What’s the most magical thing about the Bond movie franchise? The outrageous plots? The girls? The stunts? All worthy of a mention, but for the automotive fanatic, every Bond film can be measured according to his primary set of wheels. Often, the car is almost elevated to the role of a character, and at the very least, Bond’s choice of wheels and the little extras from Q division can certainly contribute to significant plot twists. Here are some of our favourite examples.
Aston Martin DB5
Let’s get this out of the way up front. The Aston Martin DB5 has become the car that Bond just can’t let go of. It first appeared in the 1964 film Goldfinger, and was back the following year for the otherwise forgettable Thunderball. Time moved on, but this was one love that Bond never forgot, and the DB5 was back in the 1990s for Goldeneye and Tomorrow Never Dies.
In the Craig era, the DB5 featured in Casino Royale. After all, if you are heading for the most famous casino on the planet to exchange the minimum deposit casino limits United Kingdom casinos have for the high roller, no limit tables of Monte Carlo, you want to arrive in style! Most recently, the DB5 had an important role to play Skyfall, although why Bond thought that the best vehicle in which to travel unobtrusively from London to Scotland is another matter.
If the Aston encapsulates the essence of Bond, the Lotus Esprit captures Roger Moore’s portrayal perfectly. It looks great, but dig a little deeper, and the critics can soon find enough flaws to tear it apart. But all the jokes about the name standing for Lots Of Trouble, Usually Serious don’t detract from the fact that the Esprit Turbo in The Spy Who Loved Me is simply the coolest Bond car ever.
The submarine version wasn’t just a prop, it was a real, working submarine in a Lotus Esprit bodyshell made specifically for the movie. Elon Must bought it at auction back in 2013 for a cool million dollars.
Aston Martin DBS
One of the forgotten Astons, it was the vehicle of choice for the forgotten Bonds. George Lazenby drove what must have been practically the first DBS off the production line in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and the car was the scene of perhaps the most shocking moment in the franchise’s history, when Tracy Bond was gunned down just minutes after their marriage. Almost 20 years later, the V8 Vantage was essentially the same car in a 1980s suit, and was the transportation of choice for Timothy Dalton in the criminally under-rated The Living Daylights.
For a man a British as a Lord’s Test Match or a plate of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, the BMW Z8 was a brave departure on the automotive front. Yet this was the decision when the Bond franchise rebooted for the Brosnan era. It turned out to be a master stroke, and the Z8 fully deserves its special place in Bond history. Mind you, if you’re a big fan of these nimble roadsters, you might want to look away at the end of the movie when the car meets a sticky end courtesy of a helicopter with a laser cutter.