A brief history of James Bond car gadgetry

Car-based gadgetry is one of the hall marks of a good Bond film and we take a look at some of the most memorable car gadgets here.
bond-car

Early days

There were no car gadgets in the first 2 Bond films, Dr. No and From Russia With Love so the first Bond car to be fitted with gadgets was the Aston Martin DB5 in 1964′s Goldfinger . It featured revolving number plates that rotated in order to match the country Bond was driving through at the time. It also had a very futuristic dashboard display that allowed Bond to track the movements of his quarry, very much like a modern GPS system.DB5 car

Opening up the driver’s arm rest revealed a series of buttons for controlling the DB5′s defence capabilities. These include the ability to leave an oil slick behind the car, a smoke screen, left and right machine guns and a rear bullet proof screen. All of these gadgets are used by Bond at some point during the movie.

The Aston is also fitted with tyre slashers for disabling a car once alongside it. The film doesn’t reveal how they are activated but they are put to good use in the Swiss Alps.

Probably the most famous of all Bond’s vehicular gadgets is the DB5′s ejector seat. It is activated by opening the top of the gear knob and pressing the red button within.

Middle years

The Aston Martin V8 Vantage from 1987′s Living Daylights was another gadget-packed car. It boasted spiked tyres to give extra traction, steel cutting lasers, retractable skis and even land-to-land missiles. Try finding those as an optional extra on internet. The Vantage was so full of gadgetry that they didn’t all get used within the film which is particularly unusual for a Bond movie.

Latest films

Later Bond cars would feature less total gadgets but what they did have tended to be more ambitious. For example, who could forget the Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me that could turn into a submarine!

In the more recent films, James has used cars less frequently than in the past as the movies have become more raw and down to earth. The most recent cars have also toned down their gadgets again, for example, in the excellent Casino Royale reboot of the series, Bond’s Aston Martin DBS V12 features some secret compartments for his weapons and that all-important defibrillator, but no other gadgets are shown.

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