Though James Bond’s composure in the face of death can’t be picked up off the shelf, much of Bond’s lifestyle is up for grabs. His suits? Tom Ford. His watch? Omega. His drink? Well, you can’t blame Heineken for trying (although more fool the man who drinks his lager either shaken or stirred).
The James Bond garage is equally purchasable, and not only for men whose bank balances could stretch to an apartment carved into an active volcano. Just don’t expect quite as many optional extras as Q tends to provide.
BMW Z3 – Goldeneye
Pierce Brosnan’s wheels were a controversial choice. Though it was the first ‘foreign’ Bond car, the open-top Z3 still boasted Q’s traditional refinement, including Stinger missiles behind the headlights and a parachute. It’s arguably aged worse than the ever-youthful Brosnan, but these days makes a less common alternative to a Mazda MX-5.
Many first owners added lots of options, meaning you’ll have almost as many toys to play with as 007. And with prices starting at about £2,500, this is one Bond car you can easily get your hands on.
If it were our money, though, we’d splash a little more cash and get the Z3M. This raucous model would probably be a little brash for Bond, but it’s barrels of fun.
BMW 750iL – Tomorrow Never Dies
The 750iL was an even more controversial choice than its predecessor; not for nationality, but because it was an executive saloon. “Room for golf clubs” isn’t quite as sexy as gadgets.
It was, however, the perfect set of wheels for Bond’s cover as a banker, and did at least boast a roof-mounted rocket launcher that popped through the sunroof. But its best feature was becoming a giant remote-controlled car, which 007 controlled from his phone.
It may seem a conservative beast, but even unarmed, it has presence; if you turn up in one, people will assume you’re big in something. Though probably not MI5. You can get Bond’s BMW for less than £1,000 but we’d spend a little more – £4,000 should get you a peach.
Lotus Esprit S1 – The Spy Who Loved Me
For onboard extras, it’s hard to beat a submarine. Flick a switch and the wheels on Bond’s Esprit popped in, fins popped out, and he had a perfect vehicle for underwater chases, complete with periscope.
The car’s wedge shape already had more than touch of the aquatic and helped the Esprit become one of Lotus’ most iconic designs; it still looks more at home on the Riviera than the River Thames.
The Esprit handled brilliantly – even if many argued it wasn’t quite powerful enough – though, as with most 1970s supercars, it was (and remains) prone to breaking down. If you want one, don’t skimp. Around £20,000 will minimise time spent leaning on it at the side of motorways.
Aston Martin DB5 – Goldfinger And On
The iconic Bond car has appeared on and off in the franchise from Goldfinger to Skyfall. To date, 007’s DB5 has been blessed with with revolving number plates, an oil slick dispenser at the back and that famed ejector seat, as well as a champagne cooler under the armrest. Because being a spy isn’t all work.
Today’s DB5s aren’t often armed with those gadgets, but they’re still cooler than a chase across a frozen Icelandic lake. If you want one (and you probably do) you’ll need at least £500,000 for a mint example. Well, you only live twice.
AMC Hornet – The Man With The Golden Gun
Nitpickers will claim this isn’t technically a Bond car (007 liberated it from a Bangkok car dealership, rather than being issued it by Q brand) but, authenticity aside, its iconic status is guaranteed by that corkscrew leap across a Thai river. Although we’d advise you don’t subject yours to the same on the test drive.
The Hornet’s a mini-muscle car, produced by the America Motor Corporation throughout the 1970s. It’s got the grunt of a 1960s charger, but was produced at a time when rising fuel prices meant that cars the size of small bungalows were no longer de rigeur, so features a stripped-back design that made them so popular with stunt drivers.
They’re rarer than featherweight sumo wrestlers but, if you can find one, it’s yours for around £1,200.