Running around killing all the villains and sleeping with their women takes a certain set of skills and a lot of STD fighting antibiotics. It’s also cause for having a ride that can be incognito yet unique. Enough class to fit in at all the snooty casinos. As we waited to see what Q could deliver to our favorite spy car in the form of wacky gadgetry, we got to drool over the (not always) fine lines of these sleek exotics. So without further ado, here are the Top 10 James Bond Spy Cars. The list only includes vehicles that Bond drove himself…so the Mercury Cougar we all love, driven by his future wife Tracy di Vicenzo, doesn’t get a mention. And neither does the Tuk Tuk taxi from Octopussy either.
Ranking The Best James Bond Cars!
#10 – The BMW 750iL
Remember when BMW encroached on Aston as being the “James Bond Car” manufacturer of choice? Well it seems that even international spies need sponsors. This luxury liner was packed with a 5.4L V12 that offered up 322 hp – 361 lb-ft as well as, rockets, caltrops dispenser, tear gas and a snazzy remote control function too. Hopefully Bond was only leasing the 750iL due to the long term maintenance costs killing him faster than any baddy.
#9 – The Sunbeam Alpine Roadster
The first James Movie was called Dr No, and it arrived on the scene in 1962 with Sean Connery in the lead role. The car used in this film was a Sunbeam Alpine series II this British made classic was initially developed by Sunbeam-Talbot dealer George Hartwell as a one-off rally car. The Sunbeam Alpine II came with a 1592 cc engine producing 80 bhp and came with revised rear suspension.
Maybe not the sexy Aston bodylines or the whopping powerplant of the DBS but, the Sunbeam Alpine was the quintessential British hillclimber that was built on the principles of “lighter is better”. Although most Alpines came packed with the 80-93 hp I4 engines, there was a rarer model under the Sunbeam Tiger II that offered a good ol’ American Ford 289 V8 and it was a rocket. Too slow for Dr. No?
#8 – The AMC Hornet
AMC never gets any love, yet the Hornet finally had a chance on the big screen as Bond chased the man with the golden gun after a bad sexual experience on Fantasy Island. Though he could have taken the Gucci Sportabout (yes there was a Gucci AMC), Bond went for the 1974 Hornet X Hatchback possibly packing the AMC 401 cid with 330hp. Either way Bond needed as much power as possible in order to make the corkscrew jump with that piss poor stereotype of a southerner riding shotgun.
#7 – The Ford Mustang Mach 1
In Diamonds are Forever, James Bond gets a taste for crazy redheads and red ponies with the Ford Mustang Mach 1. Somehow managing to drift the “tire burning Titanic” around downtown Vegas took skill only a British spy or a 24pk downed Redneck could pull off. Could the Duke boys in their Charger keep up with Bond, yeah probably. If you got the 72′ 302 Mach 1, you only got 140 hp. If you got the 71′ 429 Super Cobra Jet V8, you got 375 hp – 450 lb·ft. That’s what you needed to get away from villains and ginger clingers.
#6 – The BMW Z8 Roadster
When The World Is Not Enough for some, others get their kicks by packing an E39 M5 V8 with 400hp into an all aluminum roadster designed by Henrik Fisker. This roadster was a more masculine step up from the cutesy wootsie little Z3 James Bond Car from GoldenEye. Add some surface-to-air missiles and you have a ride ready to capture poon or the profligate villain.
#5 – The Alfa Romeo GTV6 Quadrifoglio
Whenever Roger Moore takes flight from a train, panic sets in and he needs to grab a car that looks fast, the obvious choice is a sultry Alfa Romeo. The Alfa Romeo GTV6 was a looker especially for the early 80’s time. Fortunately Bond only stole the car for a short time otherwise the car would have certainly broken down. Plus around 128 hp makes for a lackluster getaway car but it looks good!
#4 – The Aston Martin DBS V12
Probably my personal favorite looking car of the past decade. This is the definition of calm, cool and collective on wheels. So it’s no surprise that a borderline sociopath like Bond would drive such a car. Packing a 510 hp V12 is the perfect match for an international spy. The optional glovebox defibrillator came in handy as ol’ Bond had to jump start his heart, and probably the Aston as well. We had a hard time deciding if we wanted to include this one or the Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante from The Living Daylights, then we realized that a new James Bond car would certainly outclass an older one.
#3 – The Toyota 2000GT Open-Top
When Bond got a taste for the Orient in You Only Live Twice, he might have been shagging the closest thing to Yoko Ono, but who cares when she has one-of-two Toyota 2000GT Open-Tops in the world. Who knew that Toyota could design something so badass and beautiful.
Considered to be Japans first supercar the Toyota 2000 GT was a limited-production car that came with a front engine, rear wheel drive, two seats, this model was designed by Toyota in collaboration with Yamaha it was first showing to the public in 1965 at the Tokyo Motor Show.
Poor Aki was probably hotter than she appeared yet never had a chance, as any woman would look less attractive in the midst of such beauty.
#2 – The Lotus Esprit S1
The epitome of 70’s Bond cars has to be the 1976 Lotus Esprit S1. Boxy futuristic mid-engine design packed with a whopping 160 hp I4. Ok, so the engine was only a 2.0L but if you have a transverse V12 packed in, where the hell are the surface-to-air missiles, cement sprayer, mines and torpedoes suppose to go genius. Not to mention the fact that this turns into the most erotic submarine ever. Bond dove into more than just seawater with this ride. It would be number one in the list, but you can’t top #1…
Still, Bond and Lotus go hand in hand, with the Esprit Turbo turning up as James Bond’s ride in 1981’s For Your Eyes Only. It boasted a 2.2 liter engine and a 5-speed manual transmission, but it will always live in the shadow of “Wet Nellie” mentioned above (which is now owned by Elon Musk). Anyway, enough reminiscing about the Lotus Esprit Turbo and S1 models, and on
#1 – The Aston Martin DB5
The most Iconic “Bond Car” and top of the list has to be the classic Aston Martin DB5. It is pure power, pure British, pure timeless beauty all wrapped into Grand Tourer that has a soft enough ride to take the tramps up to the ski shanty or run from insane bad guys on sharp alpine roads. It is a 282 hp .30 caliber machine gun wielding tire shredder with tire shredders! I even shed a tear when they shot up the DB5 in Skyfall. Bastards!
The Aston Martin DB5 has appeared in 6 James Bond films since the first appearance of the DB5 in Goldfinger. The DB5 that featured in Goldfinger recently sold for $4.6 million.
These are off course only a handful of cars that have featured in James Bond films, as a James Bond Fan we all have a favorite film and therefore a favorite car, so whether it is the BMW that appeared in The World is not Enough or an Alfa Romeo GTV6 that featured in Octopussy we would all like to own a car like James Bond.
But What About 007 Spy Cars That You Could Actually Afford?
Well, cars that have been driven by Bond at least. If you had to choose a Bond car that you could actually afford, which one would it be? There aren’t many affordable James Bond cars, plus not all of them have survived to see movie franchise’s 50th anniversary. If you’re into James Bond, you’ll also remember that he has actually driven numerous other vehicles beside the designated Bond car in each movie.
He has driven almost everything from submarine/supercar mash up of the Lotus Esprit S1 to the likes of AMC Hornet, Citroen 2CV, and Ford LTD. Yeah, you read it right, a Ford LTD. Although you’ll most likely only remember the Aston Martins, BMWs, and, well, Fords, Bond cars were much more colorful than that.
Of course, neither of the six Bonds has driven any of these second choice cars for too long. Some have only made a short appearance, while others have had a glorious role. In both instances, however, they were disposable and treated as such. However, you can bet their manufacturers had paid a pretty penny in order for them to make it to the big screen and serve either as Bond’s temporary transportation means or a bumper car. The main thing is; you can find second hand examples with price tags that are affordable by more or less anyone’s standards. Obviously, machine guns, an ejector seat rocket boosters, electrified door handles, and a Bond girl won’t come as part of the deal.
BMW 750 iL (E38)
Appeared in: 1997 Tomorrow Never Dies
This one features in both halves of this list, because it’s excellent AND affordable. The BMW 750 iL used to be the Bavarian maker’s flagship car back then, and it’s hard to believe it’s affordable even 15 years after the end of its production. But it is. Apart from the obvious reason (age), it might be due to its extremely thirsty 5.4L V12 engine kicking out 346 horsepower. Bond’s 750 iL had some ludicrous gadgets like the spray gas or electric shocker. It also could have been controlled remotely via cell phone, and had a roof-mounted rocket launcher. Yours won’t have any of that stuff, but at least you’ll be able to buy if for around $5,000. Be prepared for close to 200,000 miles in that case. If you’d like low mileage, on the other hand, $10,000 should be sufficient. That’s still affordable for nicely preserved flagship luxury car with 20 years under its belt.
Appeared in: 1985 A view to a Kill
Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson driving Yugo GV in 1995 Die Hard with a Vengeance was funny. Roger Moore driving a Ford LTD in 1985 A View to a Kill – not so much. Mostly because the first two ridiculed the crappy rust bucket they were driving, while the good Sir Roger Moore didn’t do the same with the LTD. This is probably one of the worst James Bond cars ever driven by 007. But that doesn’t really concern us. What does is the fact you can easily get it for around $5,000. If you find any of the last gen models, that is.
Appeared in: 1974 The Man with the Golden Gun
Yep, Bond’s AMC is also a relatively affordable option. If you’re a fan, you probably remember the corkscrew jump that Bond had pulled with the red Hornet he commandeered from a Bangkok dealership. Now, all AMC’s have one major problem. They’re rare. The Hornet is among rarest of them all, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find one. Still, one with the in-line six engine and in fine shape can be yours for around $6,000. A V8 will command a little bit higher price tag, though.
Ford Fusion V6
Appeared in: 2006 Casino Royale
Casino Royale was one of the most important James Bond films in the past 30 or so years. It’s the first one based on Ian Flemming’s writing since 1989 Licence to Kill and the first to feature Daniel Craig as the main protagonist. And what does he drive at the beginning of the movie? A Ford Mondeo 2.5L ST which is nothing other than Euro spec first gen Ford Fusion V6. What an anti-climax for the series reboot! Casino Royale ended up being one of the best Bond films of all time, and Ford Fusion isn’t necessarily a bad car – only not really a Bond one. It can easily be found for some $7,000, but high mileage units go for much less than that.
Appeared in: 1981 For Your Eyes Only
Don’t laugh! You’ll soon find out the ugly little 2CV is among the more expensive cars on this list. Don’t worry, it’s still affordable. The problem is deciding whether 30 or 40-year old outdated ugly duckling is worth $15,000 which is exactly how much people in the US want for it. 2CV’s had a 42-year long production run which speaks a lot about it. Over the years, it’s become a collectible, and it’s quite rare in the states. Those are the reasons it’s as expensive as it is. But I say it’s definitely worth it. If Bond can drive it the way he did, it has to be fun! Doesn’t it? Plus, all of them are restored and in fine shape.
Ford Mustang Mach 1
Appeared in: 1971 Diamonds are Forever
1971 wasn’t the best of years for Mustang lovers, but the Mach 1 package was at the top of its game. It has done one hell of a job in the film too, when it helped Sean Connery survive a car chase scene, being pursued by the Las Vegas Police Department. James Bond drove this vehicle around the streets of Vegas on 4 wheels and 2 wheels whilst driving through a narrow alley whilst trying to lose the local police force. Wheelie-ing through narrow alleyway still remains one of the best stunts in James Bond movies, although it can’t compare with the famous Casino Royale Aston Martin DBS roll. The Mustang Mach 1 is still a valued possession which warrants around $30,000 on average. You can, however, find it for $20,000 or thereabouts, but much higher stickers aren’t that uncommon as well.
It’s so good, it appeared in this list twice!
BMW Z3 (E36/7)
Appeared in: 1995 GoldenEye
GoldenEye is certainly there among the best Bond movies ever produced, and it’s also Pierce Brosnan’s first appearance as 007. The BMW Z3 was also BMW’s first appearance as a James Bond car. The BMW Z3 has a lot to thank for to the James Bond franchise, courtesy of some prime product placement. It reached its peak straight from the get-go after appearing in the film, but people later figured out it wasn’t really all that good. You can easily find it for $7,000 these days, and that’s a fine deal as long as luxury roadsters go. Those with north of 100,000 miles can be acquired for less than $5,000, and knowing BMW’s reliability, they’ll run for at least 100,000 more. It’ll also cost you keeping it fit, but that’s the deal with German luxury sports cars (although Z3 is American-made).
Lincoln Mark VII LSC
Appeared in: 1989 Licence to Kill
Blue Oval was really aggressive with its Bond car advertising, and they really didn’t care about the chosen means. Lincoln Mark VII LSC isn’t a bad car, but it isn’t really a Bond car as well. Still, Timothy Dalton drove it as his rental car in Key West. 5.0L Windsor V8 was responsible for considerable amount of power at the rear wheels which is always a plus, unless you’re a fuel economy freak. It can be found for as little as $3,500 if you’re looking for more than 100,000 miles on its odometer, while those with considerably lower mileage cost around $10,000.
1957 Ford Fairlane Convertible
Appeared in: 2002 Die Another Day
Bond drives this one for a brief scene while he’s in Cuba, but it still was driven by him, so it still counts. Ford Fairlane Convertible is one prized possession these days and usually goes for some $30,000 to $40,000. That’s a lot of money to be considered affordable, but it is a 60-year old classic, and most of them are fully restored and in great shape. This is why it’s high price tag isn’t all that relevant. The prices will only grow, after all, so consider it as an investment.
Lotus Esprit S3 Turbo
Appeared in: 1981 For Your Eyes Only
And we’re back to the Lotus. The submarine Lotus Esprit S1 from 1977 The Spy Who Loved Me might be a tough nut to crack as non-driving model costs as much as $1 million. The Lotus Esprit Turbo from three years later, however, can be obtained for around $35,000. Of course, it can cost more than that since it’s quite rare these days. But, consider it this way: this is still a mid-engine supercar, and can you really allow yourself to pass up the opportunity to own wedge-shaped supercar for that kind of money? And you know they’re all in very good condition as well, and with low to average mileage figures.
So which Bond film is it: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Living Daylights, From Russia With Love, Thunderball, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, Casino Royale, A Quantum of Solace? Which one is your favorite Bond movie, and what’s your favorite vehicle?