What Car Did Scaramanga Drive?

Unveiling the Iconic Wheels

In the enthralling world of James Bond films, the villains’ charisma and the allure of their iconic rides are often as captivating as the suave spy himself. One such memorable antagonist was Francisco Scaramanga, brilliantly portrayed by Christopher Lee in the classic 1974 film “The Man with the Golden Gun.” Alongside his lethal expertise, Scaramanga’s choice of transportation played a pivotal role in defining his enigmatic persona. So, the question arises: what car did Scaramanga drive? In this article, we embark on a journey through the pages of cinematic history to unravel the mysteries behind the infamous golden wheels of the legendary villain. From the significance of the AMC Matador Coupe’s golden color to its influence on popular culture and its place in the realm of collectible cars, we delve deep into every aspect of this automotive enigma.

Key Takeaways

  • Scaramanga’s primary ride in “The Man with the Golden Gun” was the AMC Matador Coupe, a specially customized vehicle that perfectly suited his extravagant tastes and distinct personality.
  • The car’s golden color, mirroring Scaramanga’s signature golden gun, further enhanced his enigmatic image and left a lasting impact on popular culture, inspiring collectors and enthusiasts alike.
  • While the car did not have any special gadgets like those of James Bond’s vehicles, its powerful performance and striking design made it an unforgettable presence in the film’s action sequences.

What car did Scaramanga drive?

In the mesmerizing world of James Bond movies, the villains are as iconic as the suave secret agent himself. One of the most memorable adversaries faced by Bond was Francisco Scaramanga, the skilled assassin portrayed by Christopher Lee in the classic 1974 film “The Man with the Golden Gun.” Alongside his lethal prowess, Scaramanga’s choice of transportation added to his mystique and allure. So, what car did Scaramanga drive? Let’s delve into the fascinating automotive journey of the enigmatic villain.

The Aston Martin DB5

While the Aston Martin DB5 is synonymous with James Bond, it was also featured in “The Man with the Golden Gun.” However, it was not Scaramanga’s primary ride; it only appeared briefly during a car chase scene with Bond. Despite the limited screen time, the DB5’s presence left an indelible mark on the audience, connecting the villainous world to that of the heroic spy.

The AMC Matador Coupe

Scaramanga’s true automotive companion was the menacingly elegant AMC Matador Coupe. This American classic was a perfect fit for the character’s extravagant tastes and his desire for a unique ride. The car’s distinctive appearance with a bold front grille and sleek curves made it stand out from the crowd, much like its owner.

Specifications of the AMC Matador Coupe:

Category Specification
Engine 5.9L V8
Power 235 hp
Transmission 3-speed automatic
Top Speed Approximately 120 mph
0 to 60 mph 10.6 seconds
Production Years 1974 – 1978

The Golden Gun Accessory

The film’s title, “The Man with the Golden Gun,” is derived from Scaramanga’s signature weapon, a golden gun that could be disassembled and disguised as a pen, a cigarette case, a lighter, and a cufflink. Drawing inspiration from this deadly accessory, Scaramanga’s AMC Matador Coupe was painted a striking golden color, further cementing the association between the man and his car.

Influences on Pop Culture

Scaramanga’s golden ride left an indelible impact on popular culture. Die-cast toy models of the AMC Matador Coupe adorned the shelves of collectors and fans worldwide. Additionally, the car became a sought-after item among vintage car enthusiasts, further fueling its fame.

Legacy and Preservation

As time passed, the allure of Scaramanga’s car did not diminish. The AMC Matador Coupe earned its place in automotive history, becoming a prized possession for collectors. Classic car restoration projects aimed at preserving this legendary vehicle were undertaken by dedicated fans, ensuring that its unique design and legacy are passed down to future generations.


1. How did Scaramanga acquire his iconic golden car?

Scaramanga’s acquisition of his iconic golden car, the AMC Matador Coupe, remains shrouded in mystery. According to the movie’s storyline, it is suggested that the car was a customized and one-of-a-kind vehicle tailored to his extravagant tastes and need for a unique mode of transportation. As a renowned assassin with vast resources, it is plausible that Scaramanga had the means to commission such a remarkable automobile, specially designed to match his golden gun and to embody his extravagant and lethal persona. The car’s golden hue, which mirrored the color of his signature weapon, further emphasized Scaramanga’s distinct identity as the villain with a golden touch.

2. How did the AMC Matador Coupe perform in the film’s car chase scene?

In the thrilling car chase scene in “The Man with the Golden Gun,” the AMC Matador Coupe showcased its impressive performance capabilities. Despite its bulky appearance, the car’s powerful 5.9L V8 engine delivered a remarkable 235 horsepower, propelling the vehicle to a top speed of approximately 120 mph. The car’s 3-speed automatic transmission allowed for seamless gear changes during the intense chase, and its robust suspension ensured stability on challenging terrains. While Scaramanga’s driving skills were equally essential, the AMC Matador Coupe’s reliability and handling contributed significantly to the excitement and intensity of the chase sequence, solidifying its status as an unforgettable movie car.

3. Was the golden color of the car achieved through paint or actual gold plating?

The golden color of Scaramanga’s AMC Matador Coupe was achieved through a custom paint job rather than actual gold plating. Applying a gold finish with real gold would have been exorbitantly expensive and impractical for a movie prop, considering the extensive scenes involving the car. Instead, skilled artisans and painters utilized a combination of metallic gold paint and top-quality clear coats to achieve the gleaming appearance. This approach not only allowed for a stunning golden hue but also ensured that the car retained its reflective and lustrous finish, captivating the audience on the big screen.

4. How did Scaramanga’s golden car influence future James Bond films?

Scaramanga’s golden car made a lasting impact on future James Bond films, becoming an influential element in shaping the franchise’s portrayal of villains and their vehicles. The AMC Matador Coupe’s extravagant and unique design set a precedent for future Bond antagonists to have personalized and memorable modes of transportation. It inspired subsequent filmmakers to explore creative ways to showcase the villains’ personalities through their choice of cars. Additionally, the use of a golden color scheme became synonymous with luxury and opulence in the Bond series, prompting the inclusion of golden elements in other aspects of the films, such as props, costumes, and set designs.

5. What role did the AMC Matador Coupe play in Scaramanga’s characterization?

Scaramanga’s AMC Matador Coupe played a crucial role in shaping his character’s image and personality. The car, with its flashy golden exterior and powerful performance, mirrored Scaramanga’s opulent lifestyle and his ruthless reputation as the world’s deadliest hitman. It symbolized his flamboyance, ambition, and desire for notoriety. Additionally, the car’s sleek design and captivating presence enhanced the air of mystery surrounding the character, making him even more alluring and unforgettable in the minds of audiences. Ultimately, Scaramanga’s choice of the AMC Matador Coupe provided valuable insights into his psyche and became an integral part of his overall characterization as the villain with a golden gun.

6. How did the AMC Matador Coupe become a sought-after collectible?

Over the years, the AMC Matador Coupe gained a reputation as a sought-after collectible due to its association with the classic James Bond film and its memorable appearance. Vintage car enthusiasts and James Bond fans alike developed a fascination with the car, seeking to own a piece of cinematic history. As a result, surviving models of the AMC Matador Coupe became rare and valuable, with collectors actively searching for well-preserved examples. The car’s uniqueness, combined with its role in a beloved film, made it a prized possession for enthusiasts looking to relive the magic of “The Man with the Golden Gun” and add a touch of Hollywood glamour to their collection.

7. How did the AMC Matador Coupe stand out among other classic cars of its time?

During its production years of 1974 to 1978, the AMC Matador Coupe faced stiff competition from other classic cars of the era. However, it managed to stand out due to its distinct design and powerful performance. The car’s eye-catching front grille and sleek bodylines gave it a unique and recognizable appearance on the road. Its 5.9L V8 engine provided ample power, ensuring it could hold its own against other muscle cars of the time. Moreover, the AMC Matador Coupe’s golden paint job set it apart from the more conventional color choices of other vehicles, making it a true head-turner and contributing to its enduring legacy as a standout classic car.

8. Did the AMC Matador Coupe have any special features in the film?

In “The Man with the Golden Gun,” the AMC Matador Coupe did not feature any extraordinary gadgets or special modifications akin to the vehicles driven by James Bond himself. The car’s most prominent “special feature” was its striking golden color, which played into Scaramanga’s persona as a mysterious and luxurious villain. Unlike the famous Bond cars equipped with weaponry and defense mechanisms, the AMC Matador Coupe relied solely on its powerful engine and agile handling during the film’s action sequences. Nonetheless, the car’s bold and glamorous appearance left a lasting impression, proving that not all memorable movie cars need to boast extravagant gadgets.

9. How many AMC Matador Coupes were used in the making of the film?

The exact number of AMC Matador Coupes used in the making of “The Man with the Golden Gun” remains a subject of speculation among film enthusiasts. While multiple cars were likely employed during the production, the exact count is difficult to determine due to the wear and tear that typically occurs during intensive filming, especially for car chase scenes. Additionally, film studios often use several identical vehicles to film different sequences or angles, ensuring continuity and safety during the shoot. Despite the uncertainty, it is clear that the AMC Matador Coupe played a significant role in the film, leaving an everlasting impression on audiences and becoming an iconic symbol of Scaramanga’s villainy.

10. Has the AMC Matador Coupe ever been featured in other movies or TV shows?

While the AMC Matador Coupe achieved fame through its appearance in “The Man with the Golden Gun,” it did not become as prolific in other movies or TV shows compared to other famous movie cars. Its association with Scaramanga and the Bond franchise remained its defining legacy. However, the car’s unique and striking design did influence the creation of other fictional vehicles in later films and TV series. Some automotive enthusiasts might spot similarities between the AMC Matador Coupe and certain cars featured in pop culture after its appearance, but its presence in subsequent media was not as prominent or widespread as other iconic movie cars. Nonetheless, its status as a beloved classic movie car continues to be cherished by fans worldwide, immortalizing the AMC Matador Coupe’s place in cinema history.


Scaramanga’s choice of car, the AMC Matador Coupe, not only became an integral part of his character’s identity but also left an indelible mark on the James Bond franchise and automotive history. Its golden hue, powerful performance, and unique design made it an iconic symbol of villainy, capturing the imagination of moviegoers and car enthusiasts worldwide. From being a sought-after collectible to inspiring future filmmakers in portraying memorable antagonists, the AMC Matador Coupe’s legacy endures, cementing its place as one of cinema’s most intriguing and unforgettable classic cars. As we celebrate the enduring allure of Scaramanga’s golden ride, it remains a testament to the cinematic magic and the enchantment of timeless automobiles.

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