In a film career spanning 50 years, super spy James Bond has found himself behind the wheel of some truly memorable automobiles. Here is a list of five of the best. Three were issued by Q branch, and featured an array of innovative gadgets designed to get 007 out of trouble. One he grabbed while chasing a madman bent on world domination, one was his own personal ride.
Aston Martin DB5
First appearing in the 1964 film “Goldfinger”, the DB5 is not just the most iconic Bond car, but the one that almost never was. Producer Cubby Broccoli wanted to use a Jaguar E Type, but the company refused to provide the cars. That proved fortunate for Aston Martin as the machine gun and ejector seat equipped DB5 became a sensation, and has probably sold more cars for the Newport Pagnell firm than all of their marketing efforts combined.
The 1970s saw a new actor playing Bond and a new iconic British sports car getting him out of a tight spot. By this time car companies were wise to the fact that Bond sold cars. The Lotus PR chief took an Esprit prototype and left it right outside the studio where “The Spy Who Loved Me” was being made. Broccoli loved the car and worked with his production team to find a way to get it into the film. They decided to give the car the ability to convert into a submarine, complete with torpedoes and a surface to air missile.
The rental car we all wish we could get. The 750IL in “Tomorrow Never Dies” had everything that a secret agent about town could need to escape a gang of evil henchmen. The V12 Beemer had sunroof mounted rockets, a hood mounted chain cutter and self inflating tires. Not only that, but Bond could lay low in the back seat and drive the car using his cellphone. The suave agent may not have needed BMW repair in Austin, TX, but he did need it in Germany.
James Bond drove this car right out of a showroom while in hot pursuit of fiendish assassin Scaramanga in “The Man With the Golden Gun”. It didn’t have any gadgets, but it did perform one of the most famous stunts in film history. The corkscrew jump was done in one take by stunt driver Loren “Bump” Willis, who not only got himself into the Guinness Book of Records, but went on a tour where he recreated the famous jump during football game halftime shows.
Bentley Mark IV
This car appeared only briefly in the second 007 movie “From Russia With Love”. It deserves a place on this list not because it was Bond’s personal car, and not because it had a phone in 1963. It belongs on this list because it’s the marque Ian Fleming had his secret agent drive in the James Bond novels. The literary Bond was passionate about driving, cherished his car above all of the women in his life and nicknamed it the locomotive. His relationship with Bentley was not without incident though. He wrecked his beloved ride in both Casino Royale and Moonraker.