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Bennett Winch SC Holdall

Bentley Continental GT

photo © Bentley
Bentley Continental GT
photo © Bentley

Jeffery Deaver posing with a Bentley Continental GT during the presentation of his novel in Dubai

James Bond drove several different Bentleys throughout the fourteen original novels by Ian Fleming, the first of which was the 1930 4.5 litre Bentley convertible (Casino Royale, Live And Let Die). Later in the novel Thunderball he acquired a wreck of Mark II Continental Bentley, restored it and customised it, and called it "The Locomotive". Bond's appreciation of the finer things in life was a reflection of his creator's own tastes, especially when it came to magnificent automobiles.

Ian Fleming was a man that made a hobby of adventure - gambling, diving, treasure hunting, and, above all, he relished driving an outstanding car. Like James Bond, Fleming indulged himself in his favourite pastime in some of the world's most beautiful locations - on the open roads of the English countryside, on tours of the Continent and even racing up mountains in the Alpine motor trials (Fleming navigated for the lead British driver in 1932). Bryce's grey automobile was probably the inspiration for 'the locomotive'.

It should come as no surprise that, in Carte Blanche, Bond again finds himself the proud owner of a Bentley. This time, as befits the novel's contemporary setting, 007 drives the new Bentley Continental GT. With its 6.0-litre, twin-turbo engine, the Bentley Continental GT can launch from a standstill to 60mph in just 4.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 197mph. There's no telling what mischief 007 will get into with this one - or how much Ian Fleming would have enjoyed a chance behind the wheel.

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Summer Essentials 2024


This is as far from Bond's taste in wheels as one can imagine. Today's Bentleys are sold only to those who like nothing better than to be seen in a car that has obviously cost a lot of money, but who have no idea what they are actually driving. They're so vulgar as to defy belief.
Bond's Bentleys were discreet, second-hand and painted a dull gunmetal grey - there was no prestige, just a fast car that was more than met the eye.
The "Bentley" in the picture is exactly the opposite.

I would agree that this is far from what the literary Bond would have driven. He lived on the fringe, rebuilding what others considered junk and modified to taste. He spent enormous sums in this endeavor. The new Bentley is even more un-Bond than Gardner's Saab 900 Turbo.
Just curious then...What WOULD you think Bond would drive? Let's keep in mind that he did enjoy living the high life, and often used that as his cover. There are several references in the original novels to attest to that. I happen to think that he would be driving a Jaguar XKR or the Aston. As far as the Bentley goes, I also suspect he wouldn't be driving it...not because he couldn't afford it, but more likely that he wouldn't like the weight of it. I dare say he would even consider an M3...Yes, Ian is rolling over...

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Connolly x 007