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A Brief History of James Bond's Badass Cars

History of James Bond

James Bond gets to drive some damn fine vehicles. The legendary spy is probably most synonymous with Aston Martins, but 007 has driven his fair share of other beautiful vehicles too. With Spectre on the way in 2015, we thought we’d take a look back at James Bond’s cars through the history of the movie franchise.

We should point out, Mr. Bond ‘borrows’ quite a few vehicles in the movies and also drives rides belonging to partners, etc. This list doesn’t cover every single vehicle that 007 has ever driven, but simply the iconic ones that have been truly ‘his’.


Bond Cars

Make and Model: Sunbeam Alpine Series II
Year: 1962
Movie: Dr. No (1962)

The Sunbeam Alpine is Bond’s rental car and the vehicle is seen when he drives to Miss Taro’s home in the Blue Mountains

Brief History of James Bond's

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Make and Model: Bentley “Mark IV” Drophead 3.5 Litre
Year: 1935
Movie: From Russia With Love (1963)

Technically, the Bentley Mark IV doesn’t exist! The model seems to have been created by Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond novels. Nonetheless, the Bentley Mark IV is the first Bond car to be seen in the films, even if it was only the briefest of appearances.

Make and Model: Aston Martin DB5
Year: 1963
Movies: Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), GoldenEye (1995), and small appearances in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), Casino Royale (2006), and Skyfall (2012)

This is the quintessential 007 car, appearing in multiple Bond films and making it one of the most recognizable and famous cars in film history. The DB5 with spy gadgets that appeared in Goldfinger was sold at auction in October 2014 for $4.6m US.

In the Daniel Craig-era Bond films, 007 wins the DB5 in a poker game against Alex Dimitrios in Casino Royale. Bond then drives off in the car with Dimitrios’ girlfriend.

Brief History of James Bond's

Daniel Craig and James Bond's classic Aston Martin DB5

Make and Model: Toyota 2000 GT
Year: 1967
Movie: You Only Live Twice (1967)

The Toyota 2000 GT is rarer than the Aston Martin DB%, with only 351 models being produced. The car is actually a hardtop coupe, but Connery was too tall for the car, so Toyota made modifications and rush shipped two “convertible” versions for filming.

Make and Model: Aston Martin DBS
Year: 1968
Movie: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

This Aston Martin model is well known for its appearance in the shocking ending of the Bond film in which it appears. While it included a compartment for a sniper rifle in the glovebox, it is not equipped with bulletproof glass, allowing for the death of Bond’s wife.

Make and Model: Lotus Esprit S1
Year: 1976
Movie: The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

Agent 007’s car of choice in The Spy Who Loved Me wasn’t all it appeared. It could “transform” into a submarine and game equipped with anti-aircraft missiles.

Make and Model: Lotus Esprit Turbo
Year: 1981
Movie: For Your Eyes Only (1981)

People commonly believe that the two Lotus Esprit Turbos featured in the film were repainted Essex-spec Turbo Esprits, but in reality, they were specially commissioned for the Bond film.

Brief History of James Bond's

Roger Moore starred as James Bond in For Your Eyes Only, a film that featured the custom Lotus Esprit Turbo.

Make and Model: Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante
Year: 1985
Movie: The Living Daylights (1987)

The Living Daylights marked the entry of a new Bond and the return of the Aston Marin, a make which hadn’t featured in a 007 flick for 18 years. In true superspy fashion, the V8 Vantage Volante was kitted out with an array of gadgets.

Brief History of James Bond's

In The Living Daylights, James Bond (played by Timothy Dalton) drove an Aston Martin V8 Vintage Volante

Make and Model: BMW Z3
Year: 1995
Movie: Goldeneye (1995)

Goldeneye marks the first time that Bond himself drives a BMW. The car features tons of cool spy gadgets, but the only one that makes an appearance is the parachute braking system. Though the car only appears on film for less than 2 minutes, BMW received a spike in sales and received more than 15,000 orders for the Z3.

Brief History of James Bond's

Bond first drives a BMW in Goldeneye, starring Pierce Brosnan

Make and Model: BMW 750iL
Year: 1997
Movie: Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

Bond borrows this car from Q and it comes equipped with the usual spy accoutrements, as well as a remote control that is operated by an Ericsson cell phone. Naturally, the remote control comes in handy and helps Bond get out of a tight scrape in a parkade.

Make and Model: BMW Z8
Year: 1999
Movie: The World is Not Enough (1999)

The BMW Z8 marked the end of BMW’s rash of product placements in Bond films (for now, anyway). In an unusual turn for the franchise, Q’s new assistant, R, boasts that the car comes with six cup holders...

Brief History of James Bond's

Pierce Brosnan's Bond drove a BMW Z8 in The World Is Not Enough

Make and Model: Aston Martin V12 Vanquish
Year: 2002
Movie: Die Another Day (2002)

The Aston Martin V12 Vanquish’s claim to fame was a cloaking device that essentially made the car “invisible”. Bond drove the car in a 7-minute car chase sequence around an ice palace.

Brief History of James Bond's

Aston Martin returned to the Bond franchise with the Aston Martin V12 Vanquish in Die Another Day

Make and Model: Aston Martin DBS V12
Year: 2006
Movies: Casino Royale (2006) and Quantum of Solace (2008)

Casino Royale marked the entry of Daniel Craig into the Bond franchise and a reboot that gave James Bond a more serious edge. With the new feel came a return to the classics and the Aston Martin DBS V12. In a Casino Royale car chase, the Aston Martin goes through a record breaking 7 flips that ends in a crash that leaves Bond unconscious.

Make and Model: Aston Martin DB10
Year: 2014
Movie: Spectre (2015)

The love affair between James Bond and Aston Martin will continue with 2015’s Spectre. The luxury car maker has designed a new model specifically for the film and it’s also built in-house by the Aston Martin design and engineering teams. The bespoke nature of the dream car means that only 10 Aston Martin DB10’s will be produced.

The front end of the car is longer with a short wheelbase and a front grille that sits in shadow. In fact, the front end is inspired by sharks! The teams behind Spectre and the DB10 are keeping very hush-hush about the features and interior of the car, so we will have to wait until later this year to find out just what this car has to offer.

Brief History of James Bond's

The Aston Martin DB10 was literally built for Bond and will appear in Spectre in 2015

Honourable Mentions

Make and Model: Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible
Year: 1957
Movie: Dr. No

This car wasn’t owned by James Bond, but it is the first car that James Bond drives in the films. The classic convertible belonged to Dr. No and it’s also the first car used in a 007 car chase.

Make and Model: Mustang Mach 1
Year: 1971
Movie: Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

James Bond’s cars only feature briefly in Diamonds Are Forever, but the Mustang Mach 1, Tiffany Case’s car, makes a big appearance when 007 drives it in a Las Vegas car chase. Not only that, but he enters a narrow alley on two wheels… and comes out on the other side on the opposite two wheels!

Make and Model: Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II
Year: 1962
Movie: A View to a Kill (1985)

Back in real life, this car was owned by Cubby Broccoli, a film producer who was involved in 18 Bond movies. In A View to a Kill, the Rolls Royce is driven by Sir Godfrey Tibbett. Tibbett is strangled in a car wash and his body and an unconscious Bond are in the car which is pushed into a lake. Bond survives by breathing the air in the tires until the villain, May Day, leaves the scene.

Brief History of James Bond's

There you have it, a brief chronological history of James Bond’s cars. We think you’ll agree it’s a pretty impressive collection!

If you're looking for an auto shop in Kelowna, bring your ride to Boyds Tire and Auto Service - we treat every vehicle like it's a Bond car...




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