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Our ten favourite Bond cars of all time

  1. Quite obviously, James Bond is not a very good spy. In fact, if we were compiling a list of the world’s least covert government agents, he’d float somewhere near the top. Or rather, he’d probably explode that list on the top of Big Ben while parachuting off it shouting out his name.

    After all, this is a man known to bartenders and drug barons and diminutive henchmen and ladyfolk across the globe. It’s a wonder he’s not tweeting from his Twitter account, “Currently gunning down an arms baron in south America. Need a Martini #IAmJamesBond”.

    What’s also patently obvious is Bond’s enthusiasm for motoring. Because right up until the moment he destroys everything he drives, his choice of automotive weaponry has become as immortal as his trademark lines. You’d also be surprised at the kind of machinery he’s been entrusted with over the years: stuff like a convertible Range Rover in Octopussy, a Lincoln Continental in Thunderball, a Ford Fairlane from Die Another Day, and even a classic W115 Mercedes-Benz in The Man With The Golden Gun.

    Of course, we’re not here to discuss the bit part players, we’re here for the big guns. The Bond Cars, with a capital C. As Skyfall - the 23rd James Bond film made - has landed, here is a list of TG’s top ten Bond cars, in reverse order. You don’t have to try too hard to guess what’s number one…

  2. BMW Z8

    They don’t come much cooler than the BMW Z8. Not the best driver’s car in the world - even after fabled German tuner Alpina tried to fix it, as Jeremy found out - but as a looker, it’s up there.

    Sadly, we could all see it coming. Bond, finishing off his BMW duties in The World Is Not Enough, gets caught between a helicopter’s free-hanging tree-saw, and, erm, the BMW’s door handle.

    He manages to pop off a quick missile round to silence one of the choppers, but not before a sneaky one takes him from behind.

  3. Toyota 2000GT

    Beautiful thing, isn’t it? This, the 2000GT, was a collaboration between Toyota and Yamaha and announced the Japanese firm onto the world stage. You’ll know the story behind the film cars too: Connery couldn’t fit into the coupe 2000GT, so Toyota built two special convertible models for You Only Live Twice.

    The GT was of course, the inspiration behind one of TG’s favouritest driver’s cars ever too, the Toyota GT86, which the makers themselves cite as a benchmark.

    Says our Richard: “Didn’t have fighting gadgets, but absolutely gorgeous. And rare. One of these today would cost you over £250,000.”

  4. Sunbeam Alpine

    Believe or not, Internet, but this little hunk of goodness was actually James Bond’s very first screen car. Not the red one above, obviously, but one just like it. In blue. In Dr No, he didn’t have a rocket-propelled super Aston with missiles, but a 1.6-litre Sunbeam Alpine pushing out an honest 80bhp.

    Legend has it the original one Connery drove in the film was loaned by a local owner for the princely sum of 15 shillings a day…

  5. Alfa Romeo GTV6

    A word of warning: never leave your Alfa Romeo GTV unattended when a deranged Soviet general is attempting to destabilise Europe via a troupe of female ninjas, by blowing up a circus just miles down the road. Ahem. Well, it made sense in Octopussy, OK?

    Bond of course, is there to save the day. He steals the Alfa and evades the West German police to stop the bomb dressed as a clown. Ta-da!

    “No fancy car stunts, but some crackingly authentic driving moments,” says Richard. “A breath of fresh air when Bond was getting a bit silly side up.”

  6. AMC Hornet

    Yes, it’s that scene where the swanee whistle frames the most audacious (for the time) car jump in Bond history. In fact, the scene where Bond steals an AMC Hornet from the showroom - complete with the rotund Sgt Pepper on board - and performs a corkscrew jump over a broken bridge is actually a record. A world record.

    On 1 January 1974, The Guinness Book of World Records recognised The Man With The Golden Gun as featuring the first ever ‘astro spiral’ jump on film, performed by an American chap named Loren “Bumps” Willert. See? FACT.

  7. Aston Martin V8 Vantage

    Aston Martin made a welcome return to the Bond franchise, as the gentleman’s GT ferried around new boy Timothy Dalton.

    Says Hammond: “A reboot of the Goldfinger gadgets: lasers, guided missiles and armoured glass. But no ejector seat.” Shame.

  8. T-55 Russian Tank

    We had to include this gem from GoldenEye for its sheer bravado. 007 - with new boy Pierce Brosnan starting his duties - is on the hunt for General Omurov, and suddenly finds himself sans wheels. Solution? Steal the nearest tank. Seriously.

    What follows is a couple of minutes of why we - and you - hold James Bond very dear to our hearts. He drives a tank through St Petersburg for goodness sake! The crowning glory though, isn’t the powerslide, nor the rampant destruction, nor the audacity of the stunt. No, it’s the straightening of the tie immediately after the destruction. Priceless.

  9. Aston Martin DBS

    Daniel Craig suited up to become the sixth incarnation of Ian Fleming’s “blunt instrument wielded by the government” when he starred in Casino Royale. The film itself got a good reception. The car - an Aston Martin DBS - errr, didn’t.

    SPOILER ALERT: for the film’s climatic chase sequence with Bond on the heels of Le Chiffre, the DBS was barrel-rolled into a field. Seven times. That put it into the Guinness Book of World Records. It also put a dent into quite a few petrolheads’ hearts. There it is, above right, looking sorry for itself.

  10. Lotus Esprit

    If you don’t appreciate the value of an underwater Lotus with missiles, you clearly hate all life on earth and want the universe to crumble in on itself. This, from The Spy Who Loved Me, is arguably one of Bond’s most famous rides.

    While evading capture from RentAVillain, Bond drives the Lotus off the pier and straight into the Mediterranean. But just when you think it’s all over, the Lotus turns into… a SUBMARINE.

    “Able to swim underwater, fire rockets and drop mines,” observes Hammond. “And the looks didn’t hurt. A car to match Bond’s screen presence.”

  11. Aston Martin DB5

    Could there have been any other car in this spot? It might be 50 years since the first Bond film Dr No was released, but we didn’t get to see the classic Aston Martin DB5 until two years later in Goldfinger. But boy, was it worth it.

    It was the first of the Bond cars to get totally weaponised by Q, including rotating licence plates, oil slicks, bullet-proof glass, machine guns, and of course, an ejector seat.

    As Hammond said: “Gadgetising the car cost £25,000, more than five times the price of actual Aston DB5.” Nice.

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