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Like a Vesper Martini or a Walther PPK—Aston Martin and James Bond go hand-in-hand. Casual James Bond fans might be surprised to learn that the MI6 agent has driven 16 vehicles that aren’t Aston Martins throughout the series. Sometimes your Aston Martin DB5 isn’t available, and you have to hop behind the wheel of a BMW with some stinger missiles.
Ok, maybe the BMW Z3’s you’ve seen don’t have stinger missiles. Regardless of your Z3’s configuration, there’s plenty of stunning James Bond vehicles that stray from the series’ storied Aston Martin tradition.
We’re going to examine every past vehicle within the James Bond series before shining a light on the new cars that’ll make their debut in Daniel Craig’s last upcoming Bond film, No Time to Die.
Then, only one question will remain:
The British made 1961 Sunbeam Alpine kicked off Bond’s impressive line of vehicles in his first feature, Dr. No. This initial Bond film was released in 1962, with Sean Connery playing the lead. While there’s no denying the Sunbeam Alpine’s stunning beauty, this vehicle contains a tamer exterior than other lavish Bond vehicles like the Aston Martin DB5.
Dr. No’s Sunbeam Alpine scenes feature Bond driving throughout Jamaica in an open-top version of the car. This open-top design was a purposeful choice on the director’s part as it showcased leadman in prominent fashion.
Since this was the first James Bond movie, the film’s production crew had to find their vehicle to provide Bond for driving scenes.
This trend didn’t last long as Aston Martin voluntarily provided a vehicle for James Bond’s third movie, Goldfinger, in 1964. Car advertising doesn’t get any better than that.
Aston Martin and Bentley have always been neck-in-neck when it comes to debating who’s the best British auto manufacturer. It might shock you to learn that James Bond drove a Bentley before he ever got took the wheel of an Aston Martin on screen. The first James Bond Aston Martin made its debut in the third Bond film, Goldfinger. Bond can be seen driving a stunning Bentley Mark IV in his second film, From Russia with Love.
While the first two Bond vehicles aren’t Aston Martin’s, they hold the 007 British automobile tradition. From Russia with Love carried over the first movie’s open-top filming strategy with Bond opening his Bentley Mark IV’s roof before heading home. This Bentley is by far the most vintage vehicle in the bond lineup with an age of thirty years from Russia with Love’s release.
You might be wondering why the From Russia with Love production crew went with the Bentley Mark IV for Bond’s second vehicle. This decision is all tied to the source material. Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels frequently featured 007 driving a Bentley. The Mark IV is as close as producers came to replicating the 1931 Bentley 4.5 Liter—Bond’s car in the original Casino Royale novel. This 1930’s Casino Royale Bentley contains a straight-six 110 horsepower engine that tops out at 90 mph.
A Bentley vehicle didn’t appear in another Bond movie until 1983 when Sean Connery returned for one last fight in Never Say Never Again.
Aston Martin came out of the gates swinging by offering up their incredible 1964 DB5 model for the filming of Goldfinger, one of the most critically acclaimed Bond movies. The British manufacturer had great timing with this PR move. The Swiss Alps portions of Goldfinger’s script seem like they’re written solely to show off the DB5’s pure grace and exquisite elegance.
This Aston Martin is the vehicle where Bond starts to increase his speed on screen.
The 1964 Aston Martin DB5 features a 4-liter straight-six engine that produces 282 horsepower and a 0-60 mph speed of 8 seconds. 007 needed all of the accessories he could handle to keep up with Goldfinger in this classic film. Bond’s exclusive 1964 DB5 trim includes a revolving license plate, machine guns, bullet-proof glass, and much more.
Authentic replications of this Aston Martin are understandably hard to find. The models you can read about are generally sold for just over $3.5 million on average. You can find celebrities like Jerry Seinfeld driving a DB5 on his show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
Bond movie producers understandably veered from their British when 007 went to Japan for the first time on screen in 1967 for You Only Live Twice. James made a smart move going with Toyota’s first supercar, the 2000 GT. This vehicle is known for its exceptional power and market rarity.
So, how rare is this vehicle?
Toyota only made 351 total 2000 GT models between 1967-1970. Sean Connery was reportedly too large to fit comfortably within the 2000 GT’s original hardtop coupe design. This dilemma led to Toyota altering the 2000 GT’s design into an open-top version that better accommodated the lead star. The 2000 GT’s new look maintained its fastback profile while ditching the rear side windows. Toyota was able to make this pivotal alteration in a mere two weeks.
Have you ever wondered what Daniel Craig’s favorite Bond car is? Craig confidently stated that the Toyota 2000 GT is his number-one 007 car pick, while From Russia with Love remains his go-to Bond film.
Many Bond films shine the spotlight on one particular vehicle. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is the first 007 movie that features two standout vehicles. These cars are the 1969 Aston Martin DBS and the 1969 Mercury Cougar.
Aston Martin’s DBS held a tragic presence in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service as Bond’s wife is assassinated through the vehicle’s windshield toward the film’s end. Q didn’t integrate any gadgets into this Aston Martin until the next Bond movie, Diamonds Are Forever.
The 1969 DBS features a straight-six engine with 282 horsepower and four full-sized seats. Aston Martin designed the 1969 DBS to hold a more modern appearance than previous models. Two of these atypical Aston Martin exterior components include a fastback style rear and a squared front grille.
007-style car auctions are always in vogue. 2020 led to a $610,000 1969 Mercury Cougar sale at a CAD exchange rate. This Cougar sale featured one of three models ordered for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’s production. A thirty-year restoration project played a central role in helping this vehicle sell for over half a million CAD.
A leather-trimmed cabin allows Bond’s Mercury to sport plenty of sophistication, while a 7.0L V8 provides hefty 335 horsepower levels.
MI6 agent 007 heads to Las Vegas in 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever. You can spot Bond driving a Ford Mustang Mach 1 in this Nevada-set film. The Mach 1 designation represents Ford’s desirable performance-oriented option package that ends up serving 007 well during a police chase on Vegas’ Fremont Street.
Bond’s Mustang in Diamonds Are Forever makes a bold impression with its sharp red exterior and sporty leather red/black interior. This isn’t a Mustang’s first appearance in a Bond movie as Goldfinger and Thunderball feature supporting cast members driving blue and white Mustang models. Producers ended up using several different Mustangs with different engine configurations during the movie’s filming.
A certain portion of Bond fans remember Diamonds Are Forever as containing one of the most famous movie mistakes of all time. The editing slip-up occurs when James Bond drives the Mach 1 Mustang on two wheels through a narrow alleyway to avoid a police car. When the camera cuts back to the Mustang, Bond is suddenly driving on two wheels from the car’s other side. This continuity error reminds us to appreciate the hard work that goes into quality movie editing.
The Man with the Golden Gun features Roger Moore doing a mid-air barrel roll jump in a 1974 AMC Hornet. Stunt coordinator Jay Milligan created this stunt and sold the rights to The Man with the Golden Gun producers. Milligan flew to Thailand to help recreate the stunt on location for the movie.
A lot of impressive lead-up work helped The Man with the Golden Gun’s cast and crew capture this barrel roll in one shot. The stunt was computer designed, while the AMC Hornet received vast amounts of modifications. These AMC Hornet alterations consisted of new suspension and a central driver position that fostered more even weight distribution.
Guinness Book of World Records 2010 rated The Man with the Golden Gun’s barrel jump as the third-best Bond stunt of all time.
We had seen Bond lose enemies with the 1964 DB5’s defense mechanisms, drive on two wheels in Vegas, and flawlessly execute a barrel roll jump in Thailand until The Spy Who Loved Me. 007 producers took The Spy Who Loved Me’s car sequences to the next level with a Lotus Esprit S1 that transforms into a submarine during an extensive Sardinia chase.
A 907 4-Cylinder engine fueled the Esprit 1 with 160 horsepower, while a steel backbone chassis and a fiberglass body helped the vehicle form a stunning and forward-thinking exterior profile. One downside to this Lotus is the car’s lack of power. The Lotus Esprit 1’s 0-60 mph time of 6.8 seconds 138 mph top speed shows that Bond was lucky that this vehicle had water driving capabilities that allowed him to gain a necessary edge over his enemies.
This vehicle’s gearbox was a 5-speed manual that was previously used in cars like the Maserati Merak. The Lotus Esprit 1’s inbound rear brakes serve as a reflection of the time’s racing practices.
A lightweight design helped the Lotus Esprit 1 excel in the performance category. This Lotus was especially well known for its handling as drivers have rated the vehicle’s handling as the best out of any Esprit model.
The 1980 Lotus Esprit S3 Turbo and the 1981 Citroën 2CV were two Bond vehicles that turned heads during the premiere of For Your Eyes Only. Bond producers were quick to bring another Lotus back for the next round of filming since the previous film’s underwater Lotus proved to be so popular.
This early 80s Lotus was the first turbocharged Esprit that the British manufacturer produced. Lotus ran this turbocharged Esprit lineup until 1987 when a new design emerged with a more rounded exterior. For Your Eyes Only features two turbocharged Esprit models as the first was blown up by anti-theft programming. Bond uses a second copper-colored Esprit to travel to the Italian Alps with some high-grade skis strapped to the vehicle’s back.
The Lotus Esprit S3 Turbo contained a dry-sump type 910 engine that churned out 210 horsepower with a top speed of 150 and a 0-60 mph time of 6.1 seconds. For Your Eyes Only held a more serious tone that led to the film’s Lotus’s possessing more realistic accessories for 007’s mission. The aforementioned self-destruct system was the only gadget shown on screen during the course of the movie.
Bond’s 1981 Citroën 2CV is one of the more practical vehicles that the series features. This French front-wheel-drive model serves as James Bond’s makeshift getaway car after his Esprit is accidentally blown up by enemies. The Citroën 2CV For Your Eyes Only is so lightweight that Bond and some helping hands are able to push the vehicle back on its wheels after it tips over during a narrow street chase. It’d be fair to bet that James was missing his Esprit quite a bit during the course of this getaway scene.
It’s hard for a Bond vehicle to get more unconventional than the Bajaj RE featured in the 1983 Octopussy film. The Bajaj RE is the only three-wheeled vehicle that Bond has ever used. Octopussy’s chase scene featuring the Bajaj RE is borderline absurd as the car is essentially a motorized carriage. A trailing gunman leads to Bond activating this Q-modified vehicle’s powerful engine that allows the vehicle to drive on two wheels.
007 needed these MI6 performance upgrades as a normal RE would only give Bond between 9-15 horsepower.
These three-wheeled cars began their manufacturing history prior to World War II in Japan. Bajaj has now produced three-wheeled vehicles like the RE for over fifty years.
Most people rank the Bajaj RE high on the list of Bond’s worst vehicles. The Bajaj RE’s lack of doors left Bond dangerously exposed during Octopussy’s chase scene, while the car’s general instability is enough to generate anxiety even outside of a getaway sequence.
Bond’s Renault 11 Taxi and Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II are two vehicles that standout in Roger Moore’s A View to a Kill.
Fans of classic 80’s Bond movies will clearly remember the Renault 11’s tragic fate. Roger Moore drives this Parisian taxi every which way before getting the car’s whole top ripped off and splitting the car in two from a backside collision. The Renault that was cut in two was recently sold at an Orlando Auto Museum auction in 2019.
You might be wondering why producers chose this vehicle as a Bond car as it’s known for its poor power and handling abilities. This is exactly why A View to a Kill cast and crew chose the Renault 11. The car’s lack of value kept production costs down as the script called for a car to lose its roof and become split in two.
Bond returns in style during the course of the film taking a passenger role in a 1962 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II. There’s a scene in A View to a Kill where the Rolls Royce goes into a lake. The film’s crew used a replica of the Rolls Royce, while the movie’s real Silver Cloud II was owned by one of the movie’s producers. This 1962 Rolls Royce contained a 6.2-liter V8 engine that went from 0-60 mph in just under 11 seconds with a top driving speed of 104 mph.
Aston Martin’s V8 Vantage Series II was introduced in 1977 with lots of surrounding buzz. A 170-mph top speed helped the V8 Vantage Series II win the title of Britain’s first supercar, while continual improvements helped solidify this vehicle’s positive reputation. You can find a 1987 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante in Timothy Dalton’s The Living Daylights Bond role.
First-series V8 Vantage’s had impressive 375 horsepower levels and standout design elements like a separate rear spoiler. Aston Martin only built 37 total first series V8 Vantage models. A wooden interior dashboard was introduced within this Aston Martin during the 1980s, while the 1986 version’s engine had 405 horsepower.
You might be wondering why Aston Martins were missing from Bond movies for most of the 70s and 80s. Producers were striving to differentiate Sean Connery’s version of Bond from Roger Moore. Other key Connery and Moore differences include Martini’s vs. Scotch and cigarette smoking vs. cigar smoking.
The Living Daylights producers used three V8 Vantage models and seven fiberglass replicas during the course of the movie’s filming.
The decision to have Bond driving a German car in Goldeneye didn’t pay great dividends considering the choice of vehicle. Goldeneye’s Z3 is an underwhelming four-cylinder sports car. While you can find us writing positively about the Z3 in our list of top ten luxury cars that cost less than a new Honda Accord, Bond usually drives more flashy and powerful vehicles.
Bond fans were upset at the fact that Goldeneye never shows off the different gear that the Z3 is supposedly filled with. All viewers see is the Z3’s parachute. 007 movies should always be striving for bigger and better when it comes to gadgets within the MI6. 2015 Spectre is a great example showcasing Bond’s ability to evade enemies with the Q-equipped vehicle gear.
The Z3 definitely lacked power during the time of Goldeneye. BMW didn’t give the Z3 six-cylinder more punch until 1997 as previous models squeaked by with a mere 138 horsepower.
Well, at least this model is better than the Bajaj RE. Outside of the BMW Z3, Goldeneye is considered Pierce Bronson’s best Bond appearance.
Does BMW Redeem Itself in the James Bond series?
Bond producers continued the BMW trend in Bronson’s Tomorrow Never Dies. BMW shined a little brighter in Tomorrow Never Dies with its flagship 750Li. This 7 Series was in its third generation during the filming of Tomorrow Never Dies, with the “L” portion of 750Li representing the German word “lang,” which translates to “long.”
Standout 750iL features include high-pressure headlight washers and a 14-speaker sound system with four subwoofers. BMW made car history when it integrated the first in-car satellite navigation screen into the E38 7 Series.
Bond fittingly drove his 750iL during Tomorrow Never Dies’ Germany sequences. Q fitted Bond’s 750iL with a complex security system that delivered tear gas and electric shocks to intruders. Defense accessories within this 750iL included a roof rocket launcher, a remote car operating device, and re-inflating tires. It’s fair to say most BMW 750iL drivers wouldn’t mind a trim with self-inflating tires.
You might’ve thought that The Living Daylights’ three Aston Martin V8 Vantages and seven fiberglass replicas were a lot to have on set. Tomorrow Never Dies doubled down by utilizing seventeen vehicles for its German driving sequences.
Trust us. This Z edition BMW is a lot more impressive than our previous example. BMW’s Z8 in The World Is Not Enough is a limited-edition line of vehicles with just over 5,700 models ever built. $128,000 gave you the Z8’s 32-valve V8 that cranked out 400 horsepower and 370 lb-ft of torque.
BMW’s factory lists the Z8 as going from 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds. The vehicle’s engine was placed behind the front axle so the car could achieve a 50/50 weight distribution. Car and Driver Magazine tested the BMW Z8 and rated the vehicle’s acceleration, handling, and braking as superior to Ferrari’s 360 Modena. The Z8’s manufacturer-limited top speed was recorded at 155.4, while an unlock chip could get the vehicle up to 170 mph.
This model adds to the long list of Bond cars that end up being completely destroyed by enemies. A helicopter with a tree-cutting saw ends up slicing Bond’s Z8 into two pieces.
The Z8 contains an innovative exterior that’s worth noting. This car’s taillights and turn indicators are powered by neon tubes that are known for their supreme durability. Take a glance at the Z8’s roof, and you’ll find that the design seamlessly matches the body’s lines.
007 Racing and Agent Under Fire are two early 2000’s Bond games that feature the Z8 from 1999’s The World Is Not Enough.
The Ford’s Fairlane and the Aston Martin V12 Vanquish are two Bond vehicles featured in 2002’s Die Another Day.
Bond heads to Cuba in Die Another Day. When he asks for a fast car, he’s given a 1957 Ford Fairlane instead. 007 is able to make up for this experience later on with a 2002 Aston Martin Vanquish model that packs an ultra-impressive 450 horsepower.
Bond’s 1957 Ford Fairlane is a pretty neat vintage convertible. This is the perfect car for Bond to drive around Cuba, given that there are around 60,000 classic American cars currently driving around the country’s streets.
Ford manufactured the Fairlane between 1955-1971. Bronson is seen driving a full-size Fairlane before the car switched over to a midsize configuration in 1962.
The V12 Vanquish was Aston Martin’s answer to its Virage range that was growing old. A 6.2-liter V12 engine allowed the V12 Vanquish to hit a top speed of 190 mph. This Aston Martin has one of the coolest Q-equipped accessories. An adaptive camouflage design option helped this car essentially disappear when Bond needed to fly under the radar.
Critics were blown away by Daniel Craig’s debut Bond performance in 2008’s Casino Royale. The sheer intensity of this movie was bolstered by the presence of Bond’s Aston Martin DBS V12.
This vehicle ends up getting destroyed (by Bond) during a chase scene. 007’s enemies kidnap his love interest and drive off with Bond hot on their trail behind the wheel of his DBS V12. After some fast-paced driving, Bond sees his love interest tied up in the middle of the road, forcing him to steer in the opposite direction rapidly. This maneuver results in Bond’s Aston Martin flipping a solid number of times before finally landing on the car’s wheels.
A spare gun and defibrillator are the only two accessories featured in Bond’s Aston Martin DBS V12. Casino Royale was a part of Ford’s three-movie James Bond deal that promised the presence of the ultra-luxurious Aston Martins as Ford was Aston Martin’s parent company at the time. The last movie made under this deal with Ford was Daniel Craig’s Quantum of Solace.
Aston Martin made their DB10 model specifically for the 2015 Bond Spectre movie. This model helped mark Aston Martin’s 50th anniversary working with the 007 franchise. The DB10 is one of history’s rarest cars as only ten were made—eight of which were used during Spectre’s filming. This Aston Martin model has an estimated value of $2.1 million dollars.
You’ll find that this is one of the more futuristic models that Aston Martin has ever made. The DB10 is a two-door bespoke coupe that began as a concept sketch for the British manufacturer’s next V8 Vantage edition. Bond can reach top speeds of 190 mph with this car’s 4.7-liter V8 engine that produces 500 horsepower.
Q wasted no time equipping the DB10 with tons of knockout accessories.
Here’s a list of all the gadgets within the DB10:
Similar to A View to Kill, this vehicle ends up sinking in water.
Aston Martin’s DB5, V8 Vantage, DBS Superleggera, and soon-to-be-released Valhalla are all going to be featured in No Time to Die, Daniel Craig’s last Bond appearance.
007 fans are more than ready for the release of this upcoming movie that comes out in October 2021. The film was going to be released earlier and was delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Rare Aston Martin fans will love what they see when the Valhalla graces the big screen. There are only 500 total Valhalla models, each of which contains a hybrid turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine.
One of the Valhalla’s most innovative design elements is its negation of side mirrors. Aston Martin replaces the Valhalla’s would-be side mirrors with hidden rear-facing camera. Check out the Valhalla’s rear wing, and you’ll see its NASA-approved material that’s known to bend carbon fiber.
Inside of the Valhalla is a heart rate monitor that’s attached to the car’s steering wheel. There’s no doubt that this car will raise drivers’ heart rates as Aston Martin designed the Valhalla to produce a mind-bending 937 horsepower. Bond should have no problem getting away now.
It’s great to see Bond producers featuring the long-loved DB5 in Daniel Craig’s last addition to the franchise. Check out the No Time to Die trailer to see the classic DB5 spraying heavy-caliber machine guns while doing donuts.
We look forward to seeing the long-awaited No Time to Die.
In the meantime, feel free to comment your favorite James Bond vehicle from this list on our social media feeds.
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.
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