Want to a buy a Bond car? Here’s how
From Astons to Citroens, this is your 007 buyer’s guide, with prices starting at three grand
As the astute among you may have spotted, the most recent Bond film stars (a) some actors and (b) the Aston Martin DB5. Among others.
A gadget-packed Aston is possible, but mightily expensive. And rather specialist. So what if you want a bona fide Bond car on your driveway at more attainable prices?
Well, the franchise’s 25-film history has given plenty to choose from, a roster ranging from priceless Astons to rather-less-priceless Renault 11s, via Esprits, 2CVs, BMW Z8s and many more.
Click through for our handy buying guide to some of the most iconic – and off-beat – Bond cars ever…Advertisement - Page continues below
Lotus Esprit S1
Bond film: The Spy Who Love Me
In 2013 Tesla boss and real-life Tony Stark, Elon Musk, paid £650k for the TSWLM submersible, and probably uses it as a dinner table in an underground lair in the Mojave desert.
But a good Series 1 Esprit could be yours for a lot less, although – as with most 40-something sports cars, especially British ones – your commitment to the cause will be sorely tested. These early cars featured a twin-carb 2.0-litre whose power output of 160bhp would have left rice pudding skins untroubled, never mind a car-load of villainous henchmen. But it was light and handled sublimely.
Less sublime was the original gearbox, recycled from the Citroen SM and Maserati Merak, and while the S2, S3 and Turbo versions were better sorted, better built and faster, it’s the S1 you really want for maximum Bond.
How much? £25-40k
Bond film: For Your Eyes Only
At one time, this would have been the most cost-effective way into the DIY Bond automotive pantheon. But a decent 2CV is now a sought-after thing, and as for the limited edition one that arrived to coincide with Bond’s under-rated 1981 outing – complete with adhesive bullet holes and enormous 007 logo – fugeddaboutit.
Bond, you’ll remember, had been into space in Moonraker, so FYEO was conceived to be a grounded, Cold War-era reality check. Up to a point: the car chase in Corfu sees 007 barrel-roll a stolen 2CV – a car with a canvas roof, remember – down a hillside of olive groves, while evading a marauding horde of baddies in Peugeot 504s.
This bravura nonsense was orchestrated by stunt driving supremo Remy Julienne, who replaced the 2CV’s wheezy 602cc air-cooled twin with a four-pot GS engine.
OK, so even armed with a jaune helios 2CV you would need Roger Moore-levels of chutzpah to pull this off as bona fide Bond wheels, but who doesn’t love a 2CV?
How much? £3-15kAdvertisement - Page continues below
Aston Martin Vanquish
Bond film: Die Another Day
Possibly the best-looking Aston since the DB4 GT Zagato. They only made 19 of those, and you won’t get much change from £6m for one these days.
Which makes the original Vanquish a 007-endorsed bargain, setting aside its status as the now infamous ‘invisible’ car in one of the shabbiest Bond movies ever. Powered by a 460bhp V12 that wailed like Tom Jones trying to sing his way out of the Earth’s core, early cars were stymied by a dodgy flappy-paddle gearbox, a cog-swapper with all the speed and alacrity of glacial erosion after a night on the sauce.
Aston’s Works Service guys offered a manual conversion… for £15k. Cheers.
How much? £60-100k, £125k for a completed manual conversion
Aston Martin DB5
Bond film: Goldfinger, Thunderball, Goldeneye, Casino Royale, Skyfall, Spectre, No Time To Die (fleetingly in Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough)
Face it, you can’t afford one. And even if you could, you’d discover a car that’s not actually as amazing to drive as it looks.
Though as it’s one of the coolest looking cars ever, that would be mission impossible. Sorry. Different spy thriller franchise.
How much? £500k... and the rest
Bond film: The World Is Not Enough
When Eon, the production company and guardian of all things Bond, got in the sack with BMW in the 1990s, the era of crass product placement threatened to do to 007 what Blofeld and his ilk had never quite managed.
But don’t tar the Z8 with that brush: the last of BMW’s retro forays before the Bangle-era craziness kicked in, this thing recycled the contemporary M5’s powertrain to memorably tail-happy effect, and didn’t need any fancy software to fake a thunderous soundtrack.
Never available in right-hand drive, and a pricey £85k when new in 2000, the Z8 has fast-tracked itself into full-blown modern classic status, not least because nobody does a normally aspirated, rear-drive, manual supercar any more. Including BMW.
How much? A decade ago, £50k would have got you one. Now you’re talking £150-200k
Bond film: Tomorrow Never Dies
Due to its temporal proximity, the tech in a 1990s Bond film seems more comically dated than the stuff from the Sixties or Seventies.
Pierce Brosnan achieves a notable double whammy in TND by power-sliding a gadget-laden E38-era BMW 750iL (actually a 740) around a multi-storey car park using an Ericsson mobile phone (a what? who?) before negating his no-damage waiver by crashing it off the roof and into a rental outlet.
Unlike its Z8 relative, BMW’s luxo-barge couldn’t depreciate faster if it had gold-plated anvils attached to each wheel, but yesterday’s Bond car is tomorrow’s Hounslow mini-cab, innit.
How much? There’s a bloke in a lock-up near Heathrow who’ll swap a bag of crisps for oneAdvertisement - Page continues below
Bond film: The Man With The Golden Gun
Proof that product placement didn’t start in the 1990s. Quite why Live and Let Die’s Sheriff J.W Pepper would be car-shopping in Thailand is unclear, but he’s dragged along by Roger Moore’s caper-tastic 007 in pursuit of the mighty Christopher Lee’s Scaramanga.
Cue one of the series’ more improbable moments: a humble and long-forgotten US crapbox performing a gob-smacking corkscrew jump across a river, with unsung hero “Bumps” Willard at the wheel (no doubt delighted to know that there were frogmen in the water ready to fish him out, or that his genius would be wrecked by the sound editor from a Carry On film).
AMC once slugged it out with Detroit’s Big Three, and made some ace TransAm racers, but finally went down the pan in 1988 following a loveless hook-up with Renault.
How much? Good luck finding one, but worth a punt
Ford Mustang Mach 1
Bond film: Diamonds Are Forever
Connery’s first comeback Bond also featured a lunar rover moon buggy thing, but you stand a better chance finding one of these.
Although Ford steadily ruined its pony car through later iterations, the Mach 1 was still very cool, especially on two wheels in a Vegas alleyway (or indeed all four, as stunt driver Buzz Bundy exits on the opposite side to the one he enters on).
NACA ducts, Ram air effect, and lock pins on the bonnet were all available. Steve Coogan’s brilliant Saxondale – the pest controlling ex-roadie from Nottingham, and his best character after Partridge – had one.
Good move: like all US muscle cars, they’re now being chased down by a new generation.
How much? £25-70kAdvertisement - Page continues below
Bond film: A View To A Kill
The internet hates this car, but we don’t. Decapitated and eviscerated it may be, but 007 still manages to pilot this unloved Frenchie through Paris (actually stuntman Martin Crace, helped by a tiny set of hidden rear wheels).
There aren't currently any 11s for sale out there - the perils of oxidation. But search hard if you can for the TXE, in this blue, with those yellow-tinted headlights French cars had in the 1980s, and then drive it while wearing a Breton top, with onions round your neck, smoking a Gauloise.
How much? Actually, good luck finding one of these too
See also: Subway, the 1985 Luc Besson thriller starring Christophe Lambert and a Peugeot 205 GTI
Alfa Romeo GTV6
Bond film: Octopussy
Another rare-groove Bond motor, which is precisely why it’s here. The entertainingly authentic car chase it stars in is a highlight in the otherwise pretty lame Octopussy, not least because the notably rear-drive Alfa – like all of its kind in period – is a properly sideways car, and its 2.5-litre V6 sounds like all engines should be mandated to sound by LAW.
There was a run-out, 350 unit US limited edition Balocco version – named after the company’s test track near Turin – which we want very much indeed.
How much? £10-30k, depending on condition. Which means rust, primarily