Aston Martin DB5

The history of James Bond cars 1962-2021

Many fans of the franchise have their favourite James Bond actor, their favourite Bond girl, but what about their favourite bond car?

The vehicles used by the world-famous spy have become equally as synonymous with iconic cars as it has with the gadgets, actors, and girls that Bond always gets mentioned in same context as.

The decadent, expensive, and sometimes downright crazy bond cars would often be in reality, probably a wasted use of government funding, especially given modern day options such as no deposit car finance or just buying an old banger. Although for a man as suave as Bond, this would take away much of the onscreen romance and the appeal of living the life of a super spy.

With every film comes the excitement of which vehicle will be used this time. So, with the release of the next instalment of the Bond franchise – No Time To Die – due for release in three months, we’ve put together a list of our 10 most iconic Bond cars in history.

Sunbeam Alpine from Dr. No, 1962. (Sean Connery)

The first ever Bond car was the Sunbeam Alpine. The Alpine, although the name hints at a European origin, is actually an English made car. It is one of the only cars to be old enough to also feature in the novel Dr. No as well as the film.
Model: Sunbeam Alpine Series II (1962)

Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger, 1964, Thunderball, 1965, Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997, Casino Royale, 2006, Skyfall, 2012 (Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig)

There was no way it wasn’t making the list, right? The Aston Martin DB5 is now often recognised as the quintessential Bond car, and one of the most famous cars in film history. Its appearance in Goldeneye saw toy models of the car become the bestselling toy of the year and the must have for any aspiring young spy. These toys now sell for incredible amounts at auction. The car has since been featured in many more Bond films across the years, with its popularity only growing.
Model: Aston Martin DB5

Lotus Esprit, The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977 (Roger Moore)

For the tenth film in the Bond franchise, the producers reportedly wanted to go somewhere they’d never gone before when it came to the vehicle. They therefore decided to feature a Bond car like nothing used previously- a Lotus. The car wasn’t the only thing they pushed the boat out with either (excuse the pun), as the Lotus was used in a chase sequence that covers land, air and water. Incredibly, the Lotus even transformed into a mini-submarine- something that wasn’t in the model available for public purchase.
Model: Lotus Espite S1 (1976)

Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II, A View to a Kill, 1985, (Roger Moore)

Roger Moore was a lot of people’s favourite Bond and with A View To Kill being the last film he featured in, the producers chose a great car to see him out in style. They didn’t have to look very far either, as the car actually belonged to producer Cubby Broccoli!
Model: Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II (1962)

Aston Martin V8, The Living Daylights, 1987, (Timothy Dalton)

For Timothy Dalton’s first film in the role of bond, producers reverted back to an instant classic to win over the fans from the off. Thus, the Aston Martin was welcomed back after an absence of 18 years! The V8 Bond car featured gadgets once again not available to the general consumer (thankfully) such as lasers, missiles, and rear rocket propulsion systems that might have halved your commute if used more practically.
Model: Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante

BMW Z3, Goldeneye, 1995, (Pierce Brosnan)

Unlike bringing back a classic for Dalton’s first outing, Pierce Brosnan’s first film as the English spy was the first to feature a BMW. The cars had also advanced into the modern era, which some felt was too over the top. Gadgets such as ejector seats, all-points radar and stinger missiles hidden behind the headlights produced great spectacle for the audience, but the film had very little substance beyond this. However, thanks to the film, BMW did see a huge rise in sales.
Model: BMW Z3 (1995)

BMW 750iL, Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997, (Pierce Brosnan)

The second BMW Bond car featured even more of the wild gadgets that the Bond films of this era possessed. This car had bullet proof windows, electrified door handles, a remote control driving option and a body strong enough to walk away from a hit from a sledgehammer without a dent. The last of which might actually be worth something looking into providing the regular consumer…
Model: BMW 750iL (1997)

Aston Martin V12, Die Another Day, 2002, (Pierce Brosnan)

Pierce Brosnan’s final James Bond film (many think one too many) brought back the Aston Martin as his favoured vehicle in an attempt to win back fans who had become disinterested. This Aston Martin however summed up the over the top, extravagant franchise Bond had become like nothing before it. The Vanquish included an invisibly cloaking device (yes really), as well as torpedoes and an ejector seat. For many enough was enough…
Model: Aston Martin V12 Vanquish (2002)

Aston Martin DBS V12, Casino Royale, 2006, Quantum of Solace, 2008, (Daniel Craig)

A new Bond and a new direction. The reboot of James Bond with Daniel Craig aimed for a sleeker, mature feel. Less extravagance meant the cars were back to being just that, first and foremost, with the MI6 gadgets being additions, rather than the main feature. A very simple, and practical,  defibrillator and a Walther PPK (gun) were the only gadgets present, both of which you could actually see being a feature of a real life spy’s kit. No more invisibility cloaks!
Model: Aston Martin DBS V12 (2006)

Aston Martin DB10, Specter, 2015, No Time To Die, 2021 (Daniel Craig)

To continue Craig’s Aston theme, Specter in 2015 and the yet to be seen No Time To Die both feature another Aston Martin, making it the number one Bond car model of choice for over 50 years. Spectre’s vehicle was limited to just 10 cars made, specifically engineered just for use by James Bond himself. The DB10 featured little in the way of added gadgets, although it does include an ejector seat in a throwback to the more wild side of Bond films without going over the top. Again, no more invisibility cloaks, please!
Model: Aston Martin DB10 (2015)

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