The 10 Best Bond Cars

Published On  November 07, 2012 12:27 PM By Kritika Sethi at

The character of James Bond is every bit as suave and risqué as an intelligent officer could possibly be. No fictional character in the history of mankind has ever had an impact so intense. And no matter who played the role of James Bond in the on-screen adaptations of Ian Fleming’s extremely famous novels, this fictional character has always managed to woo people across the globe with his oomph and allure. But its not just his trademark good looks and style that has had women swooning all over him; the other factor that makes a significant contribution to 007’s appeal is his ride. From Aston Martins to BMWs, Bond has had them all. Spruced up with the most technologically forward gadgets and inherent good looks, British Secret Service's Q branch always does a brilliant of supplying the most enticing autos to James Bond in order to help him to fight his enemies. And though the beseeching and expensive add-ons in his cars have always helped Bond pull off the most dangerous moves, there charm of the cars that have been seen in Bond movies is uncomparable. The list of Bond cars is long, and includes the most famous brands on the face of earth. With Aston Martins dominating the list of Bond cars, here is a list of the ten most famous and exciting rides out of all 007 cars. 

1.Aston Martin DB5: Considered the ultimate, or more precisely, the quintessential Bond car, the AstonMartin DB5 first appeared in the third film of the series, i.e. Goldfinger (1964). The car is considered to be as iconic as Sean Connery's portrayal of James Bond. In addition to its exquisite looks and superior speed, Bond's Aston Martin DB5 also sported machine guns, a radar, oil slick dispensers, smoke screen, a bullet-proof windshield, retractable tire cutters, rotating number plates, and of course the passenger ejector seat, which is considered to be the most ingenious creation to come out of Q's lab. The specifics of the car included a capability to deliver a peak power of about 330bhp, which allowed the deliverance of a top speed that measured up to 232 kmph. This legendary Aston Martin has appeared in a total of six Bond films, namely, Goldfinger, Thunderball, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, Casino Royale and Skyfall. It also made an appearance in The World Is Not Enough, though shots of the aforementioned car being driven to MI6's Scottish headquarter were cut from the movie. 

After it became obvious that Goldfinger was slated to be a massive financial success, Aston Martin built two replicas of the car for promotional causes and put the vehicles for exhibit at various auto shows and charity events. This turned out to be the best publicity-garnering strategy for Aston Martin in the entire history of its existence. However, the Aston Martin DB5, along with its gadgets, was sold to car collector Harry Yeaggy on October 27, 2010 for $4.6m. 

2.Lotus Esprit S1: Though it is ranked the second most famous Bond car, the Lotus Esprit S1 was almost as famous as the Aston Martin DB5. But what made this spy car so special was the fact that the car also doubled up as a submarine. Making an appearance in the Roger Moore starrer The Spy Who Loved Me, the car was invloved in one of the best on-road chase sequences in the movie. However, its desirability factor went a notch higher when Bond jumped off a pier and turned into a submarine at the mere flick of a switch for an underwater chase sequence. Other than that, the car also featured surface-to-air missiles, torpedoes, and depth charges. 

Delving a bit deeper into the car's transformation into a submarine, Lotus actually provided seven vehicle 'shells' that were used to create the submarine and also show the transformation elements. Also, during the making of the film, the unit realised that the only other car capable of keeping up with the Lotus Esprit S1 for the car-to-car shots was another Esprit S1. And the only other one available was owned by Lotus Chairman Colin Chapman, who was more than happy to lend his car to the film's makers. Besides Roger Becker, a Lotus employee, not only aided the film's production but also drove the car for many shots.  This Lotus Esprit S1 is now on display in the James Bond Experience at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu (Hampshire, England).

3.Aston Martin V12 Vanquish: The AstonMartin V12 Vanquish was often referred to as the 'Vanish' in Pierce Brosnan's last Bond film, i.e. Die Another Day, because the car was equipped with 'adaptive camouflage'. Being the car's USP, this feature was actually a cloaking device that allowed the car to immediately become inivisible at the push of a button. The V12 Vanquish also sported the regular set of refinements, which included front-firing rockets, target seeking guns mounted on the hood, spike-producing tires, and also a passenger ejector seat, considered to be a tribute to the Aston MartinDB5. 

The Aston Martin V12 Vanquish also featured in two video games, namely, Nightfire (2002) and Everything or Nothing (2004). 

4.BMW 750iL: BMW's flagship sedan BMW 750iL managed to earn its own share of fame with its appearance in the 1997 Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies. This movie, which saw Pierce Brosnan play the role of James Bond for the second time, also featured the Aston Martin DB5, but it was the 750iL that got more screen-time in the film. Powered by a 12-cylinder engine, the BMW 750iL was quite big for a Bond car. On the brighter side, its huge size allowed Q to load the car with more gadgets which included missie launchers, caltrops, self-inflating tires, and its body impenetrable. Also, the BMW 750iL could also be controlled via a special cellular phone. It was this feature that accounted for the exciting chase sequence in Tomorrow Never Dies when James Bond is seen driving the car from the backseat. 

BMW handed over 10 cars to the production company, which also included smash proof windows, electrified handles, noxious canisters, a hidden gun compartment behind the airbag, and tire-shredding tetrahedrons in addition to the features mentioned earlier. 

5.Toyota 2000GT Roadster: Sean Connery's last venture as James Bond in the fifth film of the series, You Only live Twice, featured the Toyota 2000GT Roadster. However, it wasn't Bond that drives the aforementioned car in the movie. Instead it was Japanese agent Aki who gets to drive the car in this one. The car features in three scenes during the film, the first appearance being when Aki drove Bond to meet MI6 contact Mr Henderson. The remaining two scenes involved the car when Aki saved an unsuspecting Bond, and the last scene of the two is considered especially remarkable. The car, which ran on a six-cylinder engine, boasted of an impressive power output of 150bhp and a top speed of 225.308kmph. 

However, it must be noted that at that time, Toyota didn't sell a 2000GT roadster. Infact, the company intended to sell their first sports car as a coupe, which was a problem due to the film-maker's plans for in-car filming and also because of Sean Connery's 6”2 frame. Eventually, Toyota built two convertibles, within just two weeks, especially for the film. While one was handed over to the film-makers, the other one was kept with Toyota in Japan as a back-up car. Today, one of the two Toyota 2000GT Roadster is on display at Toyota's headquarters, while the location of the other car is unknown. 

6.Sunbeam Alpine Series II: Just as Sean Connery is credited with introducing the character of James Bond to the world, the little Sunbeam Alpine Series II is accredited for setting up the premise for the introduction of the franchise's second most abiding icon: the coveted Bond car. The rather modest Sunbeam Alpine made its first appearance along with James Bond's first apperance in the first film of the franchise Dr No. Bond's Sunbeam Alpine was powered by a 1.6-litre engine with a 'lake blue' finish and matching upholstery. It rapidly gained an iconic status not only due to its downplayed modesty and the thrilling chase sequence it was involved in, but also because of the fact that it was James Bond's first car even though it was rented. 

Being the first on-screen adaptation of Ian Fleming's novels, no manufacturers supplied vehicles for the phenomenon of the honour of being in a Bond movie didn't exist back then. The Sunbeam Alpine Series II seen in the car was actually borrowed from a local resident in Jamaica. 

7.Aston Martin V8 Vantage: After Goldfinger and Thunderball, Aston Martins played comparatively minor roles in Bond movies despite their massive success. However Timothy Dalton's appointement as 007 resulted in the revival of Aston Martin's relationship with the franchise. More than eager to rekindle the failing relationship, the work on the Aston Martin V8 Vantage for The Living Daylights (1987) turned out to be a massive job for the auto company. Eventually, two versions of the car were used, one softtop Volante version, with the other one being a hardtop car. As opposed to Aston Martin DB5's 'silver birch' finish, the V8 Vantage was 'gun metal silver' in colour. Furthermore, its list of gadgetry included outrigger skis, spikes that deployed from the tires, lasers mounted in the wheels hubs, a rocket afterburner, and missiles hidden behind the driving lights. 

8.Ford Mustang Mach 1: Making an appearance in Sean Connery's last movie with the franchise Diamonds Are Forever, when Ford loaned eight Ford Mustang Mach 1's to the movies producers. The car is best remembered for its role in one of the most infamous errors in the history of films. As Bond was eluding the police after escaping from Blofeld's research lab, he tips the Ford Mustang Mach I on two wheels to drive through a narrow alley.

While Bond tips the car onto the passenger-side wheels while entering the alley, the car is seen tipped onto the driver-side while emerging from the alley.  The car is now on display at the Bond Museum in Keswick, Cumbria (England). 

9.BMW Z8: Seen as the Bond car in Pierce Brosnan's third film and 19th of the James Bond franchise, the 400bhp V8 BMW Z8 received ample amount of screen space in The World Is Not Enough. However, it wasn't as loaded as the BMW 750iL in terms of gadgetry, and yet included titanium plating and armor, ground to air missiles behind the headlights, a key chain that allowed the car to be controlled remotely, an infra-red tracking system, and a high-sensitivity listening device. Unfortunately, the car is cut in half by a helicopter with an extraordinarily large saw. 

BMW made two kit cars and one shell for the film's shooting. While the shell was destroyed during filming, the remaining car is currently owned by Eon productions and is on display at Bond in Motion, National Motor Museum, Beaulieu until December 2012. 

10.Aston Martin DBS V12: Casino Royale featured two debutantes: Daniel Craig as the new James Bond and the Aston Martin DBS V12. The car featured no special add-ons from Q's lab except for the secret compartments inside the car, which served the purpose of housing his Walther P99, and an emergency med kit that included components of an emergency medical link to the MI6 headquarters, antidotes to various poisons and a small defibrillator. But the car also meets a rather sad end in the movie as Bond suddenly comes across Vesper suddenly appears lying bound in the middle of the road while he was chasing her abductors on a dimly lit road. As he swerves the car to avoid her, the Aston Martin DBS V12 flips a record seven times before crashing down.

The car also featured in Daniel Craig's second Bond movie Quantam of Solace. But once again, the car is destroyed in the movie after a chase sequence in the beginning of the film. 



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