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Citroen 2CV - For Your Eyes Only

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Overshadowing a Lotus is never easy, but Citroen managed it...

After the outer-space nonsense that was Moonraker, Bond was brought back to Earth with 1981’s For Your Eyes Only. And, intriguingly, the film’s Lotus Esprits were overshadowed by the unlikeliest of vehicles.But the Citroën 2CV’s flight from a pair of Peugeot 504s driven by Hector Gonzales’ henchmen is undoubtedly the star-turn of the film, despite the crass Bill Conti disco-funk backing track. Bond was forced to use the banana-yellow 2CV, which belonged to his later love interest, the crossbow-toting Melina Havelock (played by Caroline Bouquet), when his first Esprit Turbo perished. Moore’s eyebrows went gyroscopic when he first clapped eyes on it – 29bhp after 210 is a fair downgrade…

In the chase, Melina initially takes the wheel and does an excellent job, but in a stunning show of sexism Bond kindly offers to drive the rest of the way when the car tips over. He wasn’t averse to this behavior in other films – patronizingly quipping ‘Can it play any other tunes?’ to Anya following a crunched gearchange in The Spy Who Loved Me. The 2CV fared well, though – and, despite a series of rollovers, it beat the 504s, allowing Bond and Melina to escape. In order to make the stunts convincing, the 2CV packed a GS flat-four under the bonnet, but it didn’t stop the director resorting to speeding up playback during a particularly deft J-turn.

The original car from the film is probably a thousand bean cans now (they used six in total, and 2CV experts reckon there’s one left), but the model in our pictures was an honored guest at the Paris film première, and currently belongs to a member of the owners’ club, 2CVGB.

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