A Martini-Infused Ranking Of James Bond’s Vehicular Gadgets According To Real-Life Usefulness

11.07.15 3 years ago 3 Comments

When James Bond first stepped into cinemas with 1962’s Dr. No, one of the most common elements of the super-spy series was established: cool gadgets. For Sean Connery’s third outing as the British man of mystery in Goldfinger, spy device maestro, Q, loaded up his Aston Martin with an assortment of weapons and anti-thuggery devices ranging from the homicidal to the suicidal. Since then, Bond’s cars have seen a bevy of neat tricks and tools. He’s usually stuck to Aston Martins, but in several cases, he’s gone with Bentleys, BMWs, and, on two occasions, even Lotuses.

Bond’s back in this weekend’s Spectre, so let’s take a look at some of the early gadgets equipped in his vehicles, and rank them according to real-world effectiveness.

Car Phone

Appears in: From Russia With Love (1963)

When you’re James Bond, duty calls at the most inopportune times, even when you’re enjoying yourself with a bikini-clad female. For those instances, the car phone comes in handy, although it might be a better idea to screen the calls if you’re hanging with a foxy lady. Also, cell phones — they work sans cord.

Law violated: Fourteen states have declared it illegal to use a phone while driving. You might lose more cool points than points on your driver’s license if you get caught with an old-school car phone, though.

Machine Guns

Appear in: Goldfinger (1964)

These can come in quite handy if you’re playing a real-life version of Twisted Metal, or if the government ever enacts the Purge Act, but other than that, you’d probably do best without headlight machine guns. While they’re extremely effective in destroying the cars and lives in your purview, it would also destroy your own life if you get caught with them, especially if you have road rage issues.

Law violated: Murder via drive-by shooting. Machine guns also need to be registered with the feds, so it’s doubtful that the weapons, placed behind headlights, would be deemed legal.

Tire-Shredding Blade

Appeared in: Goldfinger (1964)

It may seem like a good idea to spike the tires of the jerk riding dangerously close to you on the freeway, but when his car careens off the road, hits a median and flips half-a-dozen times, you’re looking at some prison time. But, with patience, these can come in handy when you’re being chased off the road by a jilted lover, or, someone you owe money. A good defense is the best offense, so tire-shredders aren’t wholly ineffective, and might be necessary in some cases.

Law violated: Vehicular homicide or vehicular manslaughter. Probably the first one, though.

Self-Destruct Device

Appears in: For Your Eyes Only (1981)

For James Bond’s 1981 outing, the super spy eschewed the standard Aston Martin and went with the Lotus Turbo Espirit. For you, though, it might behoove you to get rid of the junker that’s been siphoning money from your bank account because something breaks every other month. The self-destruct device is quite effective in that situation, or, if you just want to blow  yourself up. Outside of insurance fraud and suicide, it’s probably best not to activate the bomb in your vehicle if it’s being stolen because police might frown upon that. But, it’s always nice to have that option.

Law violated: Insurance fraud, possibly murder. 

Smoke Screen

Appears in: Goldfinger (1964)

This is a much safer version of the oil dispenser that was also used in Goldfinger, which replaced the caltrop dispenser when the producers of the film thought it was too easily replicable. The oil and caltrops will easily result in injury, but the cool thing about the smoke screen is that it eventually dissipates, leaving little trace of your espionage tactics. Not only is it a great getaway device, it’s a blast when you’re driving by a bus stop full of people and you want to have a laugh.

Law violated: Federal emissions standards.

Outrigger Skis

Appears in: The Living Daylights (1987)

I’m not sure when you’d need outrigger skis mounted on the sides of your vehicle, but it’s better safe than sorry. Timothy Dalton uses these bad boys in The Living Daylights when his car gets snowbound and one of its tires blown out by gunfire. For extreme adventure types, a car that can glide along the snow as easily as Bode Miller might just be the ticket to a fascinating weekend in the Poconos.

Law violated: Physics.

Passenger Ejector Seat

Appears in: Goldfinger (1963)

We’ve all been there. You’re on a long road trip up to a friend’s house when your passenger — likely someone who is just fine to get along with outside of a vehicle — just won’t stop singing along to the radio. In that moment, when the lyrics to “Shake it Off” are piecing through your ears and down into your soul, you might find your finger slipping toward the red button hidden in the stick shift. Sure, that person might get injured on the way down, but time this right, and a soft mound of grass or leaves may break their fall. No harm, no foul.

Law violated: Well, there’s the possibility of murder, but if that doesn’t take, you’re likely facing some aggravated assault charges.

Revolving License Plates

Appears in: Goldfinger (1963)

Frank (Jason Statham) uses a similar device in his vehicle for The Transporter series. This one is clutch for when you’re outrunning the law (and used in conjunction with the next device, it’s unstoppable), or if you just want to change your plates every few hours to avoid any unnecessary parking violations. The only thing you have to worry about is, of course, the fact that your car is still the same make, model and color. Still, a little confusion can go a long way in evading capture.

Law violated: False license plates are considered a felony.

Rocket Booster

Appears in: The Living Daylights (1987)

There’s nothing like speed. It’s probably the one thing — above all the other devices listed here — that truly deserves to be the front runner, because while many of the tricks here can help you get away, a turbo booster will make sure you stay ahead of the pack. Consider this the “flight” option when it comes to your “fight-or-flight” response, and being that it’s relatively harmless (unless you can’t control the vehicle), it’ll help you avoid killing, maiming or injuring others during your escape.

Law violated: Speeding. Really, really fast. Like, way over the speed limit.

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