Here are our ten favourite cars that 007 has driven in over 50 years of shooting, shagging and shaking (but not stirring).
This was first published in MOTOR's November 2008 issue
1. Aston Martin DBS - Casino Royale (2006) Quantum of Solace (2008)
After Daniel Craig’s new-age ‘emotional’ Bond took about three seconds to crash one in Casino Royale, the hi-po Aston Martin DBS is back again for an action-packed, opening-sequence crash-fest in Quantum of Solace. Apparently one DBS was accidentally driven into Italy’s Lake Garda during filming.
2. Lotus Esprit - The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Apart from the original DB5, the submersible Lotus Esprit is the most widely recognised Bond car. Thanks to one of the franchise’s best chase scenes, it would become vastly more popular than the rare Essex-spec S3 Esprit Turbo that appeared briefly in 1981’s For Your Eyes Only. As a result, toy company Corgi went on to sell about 47 billion scale-model Esprits.
3. Toyota 2000GT - You Only Live Twice (1967)
Toyota never actually produced a convertible version of its E-Type clone, but a drop-top version was specially built for James Bond’s Japanese colleague Aki. It was originally meant to be a targa version, but as Sean Connery’s head stuck out too high, Toyota lopped the back off (instead of lowering the seat...). One of two cars built for the film remains on display at Toyota’s HQ.
4. Ferrari F355 GTS - Goldeneye (1995)
Femme fatales driving fast cars are every bloke’s fantasy, and not even 007 in his Aston DB5 could resist the temptation of a head-to-head thrash against the wicked Xenia Onatopp (a classic Bond name) in an F355 through the French Alps. It’s only when a tractor suddenly appears around a corner that the cat-and-mouse chase ends as Onatopp spins her Ferrari into the dirt.
5. Aston Martin DB5 - Goldfinger (1964)
The original – and quite possibly still the best – Bond car. The DB5 has featured in at least five films, but it is the cars’ first appearance in Goldfinger that cemented it as a 007 legend, complete with revolving numberplates, oil-slick and smoke-screen devices, machine guns and an ejector seat. One of the two original DB5s used in the film recently sold for over $2 million.
6. BMW Z8 - The World is Not Enough (1999)
After copping plenty of flack for driving a limp-wristed Z3 Roadster and a remote-controlled 7-Series, BMW finally stumped up a credible Bond car with the retro-styled, M5 V8-powered Z8. But after a chase scene on a rickety wharf, it was chopped in half by a gigantic circular saw hanging from a helicopter, subsequently ending the German brand’s association with 007.
7. Mercury Cougar - On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
Even 007’s women had good taste in cars, as his wife Tracy Bond – ironically the daughter of a significant crime syndicate – was seen driving a Mercury Cougar in the only 007 flick to feature Aussie George Lazenby as James Bond. The Cougar was essentially a rebodied Mustang with trick concealed headlights and full-width sequential rear indicators.
8. AMC Hornet X Hatchback - The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
Probably the most obscure Bond car of all time, the odd-looking, V8-powered American hatchback performed one of the coolest car stunts in celluloid history – a death-defying ramp-to-ramp ‘corkscrew’ jump over a Thai river. While bad guy Scaramanga’s AMC Matador could transform into a plane, Bond’s stolen Hornet was cooler.
9. Jaguar XKR - Die Another Day (2002)
Harking back to the original, gadget-laden Bond machines, the bright green Jaguar XKR was an over-the-top and frankly pig-ugly weapon of mass destruction crammed with missiles and machine guns – and drifted across an ice lake by diamond-studded baddie, Zao, in pursuit of Pierce Brosnan’s Bond aboard a similarly gizmo-heavy Aston Martin Vanquish.
10. Alfa Romeo GTV6 - Octopussy (1983)
It might not be the fastest, most desirable or reliable Alfa of all time, but the Alfetta GTV6 was a ripper of a car in the early 1980s ... before the metal cancer set in. With its fuel-injected 2.5-litre V6, it was fast enough for Bond – who knicked it from his enemy, renegade Soviet General Orlov – to chase down Octopussy’s circus train that was carrying a nuclear warhead. Or something.