How to buy a James Bond car on a budget

Published: 10 July 2014

News that a classic Aston Martin, full of James Bond gadgets, is to be sold at auction this Saturday 12 July 2014 may leave you yearning for a piece of the action for yourself.

The idea of blasting through the Alps in a classic sports car with nothing on the horizon but a vodka martini and a suitcase full of secrets may leave you shaken and stirred, but sadly it is beyond the financial reach of most non-spies.

Coys, auctioneers of the aforementioned DB 2/4 Vantage (below), were unable to speculate how much it would sell for, but it is likely to be an eye-watering sum. Don’t even bother looking for a DB5. We didn’t know numbers went that high.

Aston Martin DB 2/4

However, to the savvy Bond fan, there is still a world of choice when it comes to the lesser known 007 cars made famous by the spy series.

Granted, only the most observational car experts will realise the significance of a blue BMW Z3 with a tan interior, or a series two Sunbeam Alpine, but you’ll know you’re driving a Bond car.

Here is a run-down of the 10 best buys for the Bond on a budget, and the going rate for buying a regular standard version on the high street:

1. 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 from Diamonds are Forever (£15,400)
More recognisable on two wheels than four after a narrow escape in a Las Vegas alleyway, the chin spoiler and bonnet scoops on this 'Stang were a departure from Bond’s suave Aston Martin roots.

Ford Mustang Mach One

2. 1961 Sunbeam Alpine Series II from Dr. No (£9400)
The only sports car available to the producers of while shooting in Jamaica. They could have done a lot worse.

Sunbeam Alpine

3. 1974 AMC Hornet from The Man with the Golden Gun (£1200)
Barrel-rolled over a river after being commandeered from a Hong Kong showroom, the life of a Bond car is not easy.

AMC Hornet
 
4. 1981 Alfa Romeo GTV6 from Octopussy (£4200)
Stunt driver Remy Julienne piloted this V6 during a chase scene where Bond has to stop a nuclear bomb from exploding. Something to bear in mind while you’re stuck in traffic on the M1.

Alfa Romeo GTV6

5. 1977 Lotus Esprit S1 from The Spy Who Loved Me (£7700)
The standard version doesn’t come with submarine capabilities, but to be honest, would you really use it? Think of the chassis rust.

Lotus Esprit S1
 
6. 1996 BMW Z3 from GoldenEye (£4250)
Only on screen twice, but still equipped with missiles and a radar system. These options are not available on the mass market.

BMW Z3

7. 1997 BMW 750 IL from Tomorrow Never Dies (£3,950)
In the 1990s, even James Bond drove a BMW. This car was famous for having a seemingly useless wire cutter under the front badge, which later came in very handy. Bond could also drive it using his phone, which you won’t be able to do as it is illegal, not to mention fiddly. We haven't seen an iPhone app for this yet, either.

BMW 750 IL

8. 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (£18,000)
Not driven by Bond, but by his future wife Tracy Di Vincenza, played by Diana Rigg. Still, it had more screen time in the film than the spy’s Aston Martin DBS.

Mercury Cougar

9. 1980 Lotus Esprit Turbo For Your Eyes Only (£9300)
Strap on some skis and head to the piste in your blown Esprit. If someone tries to break into it however, it might explode...

Lotus Esprit Turbo

10. 2002 Aston Martin Vanquish from Die Another Day (£65,000)
Granted, £65,000 is not very ‘budget’, but considering the pedigree of the car it’s a steal - and it’s a proper James Bond Aston Martin. Treat yourself.

Aston Martin Vanquish

Prices based on valuations from the Hagerty Price Guide and Classiccarsforsale.co.uk. Pictures supplied by BMW Group and The National Motor Museum.

By Adam Binnie

Contributor and new cars editor on our sister website Parkers.co.uk

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