James Bond’s Coolest Cars


1963 Aston Martin DB5

Mary Evans / Ronald Grant-Everett Collection

The ne plus ultra of James Bond’s automobiles, the Aston Martin DB5 was introduced in 1964’s Goldfinger, and came equipped with all the extras a spy could ask for—including rotating license plates, machine guns, a radarscope, and of course, an ejector seat. To show how far product placement in the movies has come, Aston Martin owner David Brown (the “DB” in DB5) originally asked the film’s producers to pay to use the car because he didn’t want to damage a £4,500 vehicle. Though destroyed in Goldfinger, the car lived more than once in Bond films—it most recently made a cheeky cameo in Casino Royale, when Daniel Craig’s 007 wins a 1963 Aston Martin DB5 in a poker game. The classic car also reportedly will appear in the 23rd Bond movie, Skyfall, opening in December.


1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1


In a classic chase scene from Diamonds Are Forever, Sean Connery’s Bond gets behind the wheel of Tiffany Case’s 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1, and the two evade police in Las Vegas—until he heads down a dead end. Thinking fast, they lean over, and then the car defies several laws of physics by driving down a narrow alley on two wheels. The iconic scene also contains a major Bond blooper—when they enter the alley, the Mustang is on its right tires, when they exit safely on Fremont Street, it’s driving on its left side.



1974 AMC Hornet X Hatchback

Mary Evans / Ronald Grant-Everett Collection

Though not nearly elegant enough to be issued to Bond by Q branch, the AMC Hornet was practical enough to steal when Roger Moore needed to chase Scaramanga through Thailand in The Man With the Golden Gun. The comical scene also features a return cameo for Southern Sheriff J.W. Pepper (from Live and Let Die), who rides shotgun with 007 for the most dramatic moment: when the car does a 360-degree mid-air corkscrew.



1999 BMW Z8


Bond is notoriously hard on his cars, but no 007 vehicle met quite as painful an end as the BMW Z8 Pierce Brosnan drove in The World Is Not Enough. It was sliced in half by a helicopter equipped with a tree-cutting saw. When the blade meets the car, Bond quips, “Q’s not going to like this.”



1969 Mercury Cougar XR7

Everett Collection

James Bond loves cars almost as much as he enjoys women, so it is fitting that the only love he marries—Diana Rigg’s Tracy Draco in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service—has a superb set of wheels. Tracy first drives the red Mercury Cougar XR7 onto a beach in Portugal before attempting suicide at the beginning of the movie, and it’s used later in the film when 007 is trying to escape Blofeld. Mr. and Mrs. Bond drive off in a different car, however, following their wedding—naively believing they have all the time in the world.



2002 Aston Martin V12 Vanquish

Dave Hogan / Getty Images

After a three-picture deal with BMW, Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond went back to an Aston Martin in 2002’s Die Another Day. And while the V12 Vanquish was equipped with some classic refinements—machine guns, rocket launchers, an ejector seat, and retractable spikes in the tires for driving on ice—it was car’s “adaptive camouflage” system that went a bit too far, even for a Bond film. The car disappears with push of a button, which is why the Vanquish’s MI6 codename is the “Vanish.”



Bentley Mark IV

In three of Ian Fleming’s novels, James Bond drove a 1933 Bentley “blower” convertible, equipped with a 4.5-liter engine and an Amherst-Villiers supercharger. (It also happened to be the very car Fleming himself drove—and posed with for the cover of Life magazine in October 1966.) But the Bentley only makes one appearance in the Bond film canon—when 007 takes Sylvia Trench on a picnic it’s in a Bentley Mark IV, a model that Fleming made up. And it’s equipped with a truly futuristic gadget for 1963: a car phone.



1937 Rolls Royce Phantom III


Strictly speaking, this is not James Bond’s car—it belonged to Auric Goldfinger—but the 1937 Rolls Royce Phantom III is one of the most beautiful vehicles ever to appear in a Bond film, and it plays an important role in the movie’s plot. The car’s bodywork is made of 18-karat gold, allowing Goldfinger to melt it down and smuggle his favorite substance across borders without suspicion.



Aston Martin DB


S V12What was intended to be a Ford GT for the opening chase scene in Quantum of Solace, evolved into an Aston Martin DBS, the same car Daniel Craig’s Bond drove in Casino Royale. It was a costly choice. Three Aston Martins—valued at $300,000 each—were destroyed during the filming of Casino Royale and six more reportedly were killed during the making of Quantum of Solace.




1976 Lotus Esprit S1

After the Aston Martin DB5, no Bond car had more imaginative modifications than the Lotus Esprit S1 from The Spy Who Loved Me. When Roger Moore’s 007 drives the Lotus off a pier while being chased, the white sports car instantly transforms into a submarine, equipped with fins, a periscope, and a surface-to-air-missile. In 2008, “Wet Nellie” sold at auction for £111,500.

Very tough trucks indeed


Five military trucks you can buy … and one you can’t

bbcLand Rover Defender                           

Country of origin: Britain

Briefing: Like the scrappy military transport that would become the Jeep Wrangler, the Land Rover Defender has evolved over its 65-year history, but has never jettisoned an ounce of capability. Available in hard-top, double-cab, pickup and bare-chassis configurations, the Defender is found around the globe, with some 55,000 units in active military service.

Price (Britain, exclusive of VAT): From £21,415 (approximately $34,500)

bbc1Renault Sherpa                           

Country of origin: France

Briefing: Renault’s mighty Sherpa owes its appeal not only to the olive drab versions piloted by French and NATO soldiers, but to the charismatic appearances of the civilian model in the grueling Dakar Rally. Available by special order in Russia, Africa and the Middle East, the non-military Sherpa can be had as an unarmoured station wagon or pickup, or, for war-zone duty, a fully-armoured wagon. Power comes from a deafening 4.76-litre four-cylinder diesel engine. Its 215hp and 590lb-ft of torque reach all four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.

Price (UAE): Approximately 1m dirham ($272,000)

GAZ Tigr                           

Country of origin: Russia

Briefing: That the military Tigr bears a passing resemblance to the American Humvee is, to the Russian truck’s vociferous fans, nothing more than coincidence. Beneath its expansive hood rumbles a 5.9-litre diesel engine, which meets a six-speed manual transmission and permanent four-wheel-drive. Production of the civilian Tigr – which can soften its brutality with the addition of such creature comforts as leather, air conditioning and a thumping audio system – is hardly a top priority for GAZ, and acquiring one is neither simple nor inexpensive, but a successful buyer is fairly guaranteed to be the only Tigr-tamer in his okrestnosti.

Price (Russia): approximately 3.5m rubles ($110,000)

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6 Showcar, Dubai 2013Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6                           

Country of origin: Austria

Briefing: As production vehicles go, the Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen, otherwise known as the G Class, is ancient. Merely revised during more than 30 years of production, this bricklike military machine in a civilian paintjob still manages to capture the imagination of those who dream of traffic parting with their approach – business tycoons, action-film stars, the Pope. Like the “standard” G63 AMG, the new G63 AMG 6×6 packs a twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8 engine producing 536hp and 560lb-ft of torque. The engine meets the six-by-six drivetrain from Mercedes’ hulking Zetros truck, yielding 15.75in of ground clearance – sufficient to ford water as deep as 40in. Getting behind the wheel of this ultimate G Class, unless you happen to be, say, a James Bond villain, will be tricky. The vehicle is not (legally) destined for North America or right-hand-drive countries, and Mercedes has promised that production volume will be “very small”.

Price (Germany, exclusive of VAT): 379,000 euros (approximately $523,000) VAT- Value Added Tax

Price (Russia): approximately 3.5m rubles ($110,000)

Price (UAE): Approximately 1m dirham ($272,000)

Price (Britain, exclusive of VAT): From £21,415 (approximately $34,500)

bbc4Paramount Marauder                           

Country of origin: South Africa

Briefing: Ten tonnes of South African stoutness, the Marauder is possessed of a double-skin monocoque that helps it resist virtually all forms of light-arms fire, as well as the occasional anti-tank mine. It also, as Top Gear’s Richard Hammond learned,  is rather good as a city runabout – provided the pilot steers clear of fast-food drive-throughs.

Price: $485,000

bbc5Oshkosh L-ATV

Country of origin: United States

Briefing: How to replace a fleet of aging Humvees that numbers in the tens of thousands? With a bit of technological derring-do. Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Defense has developed the L-ATV prototype to pick up where the Humvee has left off, carrying a diesel-electric hybrid powertrain that allows the purpose-built vehicle to run near-silent when missions require it. The US government has taken delivery of 22 L-ATV prototypes for testing, but civilian sales do not figure in Oshkosh’s immediate product plans.

Price: N/A