured here and all are recognizable from their respective movies.
All in all, this book is a brilliant collection of classic and new vehicles from the entire James Bond franchise. Everything is so concise and documented, from the wheels and the nuts and bolts right through to the deadly arsenal that some of these exemplary modes of transport contain. The photographs and cross-sections seen throughout the book are without reproach and bring a smug sense of satisfaction to the reader. Bond fans will lap this volume up as they should do and the whole book would make a great gift under the Christmas tree for the discerning 007 fans. Even classic car enthusiasts will get a huge kick out of the book, looking at vehicles from years gone past and seen on the silver screen during the exploits of the world’s least secret, secret agent. Everyone has their favorite Bond car from the franchise. I do too and with this collection of 50 of the vehicles featured, there is bound to be something for everyone. This book certainly isn’t For Your Eyes Only!
Editors Note | A big thank you to our friends at Hero Collector/Eaglemoss for sending over our advance review copy.
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Entertainment/Books and Literature Correspondent for The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force frequently!