Step aside, Aston Martin: The best American cars in Bond films

There are a few things that are standard practice for James Bond movies of any era. First off, every film must come equipped with at least one or two Bond-babes, preferably with a dark secret or affiliation with the main villain. James must also always have a ridiculous cachet of gadgets in each movie, whether that includes the Ghetto Blaster, a boombox that shoots warheads from the less-than-classic “The Living Daylights,” or the wheelchair missile from “Goldeneye.”

Most importantly, 007 always has an awesome car that gets him out of any pickle. In most cases, these cars have been taut, high-performance sports coupes like the Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger or that car’s grandchild, the DBS from Casino Royale. But not all of the cars featured in Bond movies have been crafted from across the pond.

In George Lazenby’s sole outing as 007 in 1969’s “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” Bond Girl Tracy Di Vecenzo, played by ’60s icon Diana Rigg, handily schooled a team of Mini Coopers while behind the wheel of her 428 Mercury Cougar XR7. This car actually spent more time in front of the lens than Bond’s Aston Martin during the film, and deservedly so. The stance and weight of this convertible meant it could handle better than most coupes in production at the time, even with an unruly V8 under the hood.

Bond himself got behind the wheel of an AMC Hornet for one of the most impressive stunts ever to be captured on film for the 1974 feature “The Man with the Golden Gun.” The 5.9 liter V8 Hornet had its stance widened by two inches for the stunt and a centralized automatic transmission installed, allowing Bond to do a 360 degree barrel-roll over a Thair river to escape his enemies.

And who could forget the original Pimpmobile, the 1973 Cadillac Fleetwood featured in the camp-classic “Live and Let Die.” This gigantic boat of a car nearly sent Bond off the road, as these cars were so big they practically straddled two lanes in their heyday.

Can you think of any other memorable cars from Bond movies besides these three? Leave your thoughts below: