Shootouts with bad guys, exotic locations, beautiful women, fast cars -- what man hasn't fantasized about stepping into James Bond's shoes for a day? We've been watching James Bonds movies since the introduction of the franchise in 1962, and we've been enamored with 007 ever since.
One of the most iconic aspects of any James Bond movie is the various cars that make their way onto the big screen. From the Lotus Esprit featured in The Spy Who Loved Me to the clunky yet functional Bajaj RE featured in Octopussy we're removing the car covers and revealing a complete list of every vehicle driven by 007 in chronological order.
Movie: Dr. No (1962)
It all began with Dr. No, the first Bond movie ever that premiered in 1962. He drove the Sunbeam Alpine Series II which sported a lake blue coat of paint. In classic 007 fashion, the super spy is lured to the apartment of Miss Taro, an enemy spy. As he drives up a mountainside for a "heart to heart" with Miss Taro, he's ambushed.
A car chase soon ensues, but Bond's expert driving skills sees him free of his pursuers as they go tumbling down the mountain in a fiery crash. The English made Sunbeam Alpine was manufactured in jolly old England, a tradition that many Bond cars would follow in the coming years.
Movie: From Russia with Love (1963)
The Bentley Mark IV is introduced in From Russia with Love. Despite it being just his second outing, Bond uses his vehicle once again to enjoy the company of a beautiful woman. In this case, he's enjoying a picnic with the lovely Sylvia Trench. That's when he gets a call from headquarters, and he's summoned back home. However, that doesn't stop him from flipping up the convertible roof to finish his date with Miss Trench.
The Bentley Mark IV was an interesting choice for a Bond, film, as it was 30 years old at the time of the release of the movie. Despite this fact, the Mark IV still makes an excellent addition to the medley of Bond vehicles on this list.
Movie: Goldfinger (1964)
Ask any James Bond fan about the top five most iconic 007 cars and the DB5 will most certainly make its way to the top of the list every time. In terms of recognition, the Aston Martin DB5 has been greatly popularized by the sheer number of movies that it has been featured in. Of course, 007's version is equipped with machine guns, tire slashers, an ejection seat and many other nifty little gadgets. The DB5 was so popular that it was featured in a medley of Bond films that include Thunderball, Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies, Casino Royale, and Skyfall.
Movie: You Only Live Twice (1967)
It's only right that Bond's first film to take place in Japan should feature the country's first supercar. The Toyota 2000 was fast, powerful, and rare. There were only 351 models produced in total. Sean Connery was too large to move around in the Japanese supercar comfortably, so Toyota quickly modified the traditionally hard top coupe so that Connery could zip around in a special open-top version.
Movie: On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
The fifth Bond film temporarily did away with Sean Connery and introduced second Bond actor, George Lazenby. The DBS would play a tragic role in this movie. As Bond and his wife are driving in the DBS, she's assassinated through the windshield. The Aston Martin DBS was the latest edition at the time and would make a brief appearance in the next film Diamonds Are Forever as it's being equipped with missiles in the infamous lab of Q.
Movie: On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
The Mercury Cougar didn't exactly belong to Bond in this movie. It belonged to his future wife, Tracy Di Vicenzo. With Bond on the run from the bad guys, he had to rely upon the power of the Mercury Cougar (and the masterful driving skills of his love interest).
Tracy earns her keep by navigating treacherously icy roads, dodging bullets the whole way. She eventually enters a stock car race track in a bid to outrun their pursuers. Eventually, James and Tracy race away as the bad guys overturn and explode in a glorious fireball.
Movie: Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
Sean Connery once again reprises the role of the confident and deadly super spy 007. While driving Tiffany Case's Ford Mustang, Bond leads Las Vegas police officers on an epic chase. Bond pulls off a few fancy tricks, and suddenly the cops end up crashing into one another as he zooms away. There's more to the chase than that, including a point where he's driving on two wheels to make his swift escape, but it certainly showcased the Ford Mustang in all of its glory.
Movie: The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
Inexperienced field agent Mary Goodnight finds herself kidnapped by the nefarious Francisco Scaramanga forcing Bond to jump to the rescue. He ends up stealing an AMC Hornet by driving it right through the window of the showroom (the keys to his vehicle were in the possession of Miss Goodnight).
After a tense chase through the streets of Bankok, Bond and his comic relief partner who happened to be in the passenger seat during the theft, end up on the opposite end of a river from Miss Goodnight and Francisco. What does Bond do? He lines up the AMC Hornet with a collapsed bridge and guns the engine, going aerial and doing a 360-degree spin in the process right over the river. Needless to say, he and his partner land safely on the other side.
Movie: The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
The Spy Who Loved Me was one of the most exciting Bond films, due in part to the Lotus Esprit S1. As usual, Bond is on the run from the bad guys. With Barbara Bach riding shotgun, Bond has to outrace bad guys on the ground who aren't making his escape easy.
Soon enough a helicopter joins the mix, forcing Bond to drive off a peer and dive into a lake, where, you guessed it, armed frogman lie in wait for him. The Lotus Esprit transforms into a miniature submarine and easily mops up the bad guys both underwater and in the air. The scene ends with bond driving back onto land past a group of tourists as if the entire affair never happened.
Movie: For Your Eyes Only (1981)
Clearly, the chase scene involving the Lotus from the previous movie was exciting enough to prompt the return of the vehicle, though this time with a more supped up model. In For Your Eyes Only Bond attempts to escape from the hideout of Hector Gonzales. However, instead of getting a repeat of the amazing chase scene from The Spy Who Loved Me, one of Gonzale's goons approaches the vehicle and smashes the passenger side window.
Perhaps he should have read the "Burglar protected" sticker because the vehicle self-destructs and takes the bad guy with it -- because who doesn't protect equip their cars with self-destruct systems to scare off burglars, right?
Movie: For Your Eyes Only (1981)
Cars like the Citroën 2CV aren't normally Bond's cup of tea, but what's a spy to do when their only hope of escape self-destructs because of an over protective burglar security system? With the Lotus gone, along with the foolish henchman who set the system off, Bond is forced to jump into the Citroën 2CV driven by Melina Havelock.
The squat yellow vehicle does well enough during the chase, but it's clear that certain scenes were sped up to accommodate the underpowered vehicle. Eventually, the 2CV overturns, but local villagers help push them back onto all four wheels again. Clearly bond had enough of Miss Havelock's driving because he jumps behind the wheel and takes off once more. The Citroën 2CV car chase scene added humor to the film.
Movie: Octopussy (1983)
Perhaps the most ridiculous chase scene to date, Octopussy introduces us to the Baja RE, a model of auto rickshaw that the locals refer to as a Tuk Tuk taxi. Bond wins a high stakes game of backgammon and jumps into a Tuk Tuk taxi with his friend and fellow agent Vijay. A gunman is spotted in the cab behind them, and the chase is on. It turns out the rickety autorickshaw has been modified by Q branch and a powerful engine forces the vehicle onto two wheels at one point. Needless, both Bond and Vijay get away.
Movie: A View to Kill (1985)
Bond's time with the Renault wasn't his best driving showcase. In fact, it displays some rather irresponsible driving. Bond chases after the evil henchwoman May Day as she makes her grand escape by parachuting off the Eiffel Towel. He jumps into a Renault taxi, and the chase is on.
Initially, he showcases his masterful driving ability, navigating heavy traffic by performing a number of stunts that include driving across the roof of a bus. However, he makes his first mistake when a stop barrier rips away the roof of the Renault, transforming the vehicle into a convertible. Then a car hits him, sheering away the rear end of the taxi. That doesn't stop Bond because he continues guiding the Renault along on just two wheels! He eventually stops by a bridge and leaps into action to continue the pursuit on water.
Movie: A View to Kill (1985)
Though the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II played a rather significant role in A View to Kill, the luxury vehicle has been around for a while. The Rolls was the personal vehicle of Cubby Broccoli, one of the Bond franchise's producers. A Rolls cameos briefly in Thunderball as a background vehicle.
In A View to Kill the Silver Cloud plays a more significant yet tragic roll. Bond's partner and fellow MI6 agent Sir Godfrey Tibbett poses as Bond's chauffeur. Sadly, he's strangled to death by May Day inside of a car wash. She then captures 007 and knocks him unconscious before pushing the Rolls into a lake containing both agents. Bond manages to regain consciousness in the nick of time and survives the encounter by stealing in air from the tires to breathe underwater. A completely plausible way to survive such an encounter? Probably not, but this is 007 we're talking about here. If anyone were to pull off such a stunt, it would be him.
Movie: The Living Daylights (1987)
The Living Daylights introduced a new 007, Timothy Dalton. Despite bringing on a new James Bond, the producers decided to bring back an old car, one that hasn't seen the light of day in a Bond film for the past 18 years, the Aston Martin. This time, Q labs goes all out in making this the most deadly Bond car to date. The Aston Martin is equipped with tire spikes, missiles, lasers, a missile guidance display, a self-destruct timer and more. Despite all of its modifications, the Aston Martin V8 looks just as beautiful as the DBS Bond drove in On Her Majesty's Secret Service in 1969.
Movie: Goldeneye (1995)
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
Pierce Brosnan makes his grand debut as James Bond in Goldeneye. We first get a glance of the DB5 as we watch Bond do what he does best -- woo the ladies. He and the lovely MI6 psychologist Caroline take a ride in the Aston Martin. Though she's there on business, Bond has other ideas.
Soon enough a Ferrari Spider 355, driven by Xenia Onatopp, challenges them to a race and the two vehicles have at it. Caroline demands that Bond stop the car due to the high rates of speed that he was driving. He complies by slamming on the emergency brake, and the scene ends with him pulling out a hidden bottle of Bollinger champagne. The DB5 also makes a brief appearance in Tomorrow Never Dies.
Movie: Goldeneye (1995)
The BMW Z3 was the first BMW that Bond has ever driven. During its introduction in Goldeneye, Bond is briefed by Q on all of the vehicle's specs -- stinger missiles, an ejector seat, and an all-points radar amongst other goodies. The BMW was ready to rule the road with Bond in the driver's seat, but the Z3 was more of a product placement rather than part of Bond's essential arsenal. He merely drives the vehicle to a waiting plane and transfers the BMW to another agent who he warns not to touch any of the buttons.
Movie: Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
If fans were disappointed by the fact that Bond hardly used his BMW in the last movie they were in for a great surprise in his latest outing in Tomorrow Never Dies. This time around, Bond drives a BMW 750iL, and it sports some of the most impressive weaponry and tech to date in a Bond car. With electrified door handles sledgehammer proof windows, hidden tear gas compartments, and the ability to be driven remotely by Bond's phone, the 750iL was the bane of every henchman who came across its path.
Bond displays the vehicle's impressive capabilities when he's forced to make a grand escape from a parking garage as armed thugs attempt to vandalize his vehicle. Bond escapes a hail of gunfire and trailing gunmen as he drives the vehicle from the relative safety of the backseat. He fools the trailing bad guys by bailing from the vehicle and sending it soaring from the rooftop of the parking complex and into a rental shop below.
Movie: The World is Not Enough (1999)
BMW had done well in terms of sales due to its product placements in the past two Bond films. The World is Not Enough was the last of these product placements and the BMW Z8 saw a fitting end during an especially harrowing air-to-ground chase scene. Bond incurs the wrath of his enemies and has a helicopter sent after him. He manages to take it down with a surface-to-air missile, but the first helicopter is soon replaced by a second, and this one is equipped with a nasty device that cleaves Bond's poor BMW clean in half.
Movie: Die Another Day (2002)
Bond manages to snag some pertinent information pertaining to his current mission in Die Another Day but finds himself without his usual hi-tech gadgets. He asks Havana based MI6 field agent Raoul for weaponry and a fast car. Bond gets the gun he needs, but the car wasn't quite up to his usual specs. The "fast car" he receives is a 1957 Ford Fairlane, not quite the speed demon Bond had requested, but a beauty none-the-less. Bond takes a leisurely drive back to his hotel, and that's the last we see of the Fairlane from that point onward.
Movie: Die Another Day (2002)
Die Another Day takes a twist for the sci-fi due to the introduction of the Aston Martin V12 Vanquish and its ability to vanish into thin air. Well, not exactly. The Vanquish or perhaps "The Vanish" can generate an invisibility cloak that allows James to drive around virtually undetected. Of course, this hi-tech car wouldn't be complete without its usual fanfare: torpedoes, target-seeking shotguns, an ejector seat and other goodies.
Bond was doing perfectly fine sitting undetected in the ice palace of Gustav Grave. That was, until a snowmobile plows into the Aston Martin, giving away his location and initiating a chase involving a similarly supped up Jaguar. The most notable gadget on the Jaguar was its thermal imaging screen that allowed the henchmen to keep up with Bond. A seven-minute chase sequence ensues that involved missiles, rockets, machine guns, and even ejector seats.
Movie: Casino Royale (2008)
2008 was the year that James Bond received a makeover. The franchise was essentially rebooted, giving Bond a darker more serious tone. Daniel Craig delivered his performance of Bond with perfection, bringing the Aston Martin DBS V12 along for the ride. At this point in the series, the producers did away with the more unrealistic upgrades to 007's ride and equipped the vehicle with more realistic gadgets: a silenced Walther PPK and a defibrillator.
Bond is in hot pursuit of Le Chiffre who had just kidnapped Vesper Lynd. After cresting a small hill, he finds Vesper tied up in the road, forcing him to swerve to avoid hitting her and flipping a total of 7 times. The enemy takes advantage of the situation and move in to capture Bond.
Movie: Casino Royale (2006)
The DB5 first made its grand reappearance in Casino Royale where Bond wins the vehicle in a high stakes game of poker. In the latest film Skyfall, M is on the run from Raoul Silva. Stopping by a garage Bond hops out and heads to open the door. M states promptly that she would not be hiding inside of the garage to which Bond states "we're just switching cars." The garage door opens, and the Aston Martin DB5 awaits them. With the classic Bond theme playing in the background, the pair drives off for Scotland to lure Silva away from the innocents in London and to lead him into a trap. M complains that the ride wasn't terribly comfortable to which Bond playfully thumbs the ejector seat button.
Featured image credit: Wikimedia Commons