As performed by 007

The James Bond motion-picture franchise is famous for its legendary ultra-deluxe cars, often breathed upon by Q Branch. The most legendary, arguably, is the Aston Martin DB5 first seen in Goldfinger, which boasted such nifty options as a revolving number plate (for security, of course), blades which emerged from the wheel centers to slash pursuers’ tyres, and an actual ejector seat. None of these seemed impossible, so future Bond vehicles would have even more insane capabilities: think The Spy Who Love Me and the submersible Lotus Esprit, or Die Another Day’s invisible Aston Martin.

Lists like this, however, tend to make you forget that due to circumstances beyond the control of Universal Exports, 007 often found himself driving genuine crapmobiles, such as the Citroën 2CV in For Your Eyes Only, or this AMC Hornet:

Which can be your AMC Hornet:

One of the most gloriously camp moments in James Bond history was the famous barrel-roll scene in 1974’s The Man With the Golden Gun. Notably, it was the first time computer simulations had been used in devising a movie stunt, and it was shot in just one take. The car used in the stunt, an AMC Hornet, is now headed to auction, where it’s estimated to sell for $350,000.

For the barrel roll, the AMC Hornet had to be modified significantly — to improve weight distribution its engine was moved further behind the front axle and central-steering was fitted. The Hornet’s builder, stunt driver Jay Milligan, also equipped the car with a roll cage and reinforced suspension for added safety. Those measures apparently worked because the Hornet only suffered a cracked windscreen in filming the jump.

The seller is, um, Jay Milligan, Jr. Says the offering:

This 1974 AMC Hornet Hatchback is the actual stunt car used in The Man with the Golden Gun. The car is operable and remains in as-jumped condition, having suffered no damage during the stunt’s one-take execution. The engine and chassis numbers of this car match those on the shipping invoice created when the car was sent from the filming location in Thailand back to Jay Milligan’s JM Productions in New York.

If you spring for this Hornet yourself, please do me one kindness: if you’re jumping across a river, please refrain from playing a slide whistle.





3 comments »

  1. McG »

    3 August 2017 · 9:48 pm

    I recently viewed that clip on Youtube. The SFX made me laugh.

    If someone tried that slide-whistle business on Daniel Craig, I can picture him walloping the miscreant with a rake </obscure Sideshow Bob/slide whistle association from before he tried to frame Krusty>

  2. fillyjonk »

    4 August 2017 · 6:44 am

    Heh. There’s a bridge being replaced JUST to the north of where I turn to drive in to work and I admit that, at the beginning of the process, when the bridge had been demolished and a large pile of earth left at the approach to it, that I wondered if one could try a similar stunt.

    Even as nuts as some of the people in my town are, no one did.

  3. nightfly »

    4 August 2017 · 9:49 am

    The slide-whistle bit is very unfortunate. That really is a helluva stunt. It’d be great if the blu-ray offered a “no slide whistle” option.

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