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The Link Between James Bond And Nostalgia And Cars

Your favorite is almost always linked to your childhood 

Heidi Lux
October 08 2021
James Bond has been with us for so long that generations and generations have each grown up with a different iteration of Bond. The movies are not suitable for kids in any way shape or form, but a special bond forms with the James Bond of your childhood. No matter how terrible the Bond movies you grew up with were, that Bond is going to be your favorite Bond.  

Classic Beauty: Shutterstock

And more likely than not, the car Bond drove is going to be your favorite Bond car. If you grew up with Pierce Brosnan as Bond, the idea of an invisible car racing through an ice hotel probably doesn’t sound absurd to you. It probably brings up fond memories. And since we’ve all been exposed to Sean Connery’s Bond at ages when we were too young to know what Pussy Galore meant, the idea of an ejector seat in an Aston Martin is downright normal.

This phenomenon is so strong that billionaire and character-seemingly-from-a-Bond-film in his own right, Elon Musk, purchased the amphibious 1976 Lotus Esprit used in The Spy Who Loved Me for (Dr. Evil voice) one million dollars. The car also served as the partial inspiration for the Tesla’s Cybertruck. 

“It was amazing as a little kid in South Africa to watch James Bond in ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ drive his Lotus Esprit off a pier, press a button and have it transform into a submarine underwater. I was disappointed to learn that it can’t actually transform. What I’m going to do is upgrade it with a Tesla electric powertrain and try to make it transform for real,” Musk told Jalopnik after the purchase. 

Don’t judge - we’d all purchase the car we saw Bond zip around in if we had enough money to literally go into space. Bond’s influence on cars is so strong, that is can increase a car’s value by 1,000 percent with just a small cameo. 

Even James Bond is nostalgic for itself. The Daniel Craig James Bond movies have seen the resurgence of the Aston MartinJames Bond is associated with the Aston Martin more than any other car, even though the vehicle went away from the franchise when Sean Connery did. However, the appearance of Bond’s tricked out Aston Martin in Goldfinger did such a number on our psyche that it’s hard to picture Bond driving anything else. The producers of James Bond know what the spy means for most people, as MGM cited the “modern nostalgia” appeal of their properties. It’s hard not to think that Bond is deliberately leaning into the nostalgia factor when they bring back the classic cars we know and love and wish we owned.

It will be interesting to see what the current generation brings to the future generations of Bond – especially since today’s James Bond is driving a throwback. Will Bond continue to wreck the streets of Rome in a throwback to the 60s, or will he drive a futuristic Tesla that was inspired by the past? 



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