What’s the best Bond car of all time? We’ve taken a look through the last 50 years of films and picked out a few of our favourites.
James Bond movies have generally been adored by petrolheads since first hitting the big screen in 1962. As one of the smoothest agent of Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Bond is rarely without a suitably impressive set of wheels. Aston Martin has been the car of choice for the most part, despite a couple of Lotus and BMW-shaped blips. The chases are generally thrilling, with villains thwarted by Bond’s supreme wheel skills or more often than not, some clever contraption fitted by Q Branch…
The most recent film, SPECTRE, was a positive treat for Aston fans, as it featured the DB10 – a brand new model created specifically for Bond. The major henchman of the film was also seen driving the prototype C-X75, a prototype hypercar that sadly never made it to production.
But what is James Bond’s greatest ever car? Take a look through our list, and tell us what you think should be at the top of the list!
Aston Martin DB5
The Aston Martin DB5, which made its on-screen debut in the 1964 film Goldfinger has actually made a total of six appearances in various films. The stylish looks, weaponry and that iconic ejector seats are just a few of the reasons that this car caught the public’s imagination.
Although briefly appearing in Thunderball, Tomorrow Never Dies and Casino Royale, Bond’s DB5 made its biggest return at the beginning of 1997’s Goldeneye. Pierce Brosnan’s debut appearance saw the classic Aston duelling with a Ferrari F355 in the twisty French mountain roads above Monaco. The car also played a major role in the Skyfall, ultimately meeting its bullet-ridden demise outside the Scottish stately home. Will Bond’s DB5 ever make a return? A brief glimpse of the car being rebuilt by Q branch in SPECTRE suggests that is could very well be back in time for the next film…
Lotus Esprit S1
First appearing in The Spy Who Loved Me as Q drove it off a rickety-looking car ferry, it’s hard not to relish the fantastic noise emanating from its twin-Dell’orto carb-fed Lotus twin-cam engine. An evocative mountain chase ensues as Bond tries to escape the incoming attacks from various henchmen. As it builds towards its crescendo, we see one of the most iconic scenes in Bond history, as the white Lotus plunges off a jetty into the Mediterranean. The seemingly normal Esprit transforms into a submarine, and quickly destroys the pursuing helicopter with its surface-to-air missiles.
Aston Martin Vanquish
With the Vanquish making an appearance in Brosnan’s last film, Die Another Day, it marked the return of a current-generation Aston Martin in a Bond film. This one took the gadgets to the max, featuring an invisibility cloak.
For the ice chase on the frozen Icelandic lake, the Vanquish used during filming was actually converted to four-wheel drive and V8 power. During the chase 007 flips the car, and in a nice tribute to the Goldfinger DB5, uses the ejector seat to right the car after sliding along upside down.
Aston Martin DBS
A new Bond, a new Aston. Daniel Craig’s first film as the MI6 agent, Casino Royale, saw the franchise go through a major re-boot. Although we never get to see any of the gadgets, there’s a hidden compartment containing Bond’s gun and an emergency medical kit, which saves his life after being poisoned.
During a chase involving a Jaguar XJ, the Aston Martin has a huge accident, that was filmed at the Millbrook proving ground.
Aston Martin DB10
This prototype was created especially for SPECTRE, and during the film was chased through Rome (by an equally fantastic Jaguar CX75). As the name suggests, it’s a car that bridges the gap between the DB9 and DB11, previewing the design direction that the company is taking with its future models. Despite strict instructions from Q, the car ended up written off in a river. Ten were built, all for the film, but one was sold to the public (not for road use) for a total of nearly $5million.
Toyota 2000GT Convertible
A convertible 2000GT was never commercially available and, looking at agent Aki’s car, it’s easy to conclude that Toyota missed a trick. It’s a stunning extension of the original Albrecht Goertz design and why it never made production is a mystery.
The open-topped 2000GT happened by accident rather than design: Connery couldn’t comfortably fit in the standard coupé, and Toyota’s original solution was to create a targa-topped version. This resulted in the lead actor’s head sticking out comically – not good. A rapid top-chop was needed to maintain the car’s appearance in the film, and Toyota delivered one quickly. So hastily, in fact, that there was no roof under that faux cover on the rear deck.
Lotus Esprit Turbo
Bond got through two Esprit Turbos in For Your Eyes Only. The first car – a white example at the start of the film – was blown up by a self-destruct security function. We’re glad it happened though. Bond’s replacement bronze Esprit, with gold pinstripes and a very cool ski mounting system, is so much cooler.
Aston Martin V8 Vantage
Timothy Dalton’s portrayal of James Bond was a breath of fresh air when The Living Daylights hit the big screen in 1987. The producers decided a dose of traditionalism would be needed to maintain Bond continuity, and that meant the triumphant reunification of 007 and Aston Martin after an 18-year separation. His 1986 V8 Vantage was more than up to the task of taking up the baton from its forebears.
Packed with gadgets, the V8 jollies up the film on its first brief appearance at the fictional Blayden safe house. It’s in open Volante form to start with, but the next time we see the V8 it’s in Q Branch being ‘winterised’ – or having a Coupé roof fitted.
Aston Martin DBS
For a new start in the first and only George Lazenby Bond film, 007 received a new Aston Martin company car. And the William Towns’ DBS arguably worked well with the overblown production values that make On Her Majesty’s Secret Service so memorable. Unlike in Goldfinger and Thunderball, where the Aston packed more weaponry than a Mafia convention, there were no such tricks in OHMSS. Its two appearances were as cameos – Bond was seen beach-drifting in the pre-title sequence, and then it was used as his wedding car at the end.
The Z8 appearing in The World is Not Enough was the third and final time a BMW took centre stage as Bond’s primary set of wheels. Following on the Z3 in Goldeneye and the remote control 750iL in Tomorrow Never Dies, the gorgeous Z8 met a grisly end after a very short chase – being chopped in half by an industrial tree-cutting helicopter.
This was a silly car chase. Bond took the wheel of a bright yellow Citroen 2CV, after the Lotus Esprit he was supposed to be driving blew up. Despite the car’s comical lack of power, 007 managed to stay ahead of the chasing Peugeot 504s – using the 2CV’s ruggedness to his advantage. Although the film wasn’t a critical success, Citroen launched a special edition 2CV to make the most of its appearance – complete with stick on bullet holes and inconspicuous 007 decals!