What is the best James Bond car?
British market research company Demographix is running a poll on the ''best Bond car of all time''. It's doing this, perhaps, so it can sell the results to the Bond film people.
Alternatively, the film people have commissioned the survey to help publicise the fact that the 23rd ''official'' Bond movie, Skyfall, hits cinemas later this year.
Bugger! We've fallen straight into that cunning trap.
Erase that paragraph from your mind. The film is called ''Pitfall'' and is coming to haberdasheries and garden centres in mid-2017.
What the survey recognises, perhaps, is that within the ranks of that vast, potentially sad, army of Bond film aficionados is an even more passionate subset: the Bond film car aficionados.
Click photo at left to view a range of cars from various James Bond movies and then vote for your best in our poll.
Demographix presents, for their discerning box-ticking, a list of 20 vehicles. Some of the suggestions, though, are just silly. Like the Tuk Tuk from Octopussy, 1983, or the Renault 11 taxi from A View to a Kill, 1985.
Others are gimmicks (the astro-spiralling AMC Hornet in The Man with the Golden Gun, 1974; the moon buggy from Diamonds Are Forever, 1971), or paid placements (the BMW 750iL from Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997).
There's the arguable as well. The Toyota 2000GT convertible may have looked delectable in You Only Live Twice (1967), but Bond never drove it. He was a passenger throughout.
I'm not sure I noticed this obscure detail while watching the movie years ago. I was made aware later when Bob Hall, a motoring writer turned Mazda and later Proton executive, explained in no more than 30,000 or 40,000 rapid-fire words every nuance of every automotive moment in every Bond film.
If not for his enthusiasm, I might never have known that the 1960 Ford Custom 300 station wagon that Sean Connery rides during To Russia with Love (1963) changes from two-door to four-door and back.
Or that the telephone van that provided Roger Moore's conveyance at one point in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) was a BL Sherpa.
There's been much chopping and changing in the garage during 007's half-century of films, partly because the secret agent is a bit of a commission agent, too. Bond will drive anything if someone stumps up with the required quantity of crisp unmarked pound notes (or US dollars).
He'll drink anything, too. He's apparently switching in the new film from martinis to Heineken, a beverage that doesn't lend itself to shaking or stirring.
The main problem in choosing the best Bond car ever is that the Aston Martin DB5 (first seen in Goldfinger, 1964) casts such an enormous shadow over each and every alternative suggestion.
So much so, they have to keep bringing it back. Yes, as the new trailer shows, it's the early 1960s all over again for JB in at least one scene.
Car collectors agree; the DB5 is the most valuable old Aston. In late 2010 the actual DB5 driven by Sean Connery in Goldfinger and Thunderball fetched £2,912,000 in London.
Anyway, if you can reasonably ignore the overwhelming case for the DB5, other cars proposed as quintessential Bond machines are:
Sunbeam Alpine Series II (Dr No, 1962).
Aston Martin DBS (On Her Majesty's Secret Service, 1969).
Ford Mustang Mach 1 (Diamonds Are Forever, 1971).
Lotus Esprit S1 submarine (The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977).
Lotus Esprit Turbo (For Your Eyes Only, 1981).
Aston Martin V8 Volante (The Living Daylights, 1987).
BMW Z8 (The World Is Not Enough, 1999).
Aston Martin Vanquish (Die Another Day, 2002).
Aston Martin DBS (Casino Royale, 2006).
If you feel you have to vote (or see photos of 20 Bond cars), see The Demographix Survey.. As for Skyfall, it will be released in Britain on October 26.
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