Almost everyone has seen at least, if not all, of the James Bond movies and witnessed the British secret agent take down his enemies, always in a stylish manner and always keeping his cool. With each film, comes a radiant new co-star, as well as a handful of spectacular James Bond cars. Roger Moore, 89, who recently passed away, filled the Bond shoes, and boy, did he fill them perfectly. He took on the roll for seven films, with seven lovely ladies, and seven very memorable cars.
Roger Moore left us with an amazing legacy as one of the most memorable actors to play James Bond.
Before we look back at his seven unforgettable movies and some of the memorable rides from the James Bond car collection of four-wheeled costars, let us first look back at some of the greatest one-liners Roger Moore said as the great 007.
What car did James Bond drive while Roger Moore starred as the infamous spy in your favorite film? Let’s find out!
1947 AEC Regent in Live and Let Die (1973)
This is the James Bond car, rather the Bond bus, used in Roger Moore’s first movie as 007, Live and Let Die, The car was his escape vehicle from Mr Big’s henchmen (Mr. Big, also known as Kananga, played by Yaphet Kotto). Of course, the famous chase scene would not be complete without saving a damsel in distress; which, in this case, is psychic card reader, Solitaire, played by Jane Seymour. During this scene, it was Moore himself performing some of the driving stunts leading to a successful escape from Mr. Big. Moore actually took a few driving lessons in a bus back in London to prep for the chase scene. However, during the famous crocodile scene where real reptiles were used as stepping stones, a stunt double was used. Even though he didn’t do many of his own stunts, the fact that Moore did perform some of his own driving stunts is pretty cool.
1974 AMC Hornet in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
Now onto the second Bond film starring the late Roger Moore, The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), also stars an AMC Hornet X, which is the first time an AMC has makes an appearance in a James Bond film. Up against one of the most expensive assassins, Francisco Scaramanga, played by the also late Christopher Lee, the gorgeous co-star in this Bond film is Mary Goodni, actress Britt Ekland, who announced just after Moore’s passing that she considers him the best Bond as he was the truest to Ian Fleming’s 007 vision, and of course, she says this not just because Moore was her Bond.
In this Bond film there is a pretty astounding jump Bond makes in the Hornet.The 270 degree corkscrew jump was so complicated that the stunt needed to be performed perfectly (and was in one shot, might I add), that it was not only the first AMC used, but the first time technology was involved in modeling the jump for complete accuracy.
1976 Lotus Esprit Type 79 in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Not to be mistaken for the humorous parody of James Bond, The Spy Who Shagged Me (2002) starring Mike Myers, the third of James Bond’s car costars we’re going to look at is in The Spy Who Loved Me with Moore as 007 and the webbed-fingered villain, Karl Stromberg, portrayed by Curd Jurgens. We are also graced with the onscreen presence of Barbara Bach, who played Anya Amasova, a.k.a Agent XXX.
The Lotus Esprit also makes an unforgettable appearance in Moore’s third Bond film. This James Bond car is nothing short of spectacular and right up 007’s alley when it comes to gizmos and gadgets with all those hidden features. In this case, the Lotus Esprit is not only a fancy looking car, but a submarine. The James Bond submarine car is also called Wet Nellie which makes reference to Little Nellie, the autogyro Bond used in You Only Live Twice (1967) when Bond was played by the smooth talking Sean Connery.
This car was so amazing that Elon Musk had to have his billionaire hands on it and so the founder of Tesla bought the very cool, Lotus Esprit.
Hovercraft-Gondola Hybrid in Moonraker (1979)
In this Bond movie, Roger Moore saves the world from Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale) who seeks to commit global genocide. Lois Chiles plays Bond’s girl, Dr. Holly Goodhead.
Okay, so the Hovercraft-Gondola hybrid in Moonraker (1979) isn’t technically a car, but the gondola chase scene is definitely up there as one of the most memorable chase scenes and this was Bond’s mode of transportation and the reason for its inclusion in Roger Moore’s James Bond car legacy.
Some fans call it the Bondola, convertible hybrid between a gondola and a hovercraft that is based on the authentic Venetian boat. As expected, the gondola scene takes place on the canals of Venice where one of Drax’s hitmen attempt to kill Bond. Bond transforms the gondola into a hovercraft using a special control panel and escapes the henchmen.
1981 Citroen 2CV 6 For Your Eyes Only (1981)
The very yellow 1981 Citroen 2CV 6 makes its big screen appearance in the fifth Roger Moore Bond movie, For Your Eyes Only (1981). Initially driven by the lovely Melina Havelock, played by Carole Bouquet, who was the owner of the Bond car in the film, Bond takes over the wheel after she nearly destroys the car during a chase. This time around, 007 and his femme-du-jour are making their great escape from hitman, Hector Gonzalez (Stefan Kalipha), who was hired to take out the Havelocks. I think we all remember the famous line, “You don’t mind if I drive, do you?”
Fun fact! The car chase scene from Gonzales’ villa is supposed to be located close to Madrid, Spain, but the filming took place on the island of Corfu in Greece. You can actually still visit the villa today.
When the movie came out, the automaker also released a special James Bond edition of their Citroen 2CV 6 for all the Bond-fans who wanted to be able to drive this famous Bond car.
1983 Alfa Romeo GTV 6 in Octopussy (1983)
This Bond movie, Octopussy (1983), named after femme fatale and international jewel smuggler, Octopussy (Maud Adams), takes Bond into nuclear territory when he uncovers there’s much more to his adversary than expensive jewelry.
The Alfa Romeo only makes a short appearance on the big screen, but leaves a lasting memory for Bond fans and viewers for, while brief, the amazing driving stunts performed in this Bond car are remarkable. Oh yeah, not to mention the clown suit Bond is sporting as well. While this Alfa Romeo made Bond history, the actual history of what happened to the car after filming is scarce. To this day, its whereabouts is unknown.
Other notable cars in spotted in this Bond movie are the 1980 BMW R 100 CS and the ultra-classic 1934 Rolls Royce Phantom II.
1983 Renault 11 in A View to a Kill (1985)
The silver screen is graced by the presence of the quirky and eccentric actor, Christopher Walken in A View to a Kill (1985) and we see Roger Moore makes his last appearance as 007, this time accompanied by Stacey Sutton (Tanya Roberts). Walken plays, Max Zorin, head of Zorin Industries who is bent on world domination using microchip technology by destroy Silicon Valley.
The movie car in Roger Moore’s final film as 007 is the 1983 Renault 11 TXE Taxi. The taxi is driven through the narrow streets of Paris and is probably more memorable for the chase itself than the type of car, as it was severely battered during the movie. Bond drives the Renault down a set of stairs (backwards, might I add), he makes an incredible jump over a bus, and then of course, there is the whole chopping off of the roof scene. Love it!
So there you have it, the legacy of Roger Moore as James Bond, cars and chases that made these movies memorable, and my tribute to the late actor. What movie car or Moore film is your favorite? Comment below.
Another amazing legacy’s worth checking out: The History of the Batmobile.