The James Bond film franchise is famous for lots of things - spectacular stunts, dreadful puns, rousing theme tunes and casual sexism.
But among the most talked about elements of any good Bond film are the cars. Over the years Bond has driven some of the most memorable motors on the planet, informing the automotive wishlist of countless petrolheads.
Much as we’d all love to relive our Goldfinger fantasies at the wheel of a £1 million-plus Aston Martin DB5 or race off into the Alps in a Lotus Esprit Turbo - a snip at £40,000, the majority of Bond’s most famous cars are out of reach for us mere mortals.
However, even if you don’t have the endless pockets of an M16 agent, there are some cars which 007 has driven that won’t break the bank.
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The Mondeo appeared in Casino Royale even before it went on sale to the public, creating huge buzz around the third generation of Ford’s big hatchback. With a striking new design, the Mondeo was Ford’s early-2000s flagship but, like all Mondoes, depreciated like a rock. You can pick up a tidy high-spec 2.5 for well under £5,000 now.
A fairly humdrum French saloon made famous by Roger Moore’s exploits around Paris. In Bond’s hands (more correctly, those of stunt driver Rémy Julienne) the Renault 11 first loses its roof before being sliced in half, leaving it famously being driven around the French capital trialing sparks from the truncated rear end. There aren’t many left in the UK but at the time of writing there was one rough but running example selling for less than £500 on eBay.
The Z3 was one of a number of BMW models that made “subtle” appearances in the last three Pierce Brosnan films. It doesn’t have the striking retro looks of the Z8, or its mighty 4.9-litre V8 but it also doesn’t have that car’s massive asking price, which is why it’s on this list. If you’re feeling brave, you can have a ratty high-mileage 1.9 example for less than £2k but even a low-mile 2.8-litre straight six version will set you back less than £10,000.
The next BMW to star alongside Brosnan was a long-wheelbase 7 Series. Memorable for being remotely controlled via a brick-like Ericsson mobile phone, the luxury saloon met a messy end in the window of an Avis office. E38 examples like Bond’s are hard to find and command prices between £10,000 and £20,000 but if you can settle for a 4.8-litre V8 instead of the V12, later E65s can be had for less than five figures. Just keep something in reserve for servicing.
In Diamonds are Forever, Bond swipes the Stag from a diamond smuggler and uses it to travel to the Netherlands where he tries to infiltrate Blofeld’s operation. We’re not condoning stealing, diamond smuggling or tussling with a supervillain but we do have a lot of time for the lazy V8 power and oh-so-70s style of the Triumph. Like the 750iL, the Stag is at the higher end of our “affordable” list but with decent examples going for close to £20,000 and projects going for a tenth of that, there’s scope for most budgets.
Citroen was so proud of the role its car played in For Your Eyes Only that it even produced a 007 special edition of the famous “tin snail” to mark its appearance in the film. Original versions featured the same Helios Yellow paintwork, 007 stickers, and pretend bullet holes and are highly sought after. If you can’t find one of those, there are still plenty of 2CVs on the market. Although they’re not the pocket money-priced bargains they once were, £5,000 and upward should get you something that isn’t a total basketcase.
Range Rover Sport
The Jaguar Land Rover group has a very successful relationship with Bond’s producers and we’ve seen everything from long-wheelbase XJs to heavily modified Defenders take centre stage in recent years. The Range Rover Sport might not be as cool or classy as either of those but it is a lot cheaper. You can pick one up for as little as £4,000, in fact. Not that we’re recommending you do. Cheap luxury SUVs can very quickly become expensive ones when things go wrong, so maybe spend a bit more on a well-cared-for example.