With the release of Skyfall, the latest James Bond movie, which reprises the role of the Aston Martin DB5, there’s been a lot of publicity about Bond cars. As a longtime Lotus aficionado, I suppose my favorite should be the amphibian Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me, but there’s also a warm place in my heart for American Motors’ products. It wasn’t as sexy as a Lotus or the iconic DB5 but one of the most spectacular car stunts in the Bond franchise (with the cheesiest sound effect ever), a jump across a river and a barrel roll, involved Roger Moore playing Agent 007 at the wheel of a red AMC Hornet X in The Man With The Golden Gun. The use of a Hornet was part of product placement deal so in the chase scene leading up to the stunt, the bad guys (including Hervé Villechaize) are driving an AMC Matador. Not only did that product placement deal improbably put 007 in a Hornet, it did the impossible by putting an AMC dealership in Bangkok, Thailand. AMC had no overseas dealerships, but then stock Hornets can’t fly either.
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