Luxury Cars – 10 Bond Cars That Aren’t Aston Martins
The Aston Martin DB5 is one of the most iconic movie cars of all time. The car was popularized by the 007 Movies, a film series that has enjoyed immense success on the big screens. The series boasts some of the best-rated blockbuster films to date. The central figure in this series, James Bond, has a unique taste and preference that resonates throughout the series. An element that stands out is the choice of cars.
This British Secret Service agent has an obvious affinity to some exceptional vehicles. Most Bond movies feature him driving a stylish Aston Martin, evading a bunch of thugs, or sometimes wooing a beautiful woman. Of the twenty-four James Bond films, Aston Martins have graced twelve of them. Here is a list of other car models that have been featured in the franchise.
10 Sunbeam Alpine
The Sunbeam Alpine made an appearance in the first Bond movie, Dr. No, which premiered in 1962. An enemy spy, Miss Taro, lured James Bond to her apartment for a heart to heart. He gets ambushed on his way to her location, and a car chase ensues with Bond expertly driving a Lake-Blue coated Sunbeam Alpine Series II.
The vehicle features a hardtop body style, front disc brakes, independent coil spring front suspension, a live rear axle with semi-elliptical springing, and dual downdraft carburetors. The Alpine Series II packs a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine that generates 80bhp. The Sunbeam Alpine was agile enough for Bond to escape the car chase unscathed.
9 Toyota 2000 GT
The 2000GT is of the coolest cars ever featured in movies. Many people had paid minimal attention to this car until it appeared in a classic Bond film. A version of it also appeared in Fast Five. Since the Bond film shooting would occur in Japan, it was only right to feature an iconic car from the host country. Manufactured by Toyota under contract by Yamaha, the two-seat two-door 2000GT had a limited production run between 1967 and 1970.
Two roadster units of the Toyota 2000 GT were customized for the 1967 Bond movie; You Only Live Twice. These one-off models had an open-top that eliminated all the rear side windows and tonneau covers that simulated functioning convertible roofs.
8 BMW Z8
Before the Z8 appeared in the 1999 Bond film, The World Is Not Enough, BMW had collaborated in two previous Bond film projects. The Z8 features an all-aluminum body and chassis, and its power is sourced from a 4.9-liter S62 V8 that churns out 395bhp and 369lb-ft maximum torque.
The Z8’s appearance in the film evoked BMW’s sleek quality and high sophistication, boasting titanium armor, heat-seeking rockets, and a rich armory of gadgets equipped by the Q-Division. The movie’s most exciting scene involves the Z8 on a pier, surrounded by helicopters wielding buzz-saws. The dramatic scene ends with one chopper slicing the Z8 in half.
7 Ford Mustang Mach 1
In the 1971 movie, Diamonds Are Forever, Tiffany Case and James Bond appear in several scenes on board the Ford Mustang Mach 1. The first scene that features the red Mustang involves Bond and Tiffany following one of Stavro Blofeld’s henchmen at the McAllen International Airport in Las Vegas. The most famous scene showcases Bond putting the car on two wheels in a narrow alley during a car chase.
The Mustang Mach 1 is considered the performance-oriented option package of the original Ford Mustang. Ford built the Mach 1 package in the sportsroof fastback body style, boasting a 5.8-liter Windsor V8 with a 2V motor and 3-speed manual transmission.
6 Bentley Mark IV
The Bentley Mark IV made a unique mark in the Bond series by featuring as a 30-year old classic car in the 1963 movie, From Russia with Love. Unlike other models featured in action-packed chase scenes, the Mark IV made a subtle appearance as Bond’s vehicle choice for a picnic date with Sylvia Trench.
The vehicle did not fail to impress with an in-car telephone feature. The 1935 Bentley Mark IV boasts a 3.5-liter straight-six engine that delivers 110bhp.
5 Mercury Cougar
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service may not be the most memorable James Bond film, but the Mercury Cougar featured in the movie did little to compete with other models featured in other films. This fact is perhaps because technically, it wasn’t a Bond car but rather belonged to his future wife, Contessa Teresa Di Vicenzo.
This Mercury Cougar model was specially customized and fitted with a chrome rear ski rack for Teresa’s Kneissl skis. The Mercury Cougar featured in the film is the first-generation model, boasting underpinnings from the compact chassis architecture used in the rear-wheel-drive Ford Falcon.
4 Lotus Esprit
Lotus launched the Series 1 Esprit at the 1975 Paris Motor Show, rocking a steel backbone chassis fitted with a wedge-shaped fiberglass body. However, the Lotus Esprit model featured in James Bond’s The Spy Who Loved was out of the ordinary. Dubbed Wet Nellie, the Esprit S1 was custom-built into a submarine.
The submarine features the same Giorgetto Giugiaro wedge design, a small periscope on the roof, wheel arches that turn into fins, torpedoes from the front grille, and missiles in the rear deck. Elon Musk eventually bought the submarine in 2013, and he promised to convert it into a functional car-submarine.
3 BMW 750iL
The 750iL is part of the BMW 7 Series, specifically classified under the third generation E38 model. The E38 prides itself on being the first European car to feature satellite navigation and curtain bags and the first BMW to offer in-built television.
When the BMW 750iL appeared in the film, Tomorrow Never Dies, the set’s seventeen models were modified to enable driving from the back seat. This unique feature made it seem like Bond was able to control the car using his mobile phone. The Bond BMW 750iL features a security system that included fingerprint protection, shocked intruders, and sprayed teargas.
2 Lotus Esprit Turbo
After Lotus made an impressive appearance as a submarine car in a previous film, the Turbo Esprit model represented the marque again in the 1981 film, For Your Eyes Only. Two Essex variants, the first in white and a later model in copper, were separately utilized.
The white model exploded due to an anti-theft self-destruct feature early in the film, and Bond used the replacement copper model to travel to Cortina d’Ampezzo. The Essex variants pack a 2.2-liter inline four-cylinder Type 912 engine that delivers 210bhp and 200lb-ft maximum torque.
1 BMW Z3
The Z3 prides itself on being the first BMW model to feature in a James Bond film. The BMW Z3 was first featured in the Goldeneye film of 1995 amid controversy for being a non-British production car. The model was BMW’s first mass-produced Z Series model, utilizing the E36 3 Series platform and the E30 3 Series’ rear arm suspension design.
The film collaboration boosted BMW’s reputation since a couple of BMW 5 Series cars and a BMW motorcycle also featured in the same chase scenes. Bond’s BMW Z3 model packs a 1.8-liter inline four-cylinder engine that develops 114bhp and 124lb-ft maximum torque.
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