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:
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.