After Bond’s Lotus Esprit Turbo goes up in flames, he jumps into the passenger seat of Melina Havelock’s yellow Citroën 2CV, heading off the twisty mountain roads, while Hector Gonzalez’s men give chase in a pair of Peugeot 504 sedans. Bond eventually takes the wheel and the car enjoys a bone-rattling climax that sees it hurtling through olive trees, criss-crossing the road, before jumping over a pursuing Peugeot and bumping its offside-rear wheel on the sedan’s roof.
Created in 1939, the low-power, low-cost Citroën 2CV was a staple of French life. “A glorious little car” according to the film’s director John Glen, “it’s what French farmers used to drive across ploughed fields.” The 2CV was powered by a 602cc flat-twin engine mustering around 33bhp. The main hero vehicle used in filming featured a larger 1.1-litre engine that was lifted from the Citroën GS.
With the franchise producers bidding to bring Bond back to earth after his cosmic exploits in Moonraker, director John Glen turned to the humblest of vehicles for 007’s chase sequence in For Your Eyes Only, launching James and Melina Havelock on a seven-minute thrill ride in a Citroën 2CV. The very antithesis of a high-tech Bond car, the two-cylinder Citroën — described by its manufacturer, Pierre-Jules Boulanger, as ‘a chaise longue under an umbrella’ — provided the perfect machine for Roger Moore’s hero to demonstrate his considerable skills behind the wheel. Shot in Corfu over 12 days in late September and early October 1980, the chase sequence marked the franchise debut of Remy Julienne as stunt driver and arranger. A number of 2CVs were used in the sequence and four are known to have survived filming, while at least two more definitely scrapped after the production wrapped.
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