A Drive Down Memory Lane for James Bond and Aston Martin
James Bond’s Most Trusted 4-wheel Companions
Who would have thought that even James Bond himself would not be able to dodge the global pandemic! Just like many other 007 fans out there eagerly awaiting the postponed October release date of No Time To Die, I am left wondering which corners of the world will Mr Bond visit, what will be his latest gadget but most importantly, what will he be driving?
Ever since first film Dr No starring Sean Connery hit our screens in 1962, the relationship between Bond and his cars has been very tight knit. Some of the iconic motors featured in the films include the Toyota 2000 GT, Bentley Mark IV and BMW Z8. However, every fan knows that there is only one brand that embodies Mr Bond himself – Aston Martin.
Aston Martin is an iconic staple in the Great British car industry. Founded in 1913 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford, the brand claimed its stake in the luxury car market. Both new and used Aston Martins hold their value well, making the brand one of the more sensible yet luxury investments in the sports car world.
The Aston Martin DB5 was the archetype in a long running series of luxury get-away cars, featuring originally in the 1964 blockbuster Goldfinger and again in the 1965 hit Thunderball. If you fancy yourself as an amateur classic car collector, you best have deep pockets as one of these quintessential ‘Bond’ beauties will set you back anywhere between an estimated £500,000 to £1.3 Million.
The next Aston Martin to grace the cinematic screens was the Aston Martin DBS in the film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service released in 1969. As the new Bond, George Lazenby was treated by the producers to the iconic model. This stunning DBS Vantage model delivered charm and exclusivity, as only 70 RHD Vantage examples were manufactured at the time. Getting your tux on and speeding off into the sunset in a DBS would likely set you back anywhere between an estimated £90,000 to £130,000, depending on the condition.
We now reach the 1970s. The 007 film producers designed a new strategy to separate the new James Bond, Roger Moore, from the legacy of previous Bond actors. Sadly, this meant leaving Aston Martin behind in the 1960s, paving the way for Roger’s own series of marvellous cars.
After a whopping 18-year gap, Aston Martin and James Bond, now Timothy Dalton, were once again reunited in 1987 on the set of The Living Daylights. Aston Martin sped straight in with the V8 Vantage Volante. This instantly recognisable Aston, in typical 007 style, was full of gadgets and gismos including missiles and laser beams. If you are looking to buy a used Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante that’s around the same age, you could be looking at an estimated £375,000.
In 1995 and 1997, the James Bond producers and Aston Martin decided it was time for a classic come back. The Aston Martin DB5 was again featured in Goldeneye and Tomorrow Never Dies. There were only 900 DB5s built between the years 1963 and 1965. The exact car used in the filming of Goldfinger and Thunderball sold at auction for a staggering $4.6 million in 2010.
In 2002 Die Another Day brought an Aston Martin with a more modern body shape. The Aston Martin V12 Vanquish was used by Bond during an icy high-speed car chase. The car was equipped with an invisibility cloak, which disastrously gave away Bond’s whereabouts when a snow plough crashed into the V12 Vanquish. Purchasing an Aston Martin V12 Vanquish will not quite break the bank in comparison to the DB5. A used 2002 Aston Martin V12 Vanquish will cost you an estimated £60,000 to £70,000. Quite a reasonable price for your own 007 get-away car.
Time to make room for Daniel Craig himself. His debut role as 007 in the 2006 film Casino Royale took the cinematic series by storm, giving the James Bond series the reboot it needed. The new Bond was spoilt with not one, but two Aston Martins during his first stint in the role. The Aston Martin DBS V12 is a very sleek model and reflected 007’s style perfectly. The car did not have the extravagant extras that some of Bond’s past cars had. The gadgets were believably realistic, giving us a more grounded fantasy of a day in the life of our favourite spy. The DBS V12 also featured in Bond’s next film Quantum of Solace released in 2008. A model from 2006 will likely set a Bond fan back anywhere between £80,000 to £125,000, dependent on condition.
The second Aston featured in Casino Royale was, of course, the pinnacle of all Bond cars; the Aston Martin DB5. Daniel Craig’s performance in this film was critically acclaimed, so it was only right that he drove to the top of the film charts in classic Bond style.
The meeting of new vs classic Bond continued into 2012 when Skyfall graced the screens. Bond rescued M from an attack in London and drove her to his childhood home in Scotland in the DB5. Unfortunately, the DB5 did not quite make it out of Scotland as it was blown up by a machine gun during the penultimate fight scene of the movie.
Last but not least, 2015’s Spectre took us to many different corners of the world including Mexico, Austria, Morocco, Italy and of course the UK. The film starring Daniel Craig brought action, passion and of course an Aston. Bond’s latest get-away car was the Aston Martin DB10. The DB10 was a bespoke car developed for this 007 film by the manufacturers. The car used in the film sold at auction for a staggering $3.5 million back in 2016. Aston Martin only made 10 DB10s, 8 of which were used during the filming.
And now we wait… It is safe to say that the iconic relationship between the James Bond franchise and Aston Martin is set in stone. But what will the next film entail? That is the question left on every fan’s lips. If you fancy yourself as a real-life James Bond, start with an Aston Martin – you won’t regret it.