Not a few were saddened by the death of one of the icons of the silver screen, Sir Roger Moore. This is why we are looking back at some aspects of his life, from his epic role as James Bond in seven 007 film to his intricate relationship with the world of cars.
Moore’s connection with cars didn’t start when he was chosen to play super spy 007. Rather, Moore’s association with cars started on a TV mystery spy thriller series “The Saint” that was aired in the United Kingdom from 1962 to 1969. Here, Moore played the role of Simon Templar, who is basically a Robin Hood-like character who makes his living by stealing from criminals. Moore’s partner in this TV series is a white Volvo P1800 with the plate number “ST1”. This TV series – produced and directed by Moore himself --was credited for popularizing Volvo’s cars.
Following Sean Connery’s retirement as James Bond, Moore was approached in 1972 and was offered to play James Bond. He accepted the role and was cast in “Live and Let Die” (1973), the eight installment of the 007 film. This marked the first time that 007 didn’t drive an Aston Martin – the traditional James Bond car. Moore went on to play James Bond in seven 007 films, tying with Connery as the actor who played the super spy in the most movies. These James Bond movies include Live and Let Die (1973); The Man with the Golden Gun (1974); The Spy Who Loved Me (1977); Moonraker (1979); For Your Eyes Only (1981); Octopussy (1983); and A View to a Kill (1985).
Although Moore (as Bond) had driven a number of cars in his first two 007 films (like the AMC Hornet X Hatchback), it wasn’t until the third movie -- The Spy Who Loved Me -- that Bond finally received an official car, the Lotus Esprit S1. This car is one of the most memorable 007 cars, thanks to the fact that it wasn’t only a land vehicle, but is an undersea vessel as well. Here, Moore drove a white Lotus Esprit S1 in an epic chase sequence covering land, air and water. This Esprit S1 was driven off into the sea by a chasing helicopter. Then, it transformed into a mini submarine, and proceeded to get rid of the air and water threats.
Lotus returned in the For Your Eyes Only (1981) film, fielding a Lotus Esprit Turbo. After this car self-destructs in the film, it was replaced by a yellow Citroen 2CV, which was involved in a tense chase scene. A Renault 11 – serving as a taxi – was splendidly trashed in A View to a Kill (1985).
Although Moore never drove an Aston Martin in any of his 007 films, he actually drove an Aston Martin DBS in The Persuaders! (1971-1972).