Shaken, not stirred. The name’s Bond, James Bond. These famous lines are part of why 007 has become so ingrained into popular culture. The James Bond film series is still going strong, and even with all the gadgets and quips, it wouldn’t be the same without the cars. The cars that 007 drives are a part of his identity. They’re as stylish and sophisticated as the man himself, and we take a look at four of the coolest cars from the series.
1962 Sunbeam Alpine
Let’s start with the original, and the distinction goes to the 1962 Sunbeam Alpine that Bond drives in Dr No. It’s the first car we see Bond driving as he goes to a rendezvous with the mysterious Miss Taro in the Blue Mountains above Kingston. Bond’s Alpine was a Series II, which featured a 1.6 litre-engine. Beautiful and British made, the Alpine set the tone for Bond cars.
1976 Lotus Esprit S1
Featured in The Spy Who Loved Me, The Lotus Esprit S1 is the classic spy vehicle. Sleek and streamlined, the car was involved in one of the best car chases in the entire series. The moment it transformed into a submarine changed the way fans looked at Bond vehicles. Lotus provided seven vehicle ‘shells’ that were used to create the submarine. In addition to being amphibious, the Esprit featured mines, a concealed cement sprayer and surface-to-air missiles.
In The Art of Bond, production designer Ken Adam said he thought the Esprit’s “shape could make it a believable submarine. An American submarine company built it for me. And it travelled underwater – it was not pressurised but it could do 7 knots underwater. Stunt divers with oxygen tanks operated it.”
1967 Toyota 2000GT
The 1967 Toyota 2000GT appeared in You Only Live Twice and it’s one of Bond’s best looking cars. What makes the 200GT special is that it was produced in very low numbers. Only 351 were made and the one that Bond drives was created specifically for the film. The car was modified from a coupe into a roadster to accommodate Sean Connery’s height. Bond’s 2000GT is one of a kind because it’s the only open-top model ever produced.
1964 Aston Martin DB5
We had to save the best till last, and the Aston Martin DB5 is definitely the most iconic Bond car. Bond had driven an Aston Martin DB Mark III in Ian Fleming’s novels, but the most recent model was chosen for Goldfinger. At first, Aston Martin were slow to cooperate with the studio and there wasn’t any kind of product placement deal. The film catapulted the DB5 into superstardom and it’s a big reason why placement deals exist today.
The DB5 set the standard for all other gadget-stuffed cars after it. For a more in-depth look into the history of the DB5 and Bond, you can read about it on our blog.