What were you thinking about as the credits rolled at the end of No Time To Die? Bond's rather explosive demise? Whether you put enough money in the car park machine? The Toyota Land Cruiser?
If you split the film into three acts, I spent the first two using all my willpower to stop myself from firing up AutoScout24 to find a Lancia Thesis. The final act was spent marvelling at the decision to stick 007 in a Land Cruiser Prado, aka the Land Cruiser Colorado.
It means that Daniel Craig's Bond car history is bookended by a Ford Mondeo ST and a Toyota Land Cruiser. Stick that in your press releases, Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover.
The marketing and promotional bods at Land Rover must have been crying into their chai lattes as Bond's Toyota saw off the challenge of Safin's henchmen. ‘New Defender faces toughest test in James Bond movie’, the company said in a press release in 2019. ‘Range Rover SVR preparing to make an impact in James Bond film’, Land Rover added on the week of the film's cinema release.
Make an impact it did, with one SVR sent scuttling down a bank, and the other getting airborne before falling to earth with a bump. Meanwhile, the Land Cruiser carries on unscathed, in a manner akin to Bond adjusting his tie after some fisticuffs. A little shaken, but not stirred.
Land Cruiser: Die Another Day
Next, 007 lends credence to the adage about driving into a jungle in a Land Rover and driving out in a Land Cruiser. Lee Morrison, James Bond stunt co-ordinator, said: ‘We needed an unstoppable vehicle to help us battle against the elements, steep descents and river crossings so we chose the new Defender.’ He should have bought a Toyota dating back to around the turn of the millennium.
From what I remember, only three cars finished the film with their bodywork intact: Aston Martin V8, Aston Martin Valhalla and Land Cruiser. I could be wrong about the Astons as I was too busy thinking about the Lancia Thesis.
Don't expect it to die
I understand that Toyota had no prior knowledge of the Land Cruiser's role in the film. A spokesperson for Toyota UK told PetrolBlog: ‘As far as we're aware the choice of the Toyota was one made by the producers and/or scriptwriters of the movie and we didn't provide the vehicle.
‘The first we knew about it was when we started seeing the social media posts when the film premiered.’
As this Twitter exchange reveals, Toyota UK must have enjoyed watching a Land Cruiser upstage Land Rover on the big screen. If only Toyota had known about it in advance; we might have seen a Land Cruiser J90 restomod in Sonora Gold Pearl metallic paint. I'd call it the ‘Still Not Dead’ Edition.
Daniel Craig: from ‘Mondeo man’ to ‘Prado papa’ in 15 years. Remember, folks, if it's not your time to die, buy a Land Cruiser.