The Hornet Driven by Agent 007…
The Hornets seen in the 1974 James Bond Film, “The man with the Golden Gun.” still exist! AMCHornet.com located it on display in The National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, UK. It is part of a collection of Bond items owned by the Ian Flemming Foundation.
Bond fans will also get a kick out of the other items that were on display along with the famous Hornet.
A 1974 Hornet hatchback was driven by James Bond in the film The Man with the Golden Gun when agent 007 (Roger Moore) commandeers one from a Bangkok, Thailand AMC dealership to chase villain Francisco Scaramanga. AMC Matadors were also used as part of the chase seen as police cruisers.
It seems unreal the first time you see the scene, but it was not a trick. Bond and Sheriff Pepper are following Scaramanga and his assistant Nick Nack. Suddenly, they realize that the bad guys are about to get away on the other side of the river. A broken-down bridge seems to be the answer. There are still two parts on each side, so Bonds sits back a bit, accelerates, shoots across the arm of the river doing a barrel roll, and lands safely on the other side. The idea came from the stunt show of a New Yorker named Jay Milligan, who suggested it to Cubby Broccoli for the next Bond film.
During the filming, Milligan supervised the scene. His driver, stunt man Loren „Bumps” Willert, took Bond’s place in the car. Six cameras recorded the moment. For safety’s sake, there were two frogmen in the water and an emergency vehicle and a crane were ready on site – but everything went off like clockwork.
A computer in the aeronautical laboratory at the local Cornell University (CAL) was fed with the data prior to the stunt. The institute works for the U.S. public roads authority and has all kinds of data on car crashes, road routes, flooring materials, and cornering techniques. Using the data submitted, the computer calculated the dimensions of the ramp, specified teak wood, determined the ideal car – an AMC Hornet hatchback special – and specified the weight, since the car and the driver together had to weigh exactly 1460.06 kg.
The distance between the ramps was equally inflexible and had to be exactly 15.86 meters. The jump-off speed was established at 64.36 km/h. Seven tests were performed in advance. The basis for the car that was capable of flying was also from AMC, but it was a Matador Coupe model. With the flight tail unit, the complete machine was 9.15 meters long, 12.80 meters wide, and 3.04 meters high. It was exhibited several times at motor shows.
In the film it flew from Bangkok to an island in the China Sea, but in reality it could only go about 500 meters, so it was replaced by a meter-long remote-controlled model for some of the filming.
- In reality there were no AMC Dealerships in Thailand
- Cars in Thailand are right-hand drive
- The AMCs vehicles used in the film were from the US models
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