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Licensed to Thrill: 15 Best James Bond Cars

These Iconic 007 Cars Are Some of the Coolest Vehicles to Grace the Silver Screen

Aston Martin DB5

With 25 films spanning over 50 years, the James Bond film series is the 6th highest-grossing franchise and film series ever. And while these James Bond cars aren’t the stars of the 007 films like in other franchises, they do play a solid supporting role — so much so that there is always speculation about what decked-out spy car Bond will drive next.

With the long-anticipated release of “No Time to Die” slated for October, we wanted to honor the latest addition to the franchise with a list of all the James Bond Cars that have stolen the show over the decades. Many were driven by 007 himself, while others were piloted by friends, and foes, of Britain’s top agent.

1995 BMW Z3 | GoldenEye

“GoldenEye” marked the first film in BMW’s three-picture deal to feature the brand’s cars. The 1995 BMW Z3 that debuted in “Goldeneye” was highly marketed and hyped, though the convertible didn’t get much screen time. In the film, Bond gets the rundown from Q on all the spy-worthy Z3 upgrades (Ejector seat? Check. Stinger missiles behind the headlights? Check.) Sadly, none of these fun features get used on screen. Bond briefly drives the Z3 in the Florida Keys where he trades it to his CIA contact, Jack Wade, for a plane to Cuba.

1948 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith | Spectre

In “Spectre,” Bond and Madeleine Swann find themselves at a remote desert train station. A 1948 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith emerges from the desert to escort the pair to visit the villainous Ernst Stavro Blofeld (born Franz Oberhauser). As 007 would attest, if you’re going to be chauffeured to see the head of an evil organization, you might as well travel in style.

2014 Land Rover Defender | Spectre

The Land Rover Defender might be one of the best vehicles to cart around a villain’s henchman. In “Spectre,” 007 is up against a whole boatload of bad guys in the most highly modified, rugged Defenders yet seen in any Bond film. In a snowy escape scene, Bond and Madeleine Swann must evade the clutches of Mr. Hinx — and the Defenders end up a little worse for the encounter.

1957 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner | Die Another Day

In “Die Another Day,” Bond finds himself in Cuba hot on the trail of terrorist, Zao. True to the economic climate in Cuba at the time, the majority of the cars cruising the streets of Havana are from the 50s. So when Bond asks his spy contact for a fast car, a 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner fits the bill. Though not as technologically advanced as Bond’s more sophisticated rides, the brown and white Fairlane certainly had an unmistakable style — from its chrome bumper to its sleek tailfins.

1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 | Diamonds Are Forever

It’s hard to forget the bright red Ford Mustang Mach 1 features in “Diamonds Are Forever.” The mustang originally arrives on the scene driven by Bond’s accomplice Tiffany Case, but Bond eventually gets behind the wheel. Fantastic car chase scenes ensue on the streets of Las Vegas along with one of the most iconic stunts in Bond car chase history when Bond balances the Mach I on two wheels to escape down a narrow alley. Don’t try this at home.

1969 Mercury Cougar XR-7 | On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

George Lazenby boasts the shortest stint of all Bond actors as he only appeared as 007 in a single film — “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” And though Lazenby’s Bond doesn’t get to drive the car, the film features a 1969 Mercury Cougar XR-7 driven by Bond’s accomplice — Tracy di Vicenzo. She drives this American muscle car through snow and ice, even knocking some competitors out of an ice race while evading the bad guys.

2014 Jaguar C-X75 | Spectre

If you dump millions into research and development into a supercar then, due to the global economy, decide to abandon selling the vehicle, what is the next best thing? Turn it into a James Bond car, of course. And that is just what Jaguar did with their Jaguar C-X75 prototype. In “Spectre,” one of the villain’s henchmen, Mr. Hinx, drives the C-X75 for a glorious chase scene through the streets of Rome. We leave it to you to decide if the C-X75 steals the show from Bond’s Aston Martin DB10.

1995 Ferrari F355 GTS | GoldenEye

Trust James Bond to get in a street race while being evaluated by an MI6 employee. In “Goldeneye,” Bond takes to the streets behind the wheel of an Aston Martin DB5 only to get in a showdown with a woman in a bright red Ferrari F355. The woman is the villainess, Xenia Onatopp, as viewers learn later in the film. During the spirited drive, the pair nearly crash a few times, barely miss a few dozen cyclists, and the Ferrari even does a few dramatic 360s before regaining control.

1967 Toyota 2000GT Convertible | You Only Live Twice

Sean Connery’s Jame Bond doesn’t drive the 1967 Toyota 2000GT Convertible in “You Only Live Twice.” Bond instead gets driven to safety by his accomplice, Japanese agent Akiko Wakabayashi. Aki and the 2000GT help Bond escape the bad guys several times, and we dare say the sleek white roadster with its pop-up headlights played a suitably suave supporting role.

1999 BMW Z8 | The World Is Not Enough

The BMW Z8 was showcased as the third and final BMW to be featured in a Bond film as part of the brand’s three-picture deal. In “The World Is Not Enough,” Bond picks up his car from Q and his new assistant “R.” The car could be remote controlled via the key fob and had a unique targeting display integrated into the steering wheel to fire surface-to-air missiles which launch from the side vents. It met its demise rather dramatically during the film, getting chopped in half.

2002 Aston Martin Vanquish “Vanish” | Die Another Day

Pierce Brosnan’s fourth film brought Bond back in the driver’s seat of an Aston Martin. “Aston Martin call it the Vanquish, we call it the Vanish,” says the new Q. This car’s most unique feature — adaptive camouflage — makes the Aston Martin invisible. This cloaking device comes in handy as 007 is chased across a frozen lake in Iceland by an equally decked-to-the-nines Jaguar XKR. Missiles, machine guns, and ejector seats come into play.

2015 Aston Martin DB10 | Spectre

You know that the relationship between a film series and a car manufacturer is solid when the manufacturer creates a vehicle specifically for your film. Aston Martin sold the DB9 to the public, and after it, the DB11. But what about the DB10? Well, that is a limited Aston belonging to Bond and making its debut in “Spectre.” In the film, the Aston Martin DB10 was intended for another “00” agent, but Bond steals it to proceed with his mission.

1976 Lotus Esprit S1 | The Spy Who Loved Me

In “The Spy Who Loved Me,” Bond dramatically gets away from the villain by driving a Lotus Esprit S1 into the ocean. The fun doesn’t stop there as the spy car converts into a submarine with its own slew of gadgets including surface-to-air missiles, torpedos, and underwater mines, making it one of the most unique James Bond cars in the franchise.

2007 Aston Martin DBS V12 | Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace

As one of the more realistic James Bond cars, without goofy spy gadgets or over-the-top upgrades, the 2007 Aston Martin DBS might be the best real-life Bond car to grace the screen. Featured prominently featured in both “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace” starring Daniel Craig as James Bond, the DBS’s V12 added a thunderous note to the movie’s soundtrack. And the chase scene at the beginning of “Quantum of Solace” might be one of the best cars chases of all time.

1997 BMW 750iL | Tomorrow Never Dies

In the ’90s film “Tomorrow Never Dies,” Bond picks up his executive class 1997 BMW 750iL from Q in dramatic fashion. The 750iL was equipped with a slew of security features including the ability to be remotely controlled via Bond’s cellphone. A safe in the airbag compartment with fingerprint protection, electric shock security door handles, tear gas, missiles embedded in the sunroof, tire-shredding tacks, re-inflatable tires, and a unique cable cutter that pops out of the front BMW emblem all came standard. And even better, Bond uses nearly all of these features in perhaps the longest Bond car scene, to escape capture from the media mogul Elliot Carver’s henchmen.

1963-64 Aston Martin DB5 | Multiple Bond Films

Let’s face it. No other car deserves this spot than the ultimate Bond car— the Aston Martin DB5. First seen in the Sean Connery Bond film “Goldfinger,” the DB5 has popped up as Bond’s show-off car through near every decade of Bond films. It is seen in the Pierce Brosnan film “GoldenEye.” Craig’s Bond wins the Aston in a game of cards in “Casino Royale” and it lives all the way until its demise at the end of “Skyfall” only to be brought back to life in “Spectre.” The DB5 will go back to work in the 25th film “No Time to Die” alongside some other iconic James Bond cars.

James Bond Cars Call to Enthusiasts

While the James Bond cars in the older Bond films were special in their own way, it is clear that with the newer generations of Bond films that picking vehicles worthy of being in a Bond film is of the utmost importance. After all, when 007 gets behind the wheel, exciting things are bound to happen — and audiences are watching to see what cool spy cars are up to the task.

About Danny Korecki

Danny Korecki is a financial analyst by day and a freelance automotive writer by night. His words, photos, or videos have been seen on many well known automotive sites across the web. When he isn't creating content he enjoys loving on his dog and daily driving his BMW E92 M3.