AMC Matador Coupé

AMC Matador Coupé

FilmThe Man With The Golden Gun

Francisco Scaramanga has a unique way of giving Bond the slip in Thailand. Amazingly, his Matador Coupé converts into a flying car and he flies back to his private island hideaway. Scaramanga and Nick Nack use a 1974 AMC Matador Coupé to kidnap Mary Goodnight, before being pursued by Bond in a high-speed chase through the streets and countryside of Thailand. Scaramanga drives the stylish Matador into an old warehouse, where a wing and flight-tail module is attached to the roof. He then accelerates and takes off, watched in disbelief by Bond and the Thai police. 

Wings and flight-tail – This module is hidden away in a warehouse and then attached to the sides of the car with struts, turning it into the ultimate getaway vehicle. 

  • Headlights – The round, deeply ‘tunnelled’ headlights are one of the most distinctive features of the Matador Coupé. Their shape is echoed in the circular taillights. 

  • Indicators – The grille features round indicators, which are styled to resemble the headlights. In 1976, these indicators were redesigned to be square units. 

  • Trivia
    Agent Goodnight places a tracking device in the Matador, but she is spotted and pushed into the boot by Scaramanga. The car takes to the skies with the kidnapped agent Goodnight on board. The tracking device enables Bond to trace her to an island in Chinese waters – where Scaramanga has his lair. 

  • John Stears made a full-size airframe to sit on the AMC Matador Coupé for closeup shots at the Royal Turf Club, Phitsanulok Road, in Thailand, and a remote-control scale model for the flying sequences, which were filmed at the less balmy RAF Bovingdon airfield in Hertfordshire. The measurements according to Stears’s technical drawings show the full size airframe had a wingspan of 40ft plus tanks, the length was 30 feet and height was 9 feet 9 inches.