While James Bond may have technically gotten his martini order wrong – the drink should be stirred, not shaken, to prevent ice chips – his automotive selections sure were spot on. There are few people in this world who haven’t pined for one of the fantastic vehicles featured throughout the Bond movies over the past few decades.
Ahead, we’ve picked out our 10 favorites of the dozens of cars piloted by Agent 007. In case you need a refresher on all the James Bond films, don’t fret – along with the theater release of Skyfall on Friday, you can pick up a boxed set of the 22 preceding movies on Blu-Ray that celebrate the franchise’s 50th anniversary. Think we missed one or were totally off-base with another? Let us know in the comments section.
Images courtesy of MGM, Fox Home Entertainment, and the manufacturers. 007 Gun Logo and related James Bond Trademarks c 1962 – 2012 United Artists Corporation and Danjaq, LLC. 007 and related James Bond Trademarks, TM Danjaq. All Rights Reserved.
Not only was it the first Bond car, it may just be the best. The original DB5 prepped for movie production – complete with pop-out machine guns, an ejector seat, and revolving license plates – fetched $41 million in late 2010 at the RM Auctions in London. The seminal DB5 even reappeared this year for a role is Skyfall.
Ok, so Bond never actually drove this 2000GT; it belonged to Japanese agent Aki while the duo endeavored to put the kibosh on a nuclear war. More importantly, Toyota turned the sinewy 2000GT coupe into the sultry open top seen here. Just two were made, and only for the movie, which explains why they weren’t actually functional convertibles.
One of the very few American cars ever piloted by the famous British agent, this Bullitt-era Mustang was most known for its stunts. Like the deep green car driven by Steve McQueen, the Mustang Mach 1 piloted by Sean Connery managed a few hair-raising chases of its own, including one where it went up on two wheels to fit down an alleyway, pictured here.
We’ve always liked cars that can serve more than one purpose — Mazda Miatas double as open-top cruisers and track-day toys, Volkswagen GTIs eat up twisty back roads and can make the occasional Home Depot run. But 007 may have had the best dual-use car yet: his Lotus Esprit doubled as a submarine. Not only was it submersible, the Esprit was also equipped with the usual gamut of Bond weapons like torpedoes, rockets, and mines.
There are a few special things about this Aston Martin besides it being a glamorous droptop. First off, the car used in The Living Daylights was actually the personal car of Victor Gauntlett, then-chairman of Aston Martin. It was thanks to Gauntlett’s deal between Aston and Italian styling house Zagato that the brand’s designs were brought to the forefront of the automotive world. James Bond made the switch back to Astons thanks to another deal brokered by Gauntlett.
While a car that you can control via your mobile phone may not sound so crazy now, back in 1997 it was straight out of science fiction. Pierce Brosnan as Bond has no trouble driving his 750iL around using the touchpad on his phone – although Q had a few issues when showing 007 the car. Naturally, the BMW sedan was kitted out with plenty of machine guns, rockets, and self-inflating tires, plus one very adamant on-board computer.
The Z8 was one of the shortest-lived Bond cars, thanks to its spectacular destruction by helicopter. Like the 750iL from Tomorrow Never Dies, the Z8 in The World Is Not Enough could be controlled remotely (here by its key fob), but gained a few upgrades over the 7 Series, like titanium armor, surface-to-air missiles hidden in the fender vents, and a steering-wheel-integrated targeting display. It’s just too bad that the Z8 didn’t make a longer cameo before being cut in half.
While Bond may have been driving an Aston Martin Vanquish in Die Another Day, it was easily overshadowed by the bad guy Zao’s green Jaguar XKR Convertible. The movie car was actually built atop a Ford Explorer chassis, complete with all-wheel drive for the movie’s icy chase scene. Explorer bones weren’t the only things this Jag was hiding: there was also a thermal imaging camera on board as well as missiles hiding behind the grille and battering rams.
Casino Royale might not have been the best Bond film, but it did have one of the best chase scenes. Speeding through the mountains of Monaco, Daniel Craig — as Bond — rolls his DBS down a hill to avoid running over the kidnapped Vesper Lyn (played by Eva Green). Luckily, before the Aston gets totaled, we’re treated to the aural delights of the DBS’ 510-hp, 5.9-liter V-12 engine.
We don’t know much about the 23rd installment in the Bond franchise, Skyfall, but we do know that the heroine, agent Eve, played by Naomie Harris, drives this awesome Land Rover Defender 110 Double Cab Pickup. In the movie’s opening scene, the Defender takes quite a beating but seems to come out practically unscathed. What’s better than an attractive female secret agent driving the forever-classic Land Rover Defender?