The 5 worst James Bond cars


The James Bond franchise has been indelibly associated with debonair cool and flashy cars. The former has definitely bled onto the latter, ever since Goldfinger introduced audiences to the iconic Aston Martin DB5 that would become a Bond trademark.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/04/10/5-worst-james-bond-cars


Well you can’t say AMC didn’t try. Dad was an AMC dealer from '55 to '76 - he tried too and retired quite well.


The Citroen 2CV in “Spy who loved me” was pretty awful as a car, although the late Mr. Moore did thrash it within an inch of its life and it kept on running.


I wonder how many other car makers paid to get there names in the movies , I for one thought the AMC Hornet was right for the Bond movie , old saying different strokes for different folks ! ,God where do they get these people who write such trash.


I agree with ditdlt1964. If the author of this article had done some research, he would have known that AMC was involved with the barrel roll technology for many years and that is why they were involved in the movie, not how much they paid for sponsorship! I hope AMOPLUS does not mind me reposting their article as follows:
Some of the brightest minds at the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory used a computer program to work out this almost unbelievable stunt. Using precise mathematical calculations, they would drive an AMC Javelin over a specially designed ramp at a speed they determined would be sufficient to make it corkscrew in flight, turning completely upside down and around in midair before landing upright on all four wheels. They demonstrated it at the Houston Astrodome before a crowd of 45,000 people. It worked flawlessly and thus the Astro Spiral Javelin was born. Special lettering on one side of the car was painted upside down so it could be read while in the middle of turning over in midair!
AMC fans got to see the same trick done in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun, though not with a Javelin. In the movie, Bond steals a Hornet Hatchback right off the showroom floor in order to chase the bad buys. To catch up he ran it at high speed up and over a broken down bridge - and if you look closely you’ll notice that the two ends of the bridge duplicate the special Astro Spiral ramps used in the Javelin stunt.
Many people who have seen the movie think the stunt is merely trick photography: not realizing it was a real car making a real jump!
To call the Hornet garbage is very insulting and I am sure that Hagerty has a few SC/360 Hornet customers out there that would feel that way. I am sick and tired of all these “worst car” lists bashing the Gremlin and Pacer and now, Hornet. This has been happening for decades as lazy writers include them without even giving it a second thought. Why don’t they do some work and come up with something different for a change and earn their pay cheque?


I too believe that bashing the Hornets and Gremlins is lazy writing. My family had a 71 Hornet sedan and a 77 Hornet Sportabout with a straight 6 in both. They were good dependable cars, never a problem with either of them. I had other cars from the 70s that were totaled junk from The Big Three. It is incredibly lazy writing to just pick on AMC over and over.


I would like to add about the Hornet that the jump was done with a old 258 6 cyl engine ,the race in the streets was done by the V8 , all of the cars of the time had detuned motors even the beloved Camaro & Firebird, I woder if the writer ever drove a Hornet with a 360 in it ,He might be suprised.


Did you notice that the moon car lost it right rear wheel. The ATC also loses its left rear but its back when bond gets on.


We have extolled the virtues of AMC and the Astro Spiral Jump in this story here! https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/03/14/the-greatest-car-stunt-of-all-time-the-astro-spiral

And we’re glad to have your feedback. I’ll pass it on to the writer and we’ll keep things like this in mind for future stories.


Hi everyone - I wrote the article. First, thanks for reading, and for your comments. It’s mean to be a tongue-in-cheek piece, although I can understand how using the word ‘garbage’ as a descriptor could trigger someone into being upset about the treatment of the Hornet.

Within the context of the Bond universe, the mid-70s Hornet is certainly one of its lesser lights - as is the more modern Ford Mondeo and Z3, which were involved in the franchise for similar product placement reasons.

In response to Mustang85’s comment - around the same time as The Man With The Golden Gun came out, AMC had been sponsoring traveling stunt shows where AMC cars were jumped, etc, in a variety of fun and exciting ways. When AMC paid the Bond franchise to include not one, but several of its cars in the movie, (including the Matador coupe driven by the villain), it was natural for the company to include a similar stunt.

The director of the film had actually seen the stunt performed at the Houston Astrodome, and it wasn’t possible to re-do the calculations behind it to change the car for a more Bond-appropriate one, so it ended up being a modified Hornet for safety reasons, as it was shown that the Hornet offered the best chances for success for the stunt in the movie’s particular setup. This is why Bond steals the car, rather than having it gifted to him by Q.

And yes, AMC paid to have the Hornet, Matador, and other background cars in the movie. It was one of the first product placement deals between an automotive company and a movie maker in the history of cinema. The Bond franchise would lead the pack in these types of deals in the years to come - Ford paid $35 million in 2002 for Bond to drive an Aston Martin V12 Vanquish in Die Another Day, a vehicle that just barely missed being included on this list because of its incredibly terrible ‘invisibility’ feature.


What about the Renaults in “View to a Kill” around Paris?


I agree with the Z3. It was nothing more than a commercial for a car that was just about to hit showrooms. I remember its momentary appearance was also included in many of the movie’s commercials too. Pathetic.

While the AMC was also product placement, at least it had a significant role. And for its time it wasn’t really that bad of a car. Although choked down, at least AMC put V8s in mid size and smaller cars.


My favorite “worst” car was the Lotus. Seeing the burglar proof sticker on the window and seeing the bad guy sneer at it as he smashes the window and then the car blows up! There’s not enough touch up paint to fix that mess! Ha ha ha!!