Published on December 3rd, 2012 | by Sanesh Maharaj

Top Gear: 50 Years of Bond Cars

No action hero in cinema history is as well known for his cars as James Bond. Alongside the gadgets, the girls and the baddies, Bond’s cars are one of the vital ingredients that have made the films such a spectacular success, and in this entertaining Top Gear special, Richard Hammond celebrates 50 years of Bond’s greatest cars.

Richard tells the story behind the Aston Martins and the Lotus Esprit; unarguably the seminal Bond cars. He also gets behind the wheel of the original DB5, complete with gadgets, and uncovers the story of how the Aston Martin landed the role of 007’s wheels, of how the great Goldfinger chase sequence was put together, and how Lotus cunningly took over the job in the 1970s.

Top Gear also talks to ex-Bond Sir Roger Moore, and crew members such as directors Guy Hamilton and Vic Armstrong about the creation of the Bond action sequences, revealing the stories behind some of the most important and memorable action sequences on film.

Inspired by some of the greatest gadgets, Richard gets in on the action to build his own Bond Car On A Budget. These include Richard’s recession hit take on the Die Another Day invisible Aston Martin Vanquish, and doing something even the Bond film-makers themselves could never achieve; build a working underwater submarine Lotus sports car.

With unprecedented access to letters, documents, stills and footage, Richard reveals some of the secrets about Fleming’s obsession with cars and how Sean Connery’s stature shaped Japanese car design.

Richard also visits the set of the latest film and reports on the car sequences, and talks to Daniel Craig about his training sessions on the Top Gear track with the former Stig.

Wednesday 5 December at 20:00 on BBC Entertainment (channel 120 on DStv)

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