Hollywood

Not all Bond cars were Aston Martins; these are the ones you forgot about

Not all the cars in James Bond movies are Aston Martins. This Lotus made an appearance in "For Your Eyes Only".

Photo by Getty Images

When one thinks of James Bond cars, Aston Martins are probably what come to mind. That's understandable, since not only are those lovely, hand-made automobiles among the most beautiful cars he (or anyone) has ever driven, they've also made the most appearances in Bond films, starring in half of the 24 Bond movies released to date.

If you think that Bond's affinity for the storied British marque might be waning in this modern, eco-conscious age, know that no fewer than four Astons are slated to appear in the soon-to-be-released "No Time to Die". Who could fault him for such exquisite automotive taste? Renowned as he is for his ability to accessorize, Bond knows he can't just show up to the gun fight—or car chase, as it were—in any old car.

Oh, but he has. There are 12 Bond films in which Agent 007 was not driving Aston Martins, and AutomotiveMap has put a list together of some of the more interesting Bond cars that weren't Astons here.

Sunbeam Tiger — 'Dr. No' (1962)

The first official James Bond car was a little blue roadster from Britain (of course) called the Sunbeam Alpine (an ironic name, given that the Alps are nowhere near Britain). But the Alpine's Bond car chase debut took place in a mountain setting on roads that we surmise must have been mostly downhill, as the Alpine's puny four-banger would have rendered it no match for the gutsy Cadillac hearse giving chase on an upward slope. In the end, size, not power, is how the Alpine saved Bond, played by Sean Connery, as the nimble and diminutive Alpine darted under a construction vehicle that blocked the road while the hearse full of bad guys wound up tumbling down the mountain-side in a fiery crash.

1935 Bentley 3.5 Litre Drophead Coupe Park Ward — 'From Russia With Love' (1964)

The second Bond Film, "From Russia with Love", features Bond in a scene by his presumed personal car, one that's more consistent with Ian Fleming's Bond character as depicted in his novels. It's another British ragtop, incidentally—an elegant green Bentley 3.5-litre Drophead Coupe Park Ward, which would have been nearly 30 years old at the time the film came out. We never actually see Sean Connery drive the thing, but we do see him use its nifty and rather ahead-of-its-time onboard telephone, complete with a long, curly cord.

Toyota 2000GT Convertible – 'You Only Live Twice' (1967)

Two icons met in the Far East when Sean Connery drove a stunning 1967 Toyota 2000GT convertible—one of only two 2000GT convertibles ever built—in 1967's "You Only Live Twice", the fifth of the James Bond film and the first to be set in Japan. It looked faster than it was. The 2000GT convertible was one of the only rides to ever appear in the James Bond movies that could hold a poison-dart-deploying-candle to the Aston Martin DB5 that he drove in his two prior films.

1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 — 'Diamonds Are Forever', 1971

The Malaise Era was upon us as when "Diamonds Are Forever" came out in 1971. But James Bond had one of the last fast-ish cars of the moment with a 275-horsepower, 351-cubic-inch V8 that was less powerful that preceding Mustangs but was more powerful than what the cops that chased him and his lovely lady friend around Las Vegas drove. It could also be driven on two wheels (who knew?) at what must have been a side-splitting seating position. Hey, no one said being a Bond girl would be easy.

AMC Hornet — 'The Man with the Golden Gun' (1974)

In the 1974 Bond Flick, "The Man with the Golden Gun", Bond (then played by Roger Moore) stooped to a new low by slipping behind the wheel of one of the most unloved models from one of the most unloved carmakers in U.S. History: the AMC Hornet. To his credit, it wasn't his personal car or anything bestowed upon him by Q; he stole it from an AMC dealer in Bangkok (there was an AMC dealer in Bangkok?) and drove it right through the showroom window. Then Bond whisks through then streets of Bangkok and rescues the girl, but not until after he and the Hornet engage in some impressive aerial acrobatics over a river, likely making it one of the only Hornets of the AMC variety that could actually fly.

BMW Z3 – 'GoldenEye' (1995)

Among the memorable aspects of 1995's "GoldenEye": Tina Turner's crooning; Judi Dench first appearing as M; and the now-laughable vision of freshman 007 Pierce Brosnan bounding down a sunny road in a narrow-bodied, four-cylinder, slow-as-dirt BMW Z3. It was perhaps the Bond franchise's most egregious case of product placement priorities gone awry—it could barely have kept up with a Buick Rendezvous or Chevrolet Lumina minivan at the time. If they performed the trick as badly today, they may as well choose the glamorous Volkswagen Jetta, which casts roughly the same performance footprint. We might have had more respect for the little Z as a credible Bond ride had he actually used its alleged headlight-mounted stinger missiles, parachute braking system, or better yet, its self-destruct system.

BMW 750iL – 'Tomorrow Never Dies' (1997)

Having learned, perhaps, that 138 horsepower is woefully inadequate for someone with James Bond's velocity (and dignity) requirements, BMW supplied Britain's most famous secret agent with a car boasting twice the mass, three times as many cylinders, 236 percent more horsepower, and about 10 times more masculinity than the wimpy Z3 he drove in the previous flick. No wonder he had two Bond girls this time around. While a V12-powered 7-Series is no 1930s-vintage Bentley Mark IV—Bond's favorite, if mythical, saloon—according to the BMW product placement agreement, it would have to do.

BMW Z8 – 'The World is Not Enough' (1999)

It only took three films, but BMW finally gave James Bond a suitably flattering ride in the form of the stunning, then-new Z8 roadster in 1999's "The World is Not Enough". Of course, Denise Richards also appeared in the movie, and frankly, we'd rather have seen Richards get sawed in half rather than the Z8. Oh well, the M5-based sports car was fast while it lasted and is still Bond-girl beautiful today.

1957 Ford Fairlane Skyliner — 'Goldeneye' (1995)

In 1957, the Ford Fairlane Skyliner's nifty retractable hardtop would be a Bond-worthy device in and of itself. By the time the land yacht appeared in Goldeye 40 years later (in a rather unpleasant white-and-brown color combo, no less) the novelty of its top had worn off, so when Bond picked it up upon landing in Havana, he took a leisurely top-down drive to his hotel in the Fairlane and it was never seen again. This trailer doesn't show off the Fairlane but it a sweet red Ferrari F355 GTS and the aforementioned BMW Z3 do make an appearance.

Lotus Esprit S1 – 'The Spy Who Loved Me' (1977)

You didn't have to see "The Spy Who Loved Me" to guess the second-most-famous James Bond car of all time (after the Aston Martin DB5 from "Goldfinger", of course): the white Lotus Esprit cum submarine that Roger Moore as 007 drove alongside and then into the coastal waters of Sardinia. Once submerged, it could spew smoke like an octopus ink and unleash depth charges. Back on land, with its 160-horsepower four-cylinder engine it wouldn't be able to outrun an expertly driven Caprice Classic, requiring as it did nearly 10 seconds to hit 60 miles per hour—probably longer considering the weight of all that waterproofing gobbledygook. Subsequent Esprit Turbo models would cut that time nearly in half, which Bond would find out for himself four years later in "For Your Eyes Only".

Lotus Esprit S1/Turbo — 'For Your Eyes Only' (1981)

Lotus Esprit S1/Turbo \u2014 'For Your Eyes Only' (1981)

Photo by Getty Images

As we were saying in our previous discussion, Mr. Bond's little Lotus got a much bit of a power upgrade in 1981's "For Your Eyes Only", with a fat turbocharger making the Esprit Turbo one of the quicker cars of its day. Q Branch may have blown its gizmo wad on the Esprit submarine in "The Spy Who Loved Me", as Bond's new Turbos were enhanced by nothing more than a self-destruct system, which as one can see with his first one, doesn't seem like much of an enhancement in the end. But what it and its bronze-colored replacement lacked in special upgrades they made up in looks, with their 3-three-piece BBS wheels, body kits designed by famed Italian design house Giugiaro, side stripes, white-letter tires, rear window louvers, and for the bronze one, skis strapped to the back. Thankfully, the second Esprit Turbo would survive to drive another day, albeit with a different special agent, as the Esprit Turbo has never been seen in a Bond film since.

1981 Citroën 2CV 6— 'For Your Eyes Only' (1981)

While an Esprit Turbo was the official Bond car of 1981's "For Your Eyes Only", an adorable yellow Citroën 2CV 6 stole the show in a chase scene in which it hustles and bustles, forward and backward, rolling on its head, gets rolled back over on its wheels by passersby, tumbles down a mountain, drives through thickets, and ultimately goes airborne, bouncing off the roof of a Peugeot as Bond and his lady friend evade the evil henchmen.

1985 Chevrolet Corvette C4 — 'A View to a Kill' (1981)

1985 Chevrolet Corvette C4 \u2014 'A View to a Kill'

Photo courtesy of Eon Productions

1985's Bond film "A View to Kill" had everything we love in life. Grace Jones, Christopher Walken as the bad guy, a blimp, fire engines jumping a drawbridge, and a Corvette. All new and radically different for 1984 with its larger, more geometric body, a digital dashboard and targa top, the "C4" 'Vette still had its share of skeptics, so its appearance in "A View to a Kill" gave it a bit more street cred. The way things are going between Double-O and Aston Martin, we're unlikely to see one of the all-new, mid-engine "C8" 'Vettes in any future Bond film unless it's driven by a villain.

Leyland Mini Moke — 'You Only Live Twice', 'Live and Let Die', 'The Spy Who Loved Me', 'Moonraker'

Live and Let Die Mini Make

Photo courtesy of Eon Productions

Surprising fact: No car that wasn't an Aston Martin has been used in more Bond movies than the diminutive Mini Moke. Huh? That's right, the little Leyland runabout has appeared in "You Only Live Twice", "Live and Let Die", "The Spy Who Loved Me", and "Moonraker".

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Subaru Forester had a relatively good sales month in May.

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

Though many auto dealerships did not totally stop operations during the COVID-19 outbreak, sales slumped across the country and buying a new vehicle was put on the back burner due to economic uncertainty, health, and lack of shopping opportunity. Automakers worked with dealerships and regulators to make the purchase process easier using digital document signing, pick-up and drop-off service, and initiating cleanliness guidelines for dealers.

As the world starts to open up, so too have dealerships. Americans are not shying away form purchasing and automakers are staring down supply chain issues as demand picks back up.

Some auto companies and dealers have been better at addressing the struggle during this time, turning shoppers into buyers and moving those buyers toward on-hand inventory. Though most model sales were down for May 2020 versus May 2019, a vehicles did better than expected, putting up strong numbers compared to the sales results of the first quarter of 2020. Scroll down to see the winners.

Hyundai Veloster

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

It's pretty cut and dry. Hyundai sold more Velosters in May than it did in any other month in 2020 so far.

Honda Passport

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Mfg. Inc.

It's simple. Honda sold more Passports in May than it did in any other month in 2020 so far. Before you think that it's because Pilot and CR-V models weren't in stock, consider that those SUVs also had great months.

Acura MDX

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Sales of the Acura MDX were higher in May than they were in January, March, and April of this year. That's good news for the model, which is about to be completely redesigned.

Kia Seltos

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Sales of the Kia Seltos were just starting when the pandemic hit. The automaker sold the most Seltos models ever in May 2020, almost doubling what they sold in April.

Hyundai Tucson

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai sold nearly double the amount of Tucsons in May as they did any other vehicle. The SUV had its best month of the year (no other month came within 5,000 units).

Honda CR-V

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Honda sold more CR-Vs in the month of May than they did in any other month in 2020 so far. That's about 2.5 times more than the number of SUVs they sold in April and nearly 1.75 times as many as were sold in March. Of note, Honda introduced the CR-V Hybrid to the market during the pandemic, perhaps helping to boost those sales.

Subaru Forester

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

Though down considerably year-to-date, sales of the Subaru Forester strengthened in May 2020, outselling May 2019 by over 11 percent. Its May sales were the highest of the year so far.

Genesis G70

Photo courtesy of Genesis Motors

The luxury arm of Hyundai has bounced back nicely after slow sales in March and April. However, it's G70 is the real stand out with May 2020 being its best sales month of the year.

Kia Soul

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia sold more Souls in May than it did during any other month in 2020. In fact, there were about 1.65 times more Souls sold in May than there were in April.

Hyundai Palisade

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Though Kia Telluride sales have languished due to supply chain issues, its sister model, the Hyundai Palisade, has seen sales flourish. In May, the company sold more Palisades than they had in any month in 2020 so far.

Mazda Mazda3

Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

Mazda sold nearly double the number of Mazda3s during May than they did in April and about 45 percent more than they did in March. This makes the Mazda3 the company's best-selling car.

Honda Pilot

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Honda doubled the number of Pilots it sold in both March and April in May. The over 12,000 sold is, by far, the highest number sold per month in 2020.

Subaru WRX/STI

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America, Inc.

The aging car, which is one of the remaining few that comes with a manual transmission offering, celebrated its best month of sales so far this year. Sales of the Subaru WRX/STI were up nearly seven percent in May 2020 compared to May 2019.

Hyundai Santa Fe

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Like the Tucson, Hyundai has seen the Santa Fe achieve the highest total number of sales in May as it has in any month of 2020. The numbers are nearly double the amount of vehicles sold in April.

Kia Stinger

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia Stinger sales have not been stellar, but in May they picked up a lot of momentum nearly doubling the number the company sold in March.

Honda Accord

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The Honda Accord faces stiff competition from the Toyota Camry it also faced the economic downturn by losing about half of its average monthly sales. With dealerships back open, the Accord had its second-best sales month of the year in May.

Kia Sorento

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia sold more Sorentos in May than they did in January, March, and April. The SUV nearly outsold the Sportage and Kia sold about 2.5 times as many Sorentos as they did Telluride. The Sorento is getting a complete redesign for the 2021 model year.

Honda Civic

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

As well as the Accord did, the Civic did better, having its best sales month of 2020 so far in May - and it wasn't even close.

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This E-Type wasn't always this pretty.

Photo courtesy of E-Type UK

Kevin Keegan is a football legend, an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, and the former owner of a vintage Jaguar that was recently restored by E-Type UK. Presently, the vehicle resides with a private owner in Middlesex, South East England.

Everything wasn't always coming up roses for the car. After leaving Keegan's ownership, the 1972 Jaguar E-Type 3 Roadster was left bruised and battered as the result of an accident. When it came time for a repair, E-Type UK's team was able to discern that most of the damage was superficial. They the set about on a complete restoration of the model, restoring it to very near the condition it was in when it rolled off the assembly line in Coventry in 1972.

1972 Jaguar E-Type Series 3 V12 Roadster Restoration

Photo courtesy of E-Type UK

E-Type UK's restoration technicians started by stripping down the car, removing all chrome and brightwork. It then became apparent. The latest crash wasn't the E-Type's only one. The Roadster had been subject to numerous scuffs in the past and a number of poorly executed repair jobs.

The workshop team removed the repair victims, the offside sill and top scuttle, and fitted new ones, before reshaping the vehicle's hood back to its iconic curve.

Once the metalwork had been repaired the car was filled and primed, and made ready for its respray. All the car's panels had been cleaned, hardened, and block sanded.

The current owner of the car made it clear. They wanted it finished in its factory color - Jaguar Willow Green. And so it was.

Jaguar E-Type Paint Restoration - Willow Green www.youtube.com

Once the exterior of the vehicle was completed, the interior leather was trimmed in biscuit with a matching mohair hood.

The final steps of restoration checked off items on a list of requests from the owner: adding period-appropriate number plates, side mirrors, and factory standard wheels. The car also got a stainless steel sports exhaust and a 14-inch Motor-Lita steering wheel.

E-Type UK Founder, Marcus Holland said: "We are particularly proud of this restoration and delighted with the way that it looks after spending time in our workshop. The owner was particularly upset after the car was involved in an accident and wanted us to restore it to its former glory. With its celebrity past due to Kevin Keegan's former ownership, we worked hard to bring it back to factory standard, with a glorious Willow Green finish. Not only are we delighted to have delivered our client with his car back in perfect condition but we are honored to have played a part in the ongoing story of this iconic British sportscar."

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