Stop getting Bond wrong
By PH Staff / Saturday, 23 September 2023 / Loading comments
Aston Martin DBS, 2008, 16k, £119,995
Culturally, 007 is synonymous with lots of things: gadgets, sardonic humour, fatal gestures, duty, misogyny – but his most significant lasting relationship is arguably with cars. The Bond car has been a thing since Fleming gave him a 1930 Bentley 4 1/2 litre, but – on screen, at least – MI6’s bluntest instrument found his perfect foil in the Aston Martin DB5. Of course, if you want one of those today you’ll need pockets like Auric Goldfinger; much better instead to go for one of the many, many other Astons which have been placed at Bond’s disposal over the years. Frankly, all of them are brilliant, but we’ve opted for the V12-powered DBS on the basis of a) its timeless good looks b) the fact that you can have one with a six-speed manual c) buying one won’t require you to burgle a bullion depository. Here’s one in the Casino Royale paint with only 16k on the clock. To die for, no?
BMW 750i, 2000, 83k, £19,990
Bond’s notable ‘90s-era association with BMW has less to do with his character’s taste for the finer things in life, and more to do with flagrant product placement. Unchecked production company avarice meant that Brosnan was saddled with indignities like a cap-gun spec Z3 and looking a tit in a Z8. Thank goodness then for the autocratic E38-generation seven hundred and fifty (as Q put it), and its flagship-grade 5.4-litre V12. Granted, credibility was stretched thin by the thought of a liquid-crystal Ericsson doing the backseat remote controlling, but if 007 really needed to be lumbered with a large, German-made saloon, this is probably the biscuit-taker. We couldn’t find a 750iL (which is probably fine because the internet suggests that Tomorrow Never Dies used a rebadged 740iL anyway) but here’s a Cosmos Black 750i with just the right kind of old-school menace.
Mini Moke, 1982, 14k, £26,995
Number of Bond films that prominently featured a BMW? Three. Number of Bond films that featured a Mini Moke? Four. True, they were mostly driven briefly and by baddies, but clearly the Moke’s breezy embodiment of the ‘60s – especially its reputation as a beach buggy in faraway places – made a lasting impression on the film producers. Its time as an actual Bond car was mercifully short (a matter of seconds, in fact) although it’s worth revisiting Live and Let Die just to see Moore operating at peak Roger Mooreness pulling up to a dock in a Moke that looks like an ice cream shop. Back in the real world, the Moke was a notorious and hilarious failure as a military vehicle, but enjoyed a sizeable cult following that continues to this day. Hence the £27k you’ll need to get yourself this lightly restored and very green example from 1982.
Land Rover Series III, 1973, 100 miles (since rebuild), £40,990
If there is an off-roader that could be said to make the grade in Bond’s book, it would almost certainly be something built by Land Rover. Various iterations of the Defender have been the most recent recipient of 007-based affection (Spectre went positively mad for them) but the original series Land Rovers have featured over the years, too, alongside assorted Range Rovers. Typically the films don’t dwell on the fixation, although in his last outing (and with Land Rover an official partner) the producers went the whole hog and made Bond an owner of a Series III in his retirement on Jamaica. Naturally, he went both windowless and frameless for the occasion, but you’ll get much the same stripped-back experience from this rebuilt (and terrific-looking) blue-grey “88. Inevitably pricey at £41k – yet also exceptionally easy to like. Assuming you’ve got something else for asphalt.
Lotus Essex Turbo Esprit, 1981, £125,000
Something like a Lotus Esprit, for example. Bond’s affiliation with Norfolk’s finest hardly needs rehashing – aside from virtually anything made by Aston Martin, it’s probably the one car that sticks in people’s minds thanks to the outsized impression made by the now Elon Musk-owned ‘Wet Nellie’ – but it’s safe to say we’re all very fond of the way the firm finagled its way into movie lore. Easy to forget too that the Esprit returned to the screen a second time in S2 format, looking stupendously good on snow with rear-mounted skis. The car in question is said to have been specially commissioned ‘For Your Eyes Only’ although it is very much based on the immortal Essex Esprit Turbo of early ‘80s vintage. We’ve actually highlighted this example before, and with good reason – they’re rarer than hen’s teeth. Which accounts for the £125k asking price.
Ford Mustang Mach 1, 1970, 75k, £49,995
Where to finish? The Toyota 2000GT? The Sunbeam Alpine? The AMC Hornet? Nope, we must, surely, sign off with Ford. Its association with Bond is surprisingly long-running, although it is perhaps best remembered now for helping to launch the third-generation Mondeo with a shamelessly drawn-out hire car sequence in Casino Royale. Previous to that moment though, 007 drove all manner of Blue Oval-built American tat in the ‘60s. But let’s skip over that and bow out with something worthy of mention; namely, the ’71 Mustang Mach 1 driven by Tiffany Case in Diamonds Are Forever and memorably put on two wheels by a chase-mode Connery. Of course, the Mach 1 is muscle-car royalty in its own right, and particularly nice to look at in post-1970 format. Here’s one in yellow with a 5.8-litre V8 and a trifling 75k on the clock. Not as definitively ‘Bond’ as a ‘70s V8 Vantage, perhaps – but no less cool.
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