back to article Why James Bond's Aston Martin Top Trumps the rest

What car should James Bond really drive? It's a hotly disputed question. Our man on film is closely associated with the Aston Martin, the DB5 initially and DBS V12 of late. Clearly the producers of recent Bond outings hope to identify their character with the spirit of an earlier time regarded as iconic and special. And they …


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  1. mad_dr

    I guess

    The only Jag in a Bond film that I can recall is the green XK from that terrible film "Die Another Day"... I prefer the Vanquish that Brosnan bombed around in in that outing though so he chose the right one.

    1. BrownishMonstr

      Re: I guess

      Ahem. You mean The "Vanish".

    2. miknik

      if you’ve got £250k for one of these you’re going to pay me to park it, aren’t you?

      No, because you will go hacking around the South Downs in it while I'm not looking ;)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The first Esprits weren't turbo's, and the 750 they started filming with was such a steaming pile of excrement that BMW snuck in a 740 8 cylinder for the rest of the recording. Although the 8 cylinder Beamers are just an ever so slightly less steaming pile of excrement, at least they kept going.

    1. AbortRetryFail

      Indeed. The white Esprit that went underwater was a S1, which was Naturally Aspirated and produced way before the first Turbo.

      Pretty sure the one they blew up in For Your Eyes Only was a Turbo though.

    2. Silverburn

      I believe most of the problems were not that the BMW were bad car per se. It was that they made bad stunt cars. Mainly due to the hardwired electronics not realising that doing a massive power slide, on the rev limiter with the tail out was *intentional*, not accidental.

  3. GitMeMyShootinIrons


    Don't forget that Bond has driven that classic Rep Machine - the Ford Mondeo - in Casino Royale (one of the greatest examples of product placement cramming in movie history).

    1. Silverburn

      Re: Well....

      I personally felt CR earned one of it's downticks for that travesty alone. I mean...Jimmy a rented Mundane-o...that isn't being crashed, riddle with bullets or being driven like it was stolen (usually by him).

      And I hear the next one means ditching his vodka martini's for...of all things...a Heineken. FFS.

    2. Calum Morrison

      Re: Well....

      That film was ruined by Fords being shoehorned in to inappropriate areas (amongst other things); the only good things were the beautiful beautiful Alfa 159s used by the bad guys. It's funny how Hollywood, err Pinewood, always makes the good guys so wet you end up rooting for the other side!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well....

        Ford owned Aston at the time, so it made sense for them to shoehorn in their new cars.

        This is why the likes of Die Another Day everyone had a Ford (eg. Thunderbird), Jag or Range Rover - all owned by Ford at the time.

        In Quantum of Solace he was even being driven around in some sort of Ka.

        A Mondeo would actually probably be quite apt - big size and reasonable power, yet conspicuous enough to be anonymous (as per the Arctic Monkeys 'When the sun goes down')...

        The bmw era was poor in terms of blatant product placement. The Z3 was a bit of a girly car, the 7 was a CEO-wagon and the Z8 wasn't ready so it was a kit car on a Corvette. Mind Dalton drove an Audi at one point too.

        The BBC are usually good at car casting - the good guys usually drive Alfas!

  4. FartingHippo
    Thumb Up

    "I had the Corgi model that fired Swan Vestas out of the front bumper"

    As, I suspect, did many of us. The bullet-proof screen always ended up jammed, though.

    Nice article. Left me feeling warm and fuzzy.

    1. sillmacka

      Re: "I had the Corgi model that fired Swan Vestas out of the front bumper"

      Yeah, great article. That Corgi reference really took me back down memory lane.

    2. Vulch

      Re: "I had the Corgi model that fired Swan Vestas out of the front bumper"

      The bullet proof screen on mine was fine, the ejector seat arm broke though...

    3. Mostly_Harmless Silver badge

      Re: "I had the Corgi model that fired Swan Vestas out of the front bumper"

      Front bumper? I remember the DB5 model that had machine guns and whatnot that popped out the front when you pressed a button. The Vestas-launcher that I remember was the white Esprit that had rocket launchers in the rear windscreen (and the little plastic rockets got lost so got replaced by matches)

      1. MrT

        "Nerd alert"

        I still have my Esprit sub-car held in the box with the undertray clip, all the missiles present. It got played with, but was garaged at the end of each 'mission'...

        It's that "played with" bit that upsets proper collectors cos they want the missiles still fixed to the molding stem. Boring sods.

        1. AbortRetryFail

          Re: "Nerd alert"

          I had a pristine example too. My ex asked me to let her son have a go, and I said he would lose the rockets. She assured me he would not. With crushing inevitability, he immediately did. :o)

          1. BorkedAgain
            Thumb Up

            Re: "Nerd alert"

            Still, at least someone had fun eh? ;)

  5. RainForestGuppy

    In the movies

    The first "Bond" car is a Sunbeam Alpine, in Dr No

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: In the movies

      "....a Sunbeam Alpine, in Dr No." Yes and no. It is the first car Bond does a chase in, but it is not his own car, merely supposed to be a rental. IIRC, it was borrowed from a local resident as the only sportscar available on the island for filming! The first car that is identified as Bond's own is the Bentley, very briefly in "From Russia With Love", and the first "Q" car is the Aston in "Goldfinger".

  6. BenM 29 Silver badge

    has a lovely one for sale....

    Let me FTFY - Had a lovely one for sale...."This Aston Martin DB5 is now sold" well that saved me £0.25M then...

  7. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    The DB5

    Here is a picture of Bond's DB5 in somewhat unusual condition :-)

    All the gadgets still working - bullet shield, guns, "radar" in a side mirror...

    1. QuinnDexter

      Re: The DB5

      Looks like the number plate still rotates as well :)

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Re: The DB5

        Looks like the number plate still rotates as well

        If not, it can be updated: (also somewhere in English). God help you if he police catch, you though.

      2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: The DB5

        It does!

        I was disappointed, though, to see that the bullet marks on the retractable armour shield were just simple stickers...

        1. hplasm

          Re: The DB5

          Also the front machine guns were broomhandle painted black!

  8. ACx

    No way should an e-type been used.

    IMHO, an e-type is or was a pretty celeb car. Its too fashionable and pretty for a hard nosed spy. Yes it is one of the most fantastic gorgeous cars ever made, but never a spy car. The Aston has strength, punch, hardness and raw manliness about it. Image wise, it can take a bullet. An e-type would cry if its make up was smudged. The Aston was and still is a much more suitable for a Bond.

    In fact, I'd say the e-type suits Austin Powers perfectly. The Aston suits Bond.

    1. Steve the Cynic

      I can't see an E-Type anywhere without thinking of Bud Cort with a pair of welding goggles and a crazed look in his eye...

    2. philbo

      Well said

      Thank you for putting into words exactly what I was thinking :)

    3. Danny 14

      DB-5 all the way. Never liked jags and the db5 SOUNDS better than an e type.

    4. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: ACx

      ".....e-type is or was a pretty celeb car....." Hmmm, maybe, but they were used by the Police if IIRC. Now, a Mk2 saloon would have been suitably dark given it's association with gangsters. And a lot more practical.

    5. Andrew Moore

      Agreed, bond needed something iconic, not 'it's popular right now'

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      When I was a kid one of our neighbours had a DB3 which he traded in for a DB5. He constantly complained about how unreliable it was. That was how I learned at an early age that SU in SU carbs stood for Something Unmentionable.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Beg the what?

    prraps the reg could have a wee scriptlet that scans articles for the phrase "beg(s) the question" and sticks it on hold until the writer has got it right...

    1. BorkedAgain

      Re: Beg the what?

      Summary of conclusion: "My recommendation: Never use the phrase yourself — use 'assume the conclusion' or 'raise the question', depending on what you mean — and cultivate an attitude of serene detachment in the face of its use by others."

      "Serene detachment" - doesn't that sound nice?

  10. Captain TickTock
    Thumb Up

    Loved the moment

    When the Lotus - sub puts its indicators on to turn underwater

  11. Rick Berry

    Yes, the DB5 is the quintessential James Bond car. but, how could you not mention the Ford Mustang Mach 1 in Diamonds are Forever? for a more complete listing -

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: Rick Berry

      ".....Ford Mustang Mach 1....." The Mach 1 was a truly steaming pile of the brown stuff, a horrible thing to do to the pretty Mustang. Wash your mouth out for even suggesting it!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mr. Bond is a Gentleman, and gentlemen do NOT drive Mustangs. And if , for reasons beyond their control, it IS necessery for them to drive one, the less it is mentioned and the sooner it is forgotten the better.

    And I'm not sure about the E-type either

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Well, there's always the Shelby GT500.

      If it's good enough for Rally Vincent, it's good enough for Bond.

      1. Captain Save-a-ho

        So if Rally Vincent is drinking Guiness, then Bond should abandon Martinis? That's how ridiculous your comparison is.

        The only car suited to Bond is the Aston Martin DB5. Period.

    2. proto-robbie

      Bond a gentleman? That's a strange word for a priapic mass murderer. Quite right about the Mustang though, strictly for the CIA.

      1. The Baron

        > Bond a gentleman? That's a strange word for a priapic mass murderer.

        Perhaps he could be described as "an assassin required to play the part of a gentleman"? In any case, yes, the Mustang is a faux pas.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Bond is not a gentleman, he is a howling bounder. And he gets on with the real enemy - the Americans. (Philby insisted that he spied for Britain and the USSR against the USA, out of patriotism. Based on how they've treated us since, he had a point).

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The silver-birch DB5 only appeared on screen for about ten minutes in Goldfinger but it has become completely synonymous with the character "

    You don't suppose that the addition of the ejector seat (which I assume is not listed as an option in the DB5 price list) might have had something to do with it?

    N.b. I also had one of the Corgi cars - on mine it was the ejector seat that kept jamming + I suspec that the small plastic "Oddjob" probably got lost fairly quickly as well. Strangely, until they brought the DB5 back in Casino Royale I'd had the idea that it was a bronze rather than silver! Can't remember the details but I've got a feeling that I might have given mine a new paint job at some point!

    1. Lallabalalla

      Gold Corgi

      No, I had a gold one - and it didn't fire swan vestas, though it did have pop-out bumper over-riders and machineguns at the front.

      I didn't lose the plastic Japanese guard and everything worked perfectly - until my little brother got his 3 year old mitts on it. GRR!

      1. Matt 21

        Re: Gold Corgi

        He was Korean I think.

    2. Dom 3

      Ejector seat

      Many years ago I went to see Desmond L. do a theatre show ("an evening with" kind of format, just him talking) about his role as Q. He had along some of the original gadgets, including the briefcase from "From Russia with Love" - looking rather battered. He explained that he himself knew squit-all about technology; he also explained how some of the gadgets - at least in the early films - were actual commercial products. And he said that he particularly liked the ejector seat - because it was a late addition. He'd already completed his filming, when he got a call back to the studio to do the ejector seat - so an extra day's work.

      1. Dom 3

        Re: Ejector seat

        at about 4:20 onwards for the man himself

  14. Armando 123


    I saw one in the VIP Parking area of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway two years ago for Pole Day. A crowd had gathered and they were drooling, politely behind the ropes, at an immaculate DB5 and a new Maseratti Gran Turismo. The rest of the cars, including a new Ferrari, were largely ignored.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Re: DB5

      The only one I've ever seen in the tin was on a housing estate near St Neots ffs parked outside a bungalow.

      A more incongrous sight I have never beheld, but it was gorgeous.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: DB5

        Had you been at Leatherhead B&Q in the early 90's you'd have seen an even more incongruous sight - my father, in the process of building a brick wall in the garden at home, ran out of cement. Being a logical sort of chap, he took the most suitable car he owned for the job off to buy some more. Since his DB5 drophead Vantage (one of only 12) had a lower boot sill than the family estate, a Peugeot 504, he took the Aston for ease of loading.

        More recently, at a car show, we had to change my baby daughter's nappy, and I'm afraid the low, flat boot floor was pressed into service once again - possibly the most expensive changing mat in history. And the quickest too - the Vantage engine (nowadays) gives a genuine 300bhp and 300 lb/ft of torque.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Car nerd here... Bond never drove a half 2CV, it was a Renault 11.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re; AC

      ".....Bond never drove a half 2CV....." Not quite. A souped-up 2CV with a 4-cylinder engine was hilariously used in "For Your Eyes Only" ( after the over-engineered theft-prevention system on the Esprit Turbo blew it up! However, having driven a few 2CVs and the awful Mehari "Jeep" version (courtesy of the Fwench Marines - vive le difference!), I can confidantly state it would not have survived half the crashes in the chase scene as the buggers had a nasty habit of folding in the middle! The Renault 11 was in "View To A Kill", when Bond was chasing the paragliding Grace Jones after she assassinated his contact at the Eifel Tower, and it did accurately reflect Renault's build quality when it took one tap and split in two.

      1. Ian Johnston Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Bond 2CV

        I've met the owner of one of the Bond 2CVs - not the special edition, but the ones used for the chase in the film. Basically a standard 2CV, but with the 4-cylinder GS engine and a hydraulically operated arrester hook underneath to catch a wire if a jump had to be aborted..

        I had a standard 2CV myself. They are extremely tough cars.

        1. Nuke

          Re: Bond 2CV

          Ian Johnston wrote :-

          "I had a standard 2CV myself. They are extremely tough cars."

          Believe it or not, someone in the Hotwells area of Bristol made a stretch limo out of 2CVs. I used to see it around there and in the Bedminster area about 10 years ago. I think it had 6 doors. Looked hilarious.

          For some time there was the back half of a 2CV, presumably a left-over, in a public car park near the Nova Scotia pub. The chassis members stuck out forward and I was always suprised when I passed to see that no yobbos had yet wheeled it like a hand cart into the nearby Cumberland Basin. Perhaps they did in the end.

  16. Chris Miller


    It's interesting that a typical modern hot hatch would leave either the E-type or DB5 in the dust, while consuming half the fuel and costing half as much (in real terms). They don't look anything like as good, of course.

    Technology, dontchajustluvit.

    1. Stacy

      Re: Performance

      Shame isn't it? I was thinking my V70 T5 is not far off of that (both in power and performance - and all that from a load lugger with just a 2.0T engine!).

      Oh, but the noise they make is far better than any hot hatch or modern 2.0T engine can produce!

    2. The Baron

      Re: Performance

      Hmm. A well-maintained E-type will still hit sixty in under seven seconds and go on to 150mph, pretty-much identical to a current-generation Focus ST. OK, race them round a twisty course in the wet and there'll be no contest, but give it a dry drag race and there'll be a lot less dust eaten than you might expect. Pretty sweet given the damn thing's probably 45 years old.

      As you say, though, in terms of price, fuel economy, carrying capacity, general running costs, safety, recycle-ability...

      Does make you think, though... your typical passenger car in 2050 will no doubt have the performance of a Veyron and the fuel economy of a bicycle.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Performance

      Half as much? More like a fifth to a tenth. A DB5 cost as much as a 5 bed house in the suburbs.

  17. Mystic Megabyte

    I had the use of an 3.8 E-type for about a month. It's cool and sticks to the road like s**t to a blanket.

    Took it for a cruise up the King's Rd, it had to be done :)

    As for the 2CV, they will get you where even a 4x4 will have trouble. I drove one from London to Israel. Got it up roadless mountains and over coral sand beaches. When they get stuck in sand you only need a piece of 3x2 about 30" long and a rock to lever the wheels up. No jack needed.

    Also you can fix a puncture with two small motorbike tyre levers in an hour. I had about ten patches on every tube and some on the inner tyre walls by the time I'd finished. Perfect for spying off the beaten track.

  18. thomas newton

    for an affordable 'Bond' car

    why not a Saab 900 as he drives in the John Gardner books?

    1. ravenviz Silver badge

      Re: for an affordable 'Bond' car

      Mainly because Saab's are horrible.

      1. tirk

        Re: for an affordable 'Bond' car

        "Mainly because Saab's are horrible."

        I've only owned on (a 9000 Carlsson) but that was a lovely car. Unlike your apostrophe ;-)

      2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        Re: Re: for an affordable 'Bond' car

        "Mainly because Saab's are horrible." Well, Saabs are not horrible, but the idea of having Bond drive an alternative rep mobile is truly horrid.

        1. MrT

          SAABs were a proper engineered job...

          ... until GM bean counters started to insist they rebadge generic stuff (which they didn't really do to a great extent - SAAB were always engineer-led).

          Original 900 Turbo is still a quick and quirky thing - folks will always mention the ignition key down in the centre console, but they had other thoughtful ideas like proper drain taps in the heating system; beats undoing a jubilee clip, yanking off a hose and dodging coolant like on Cavaliers...

          The 9000 was a button-fest inside, joint project with FIAT for the Chroma and Alfa 166. Of course, being SAAB they didn't just stop at swapping in their own engines, but out of that trio Bond would surely be better suited to a 3.0 V6 Alfa 166... if only Alfa's iconic GTV6 hadn't already been seen elsewhere.

          1. Nuke

            Re: SAABs were a proper engineered job...

            MrT wrote :-

            "Original 900 Turbo .... had other thoughtful ideas like proper drain taps in the heating system; beats undoing a jubilee clip, yanking off a hose and dodging coolant like on Cavaliers..."

            Why single out Cavaliers? Tell me of any car that now has drain taps - I'm not saying there aren't any, I just don't know of any; Rolls Royce perhaps.

            For some years I would solder a drain tap onto any car I had, but then they stopped me doing that with plastic headers.

            1. MrT

              Why single out Cavaliers...

              It's the GM connection, since the later 900 model was built on Cavalier-C/Vectra-A platform. Same model name as the earlier 900 but a gradual degradation of the SAAB DNA, even if their engineers tried their best to avoid assymilation. I've owned Cavs (B and C) and tinkered with 900s of pre and post GM acquisition, so it's familiarity and because the two are cousins in part.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: SAABs were a proper engineered job...

            There is the old anecdote that Saab did away with so much of the GM platform, that GMs beancounters were horrified. Heck the mk3 Cavalier wasn't even that bad a car!

            The kind of people who diss Saabs are likely those for whom anything more interesting than a fleet-leased A3 diesel is scoffed at. (Dalton drove a 100, back when they were interesting, like a German Saab/Citroen).

            1. MrT

              Re: Audi 100...

              ... IIRC that was the one that had it's Cd figure in a badge on the rear three-quarter glass (0.30 or so).

              My "most intesting cars" garage would include a SAAB, but probably a 99 Turbo, or maybe one of the very last 9-5s which were starting to look good after the 'spectacle' phase.

              But then again I'd also have a Citroen DS23 (or SM if I had plenty of spare change), but also a Xantia Activa. To keep with the old/new theme I'd also buy the best Firenza I could (Droopsnoot would be perfect - saw one go for 13k last year, fond memories of my own non-DS '75 model) and also an Astra 888 Coupe. Plus a Golf Mk1 cabrio and Corrado G60.

              The list could go on... Of course everyone has their own opinion of what they'd include. And they'd all be right for one reason or another :-)

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Audi 100...

                Had a run in a Xantia Activa owned by a Citroen collector. Uncanny handling for such a comfortable barge! Great car.

                Unfortunately he was demoing this on country roads, so it was also one of my most terrifying memories.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not a Jag

    .. at least not since the UK had "two Jags" Prescott - can't get that association out of my head.

    Wasn't it the new version of Casino Royal where Bond gets a DBS to play with (why oh why do they always have to wreck those cars :( )? Personally, I like that one best (although I'd spend that dosh on an RS5 with the new V8 - less prestige but at least the fuel bill is survivable and it feeds all that power into 4 wheels).

    The Aston Martin design has been copied extensively, ironically starting with Jaguar - you can even see serious touches of it in the S5 series from Audi. However, what I never liked was Bond in a Beemer. That just did not work *at all*.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not a Jag

      Downvoted for comparing Aston Martins to overpriced 4-ringed Volkswagens.

      At least with Jag they share some common ground under Ford, with the XJS - DB7 and XK sharing a platform.

  20. TeeCee Gold badge

    "So Broccoli phoned Aston Martin and Bond ended up in a DB5 instead."

    Hardly surprising. David Brown was not as financially adept as William Lyons and probably never considered what he could have sold the cars for.

    When Astons changed hands recently, it was remarked at the time that it was the first time in the firm's history that it had been sold as a going concern, as opposed to being rescued from bankruptcy. As an illustration of the problems behind this, a short tale was related:

    David Brown showed Clark Gable around the Aston factory and at the end of the tour, Gable said:

    "Thank you Mr Brown, that was most interesting and I'd actually like to buy one of your cars. However, as the association with my name will obviously be of great benefit to your company, I am not prepared to pay any more than the cost price."

    Brown's response was; "Thank you Mr Gable, that's very generous of you. Most of our clients pay around a thousand pounds less than that.".......

  21. TRT Silver badge

    Why hasn't he been given...

    the chance to rip up the road in a Caterham 7? Or a Lotus 7 for that. In British Racing Green with a yellow intake shroud. And a thumping trumpet, bass and percussion track too as he drives into the secret underground entrance of MI6 to hand in his resignat... hang on, gone off on a wrong track here I think. ;-)

    Icon: Vote for Number 6.

    1. BoldMan

      Re: Why hasn't he been given...

      I am not a number... oh hang on I am...

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Why hasn't he been given...

      Because for most of the actors playing bond - either their wig would have fallen off, they wouldn't have got their gut behind the steering wheel - or in the case of Mr Connery, it would look like they were pedalling it.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Original text

    Lovely description of the Bentley crash in Casino Royale when it hits Le Chiffre's ambush.

    It rears up on its rear tank the headlamps shining into the night sky

    1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

      Re: Original text

      And again in Moonraker. You'd think he'd have learned.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fact check??

    "In fact the model silver-birch DB5 is still being made and is the company’s biggest ever seller – over a million were sold by the end of the 1960s."

    Errr.... according to wikipedia, the DB5's production run lasted from 1963-65 and totalled 1,023 units.

    1. Steven Jones

      Re: Fact check??

      I rather suspect the author of the article mixed up the sales numbers for the Corgi model of 007's DB5 and the real thing. The idea that they could manufacture over 100,000 Aston Martins per year in Newport Pagnell is from fantasy land. Out by a couple of orders of magnitude...

  24. Dana W

    Can we please never mention Austin Powers ever again?

  25. Graham Marsden

    "I suppose you expect me to walk...?"

    "No, Mr Bond, I expect you to wait for the AA! That's what you get for driving a Lotus..."

  26. J P


    The car in the films isn't actually a DB5 - it's a works special, originally a Series 5 DB4 Vantage, modified as a DB5 prototype. And Goldfinger wasn't its first appearance; it was used in an episode of the Saint ("The Noble Sportsman", Jan 1963) first, and the same chassis was in Goldfinger, Thunderball and... the Cannonball Run (yes, it really _was_ Sean Connery's car that Roger Moore was messing around in...)

  27. stu_san

    About the Italian Job...

    You missed the Lamborghini Miura that is run into a bulldozer in the title sequence. Bond would have looked good in a Miura, even if it is Italian.

  28. Herby

    60's cars??

    While those "English" cars are nice, I prefer good German engineering in the form of a nice Porsche 356 (the 1964 Carrera 2 liter one is pretty good). My dad had to settle for a 356SC. It was a convertible, and quite nice. Unfortunately, he did total it, but saved all the nice parts for his "other" car the one from two years before. Four wheel disk brakes with a nice independent rear suspension, and it does preform quite nicely, even if limited by a small (90 HP or so) engine. Unfortunately the local highway patrol doesn't take nicely to driving with the top down at 90 MPH (I believe it was a full moon as well). It was nice until the red lights from the rear spoiled it (it was 1971 or so).

    Ah, the 60's. As the saying goes: If you remember the 60's, you weren't really there.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: 60's cars??

      "..... I prefer good German engineering...." I'm always amused by Septics that trot out that line without ever actually having looked at the alternatives. The Porsche 356 was as toy compared to comparable British sportscar. My favourite is the Septic enthusiams for the BMW 2002, a car which in the UK was completely shown up by the Triumph Dolomite Sprint which also cost a lot less! In America, the 2002 was lauded as "amazingly good" and went on to form the basis for BMW's rise to a leader in luxury saloons. Now, if only the unions had STFU in the UK the Spetics would all be hankering to driving Triumphs and Jags rather than BMWs and Mercedes.

      " the form of a nice Porsche 356...." The 356 would not have been plausible as it did not have the grunt to carry the bulletproofing and gadgets without being reduced to the pace of its VW Beatle progenitor. The DB5 did.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 60's cars??

        It wasn't the unions, it was idiotic design decisions and underinvestment. German cars were expected to get from A to B without needing attention by AA in the middle. I have absolutely no nostalgia for British cars. I drove my last one in 1989 whereupon my company went German and I was never roadsided in the next 50000 miles.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          Re: 60's cars??

          "It wasn't the unions....." Yes it was. British managers were spending ten times as much effort and money on dealing with the idiotically self-destructive unions compared to their German counters, despite the German workers being lower paid! The unions destroyed British industry and stupidly put themselves out of jobs.

  29. graeme leggett

    other British marques

    Ignoring BMC, something from Bristol might have looked alright. Up until they became ugly squared off things.

    Armstrong-Siddeleys are too much like limousines, though the Star Sapphire's bonnet ornament looks like something Q might have fiddled with.

  30. Michael Duke

    The E-type could do 150MPH, downhill, with a tailwind, on a good day, with a half full tank, and a 90lb driver.

    I always wondered why Bond never drove a Jensen Interceptor.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: "I always wondered why Bond never drove a Jensen Interceptor."

      Apart from Jensen not being seen as a gentleman's car producer, the proper Inteceptor ( came much later by which time the Aston was the established Bond car, usually had a soggy automatic box, and an American engine better at making noise than real progress. The '50s Interceptor was just plain ugly ( The Astons had a long tradition of being rich boys' toys going back to the pre-War days which also made them a good choice. The later Jensen FF ( was interesting and innovative but also spent most of the time falling to bits. Now, if you had said the little-known Jensen 541R from the '50s I would have more support for such a suggestion as the 541R was not only brutally fast but actually looked like it would eat slower cars that got in its way!

    2. The Stainless Steel Cat

      Modesty Blaise probably had the Interceptor waiting list bought up (though she may only have written one off, I can't remember.)

      PS, Willie Garvin could have taken James Bond, no problem.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I love the E-type Series 1 coupe - it's stunning. Just stunning. But for Bond, it's a little, well, gauche.

    The DB5 is almost as perfect to look at as a DB4 and just so much more restrained than the E. No modern cars seem to match the elegance of the DB4/5.

    The Lotus was undoubtedly very Roger Moore, but it wasn't very Bond. The first Turbos are to this day still very intense looking cars too.

  32. JeffyPooh

    Top Gear's Clarkson, a gentleman and a scholar ;-), on the DB5's top speed

    "They were LYING!"

    I don't recall the number, "barely 140" ?

    1. lotus49

      Re: Top Gear's Clarkson, a gentleman and a scholar ;-), on the DB5's top speed

      There was an article in Autocar about 15 years ago on the original Autocar & Motor (as I think it was) test on the E Type. The test car did get to 150mph but it had been tweaked and was not standard. According to the article, Jaguar admitted this but not until many years later.

      Not that it matters, it was an absolute stunner no matter how fast it went.

  33. unitron

    Didn't Bond drive a DB3 or DB4... the original Goldfinger novel?

    1. Faceless Man

      Re: Didn't Bond drive a DB3 or DB4...

      It was a DB3. I always assumed the change to the DB5 was down to the DB5 coming out between the book and the film, and them wanting to go with the more modern car.

  34. Peter Christy

    A couple of years ago, my wife bought me a track day driving classic Le Mans cars, including a DB6 Vantage and an E-type.

    The E-type was like driving a lorry! The clutch was heavy, the gearbox obstructive, and the steering so over-assisted, it felt like you were driving on ice! Totally devoid of any feedback or feeling whatsoever! The brakes were also viciously over-assisted!

    In contrast, the DB6 was perfection! Everything fell perfectly to hand, the clutch was smooth, the gearbox a delight, and it *communicated* with you! You always knew exactly where you were with it - a real thoroughbred!

    I also got to drive a D-type! It was a total contrast to the E-type, and an infinitely better car to drive!

    OK, all these cars were track-day hacks, that had probably been flogged within an inch of their lives, but even that could not hide the sheer thoroughbred nature of the DB6. It was a joy to drive.

    I know which I'm buying if my lottery numbers ever come up.....!!!

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: Peter Christy

      "....The E-type was like driving a lorry!...." I suspect you drove one of the later V-12 cars as the straight-six model was actually the nicest handler. The early 3.8-litre cars had a shorter wheelbase which helped the cornering, and the later cars had their suspension jacked up to bring the bumpers up to the height required for American regulations. The ones for American markets usually have big rubber blocks as front bumpers and do not have headlight covers. The 3.8s have a lot less power but are much better through the twisty bits, but the big 5.3-litre V-12 will outdrag even many modern sportscars and most sports saloons. I had an uncle that had a two-seat 3.8 coupe which he used almost daily for ten years before he upgraded to a 5.3 covertible in the early '70s, drove it for a week, then went back to the Jaguar showroom and asked for his 3.8 back! TBH, it was probably the prettiest car I've ever seen, but was a real wolf-in-showdog's-clothing, being capable of being seriously quick! Unfortunately, when my uncle died, his wife sold it to an exporter before I could scrape toegther the cash to buy it off her, and it went to Vegas. Probably a fitting environment for such a pretty car.

  35. naive

    What about the Audi's ?

    Funny that nearly everyone seems to forget that in two James Bond movies with Timoty Dalton Audi was the official James Bonds car.

    It was an Audi 200 limousine and an Audi 200 Avant, both pre model 1988 face lift cars.

    In the movie with Rutger Hauer (and the blonde with the violin) an Audi V8 was used.

    An similar looking Audi 100 can be picked up for little money.... and is an excellent daily driver.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: What about the Audi's ?

      ".....and the blonde with the violin...." Que? Do you mean Maryam d'Abo and her Strad cello in "The Living Daylights"? That was the film that saw the Aston return as Bond's car, in the form of the V8 Vantage. The Audis were incidental cars thrown in and not Bond cars.

      ".....In the movie with Rutger Hauer....." AFAIK, Rutger has not appeared in any Bond movies. Do you mean Klaus Maria Brandauer in "For Your Eyes Only", which had the very short appearance fo the Lotur Esprit Turbo, or maybe Christopher Walken in "A View To A Kill", which did not have a Bond car?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What about the Audi's ?

      I just spent some time destroying tyres in a new RS 5 doing 4 wheel drifts (the one with the same V8 and 40/60 4 wheel drive as the R8). It is very clear that the Audi 5 design has been inspired by the classic Aston Martin DB5 lines, but debadged this is probably the best hidden road monster you can get your hands on - it is good looking, but you can close the exhaust valves so it sounds almost normal - until you put your foot down and simply *vanish*. I *love* invisible power - no shouting, no bling, all gun metal gray and black. Yum.

      Being Teutonic it will fail as miserably in iconic value as a BMW (can't beat an Aston for elegance and standing, sorry), but in a chase this silly thing will beat the living cr*p out of any Aston whilst giving the driver serious fun in the process. As its V8 redlines somewhere close to 9000 RPM it must also be great for the movie sound engineers - it is worryingly inviting :).

      If I had the dosh I'd buy the RS 5 first - and only then the DB9, which I personally like the best..

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: What about the Audi's ?

        " will fail as miserably in iconic value as a BMW....." TBH, I think the BMWs have got progressively uglier over the last decade, and the Audis have gradually cast off their staid designs and got a bit sportier. The A5 Sportback is probably the handsomest fastback saloon around at the moment, and far more appealling than any current BMW.

        1. naive

          Re: What about the Audi's ?

          Sorry.. i can't stop it:

          Audi 200 quattro was a Bond car, enjoy the 5-cylinder sound... :-)

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

            Re: Re: What about the Audi's ?

            "Sorry.. i can't stop it:

            Audi 200 quattro was a Bond car, enjoy the 5-cylinder sound... :-)"

            Sorry, but nil points for you! The Audi in "the Living Daylights" is not a Bond car, it is actually the car belonging to Bond's MI6 contact in Bratislava, Saunders. Back to Bond School for you, I'm afriad!

            1. naive

              Re: What about the Audi's ?

              You are right, at least in both movies Timoty Dalton was driving Audi's 200's quite prominently. Still much better than the Ford Mondeo seen in one of the more recent movies.

              Officially announced JB cars are out of my league. Most Aston Martins will require 5 digits in any currency for a tune-up at the friendly dealership....

  36. Donald Miller

    Close encounter

    A high-school friend of mine worked as a reporter for the Daily-American in Somerset, Pennsylvania, USA. One Saturday morning in the fall of 1965 he called me to rush over to his house.

    We went to a local towing-company garage, and there was most of the DB5 stunt car! The guy on duty said that when the car was towed in the driver yelled "Nobody hears about this!" and ran off to find a pay phone; of course the mechanic called in the local paper.

    The roof panel was open, the ejection seat popped up, guns and axle knives hanging out, license plate loose. Apparently somebody's brother/nephew/partner convinced the front office the vehicle might be damaged by the shipping company, so he'd drive it back from the New York World's Fair to California. He managed to stuff it into the back of a tractor trailer after only about 300 miles, so he may have just kept running.

    I still have a paint chip from the car. I'll have to ask my friend if he has any of the photos he took, but I doubt it. It wasn't all that important to a couple of teenagers, just interesting.

    And my wife's CVT Jeep Patriot can probably outrun it, at least out here where the roads are twisty and hilly.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The car they SHOULD have chosen is of course the Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato, not the ordinary one...

  38. zb


    The Jaguar marketing department was not that daft if people still believe their 150mph claim. Nowadays they would be in court facing the trading standards lawyers. It could not do 150 downhill with a following wind, not even close. 140 definitely, maybe 141 or even 142 tops.

  39. Oengus

    Toy box

    Somewhere in the toy box from my youth I still have the Scalextric slot car set from Goldfinger. It is complete with the rock in the middle of the track to trigger the ejector seat on the Aston Martin DB5. The original passanger is still there. The Black Mercedes is there as well. I still bring the slotcar set out every now and then and set it up and play (especially when I have friends over for drinks and to watch the F1 or V8s).

    I also currently drive an E38 series 740iL (1998 model, 3rd owner, 285000 km) . It is still as solid as the day it was made. A mate has a 750iL that has over 300000km on the clock and it is still smooth and quick.

  40. Zmodem

    he should be driving one of these in the latest movie

  41. Qwelak
    Black Helicopters

    From Russia with l;ove

    I am fairly sure that at the begining of FRWL bond actually had a proper Bentley which was replaced in Goldfinger with the DB5.

    Fell free to correct if necessary

    Black Helicopter .. Well it's Bond

  42. Ted Sbardella

    white lotus sub

    I still have my Dinky model which I got in England when i was a little boy - my dad was stationed at Lakenheath. Sigh.

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