AMC Hornet hatchback

The AMC Hornet hatchback in action in The Man With The Golden Gun
The AMC Hornet hatchback in action in The Man With The Golden Gun
photo © United Artists, Danjaq LLC
photo © United Artists, Danjaq LLC
The AMC car dealership in Thailand. One of the more prominent product placement shots in a Bond movie.
photo © United Artists, Danjaq LLC

photo © United Artists, Danjaq LLC
The AMC Hornet in the air during its famous jump.
photo © United Artists, Danjaq LLC

photo © United Artists, Danjaq LLC
The Thai police in the film are driving AMC Matador 4-door cars, which were actually used by the LAPD at the time.
photo © United Artists, Danjaq LLC

In the 1974 movie The Man With The Golden Gun, James Bond (Roger Moore) drives an AMC Hornet 2-door hatchback.

The Hornet was produced by the American Motors Corporation (AMC) from 1970 to 1979.

The sequence featuring the car starts with Sheriff J.W. Pepper, who is admiring a new red AMC Hornet in a Bangkok showroom, while on holiday in Thailand with his wife. He is about to test drive the car, when James Bond suddenly enters and steals the Hornet from the dealership to chase villain Scaramanga. The most famous moment comes when the Hornet performs a 360-degree mid-air twisting corkscrew jump across a broken bridge.

The AMC Hornet seen in the film has 14x6 inch Cragar S/S wheels, red paint and white striping. The car doesn't have a license plate, but it features a plate with the AMC logo instead.

The stunt car was significantly modified with a redesigned chassis to place the steering wheel in the center and a lower stance, as well as larger wheel wells compared to the stock Hornet used in all the other movie shots. The actual jump was captured in just one filming sequence. Seven tests were performed in advance before the one jump performed by an uncredited British stuntman "Bumps" Williard for the film with six (or 8, depending on the source) cameras simultaneously rolling. Two frogmen were positioned in the water, as well as an emergency vehicle and a crane were ready, but not needed. A computer in the aeronautical laboratory at the local Cornell University (CAL)  was used to calculate details for the stunt.

This stunt was similar to and inspired by jumps performed in AMC sponsored thrill shows in the USA.

The Guinness World Records 2010 book describes the jump as the "first astro spiral used in a movie" and lists it as third among the top ten James Bond film stunts.

One of the Bond Hornets is preserved in the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, UK.

In the same film, many other AMC cars can be seen, driven by the policemen in Thailand. Villain Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) drives and flies an AMC Matador Coupe. AMC is also mentioned in the end credits of the film.

AMC Hornet scale modelSeveral scale model cars of the AMC Hornet have been made, for example by Corgi and Johnny Lightning. The car also was part of the James Bond Car Collection, issue 28.
Find these models on eBay.

Product Code: 
au043

Comments

I had a Hornet hatchback when this movie came out, minus the fancy wheels. Back then, I sure felt special, as I tore away from the theatre in my "Bond" car! AMC must have put up the bucks to be in a Bond film. Al least it wasn't a Pacer.

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