With people this weekend set to flock to cinemas to see the latest Bond film, No Time to Die, we take a look back at cars that have featured in previous movies and then sold for well above their average values
With the public this weekend set to flock to cinemas across the country to enjoy Daniel Craig’s final appearance as 007 in ‘No Time to Die‘, we thought it was the ideal time to take a look back at cars that have appeared in Bond films in the past and then sold for astronomical amounts of money.
We’ve teamed up with classic car valuations analysts at Hagerty to compare the values of ten real Bond cars used during the production of the famous franchise that went to the block at a later date.
Historical data means we can compare the sale price of the Bond-film car to the average value of the model at the time the hammer dropped. And it shows that a starring role in one of the 25 franchise movies can add over 5,000 per cent in value to a vehicle.
Because Hagerty monitors and tracks thousands of auction, dealer and private sales every year, it has been able to provide us with average sale prices for standard cars to compare with the huge fees paid at auction for examples that featured in Bond hits.
All sale prices have been converted using the exchange rate for that time, then compared guide values for those cars that year.
Where the sale was before Hagerty’s records began, it arrived at a value through contemporary sales listings and other valuation resources.
In reverse order, these are the 10 models that have commanded the highest premium thanks to a big-screen appearance in a Bond blockbuster.
10. 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Bond film appearance: Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
Standard value at time of sale: £9,200
This Ford Mustang that featured in 1971 Bond film Diamonds Are Forever failed to sell at auction in 2004, but the top bid was still well above the average value for the American muscle car at the time
The red Ford Mustang Mach 1 driven by Tiffany Case certainly made a visual impact in the 1971 movie Diamonds are Forever.
However, it didn’t quite excite collectors when it was offered by Barrett-Jackson to the highest bidder in 2004, failing to reach its reserve with a top bid of $23,000 (£12,650).
Despite not changing hands, the top bid was 37.5 per cent more than a standard car was worth at the time, but the no-sale puts the car at the bottom of our list.
9. 1991 Mercedes-Benz 190E
Bond film appearance: No Time To Die (2021)
Standard value at time of sale: £6,500
This supremely-cool 1990s Mercedes-Benz is set to feature in the latest Bond film out this week. However, we don’t know how heavily it appears
This car is a strange one: it is currently for sale on classified advert site Car and Classic but it’s not yet been seen on screen, starring as it does in No Time to Die, yet doesn’t even feature in the trailers.
Despite that, the value of this car is nearly 40 per cent higher than a standard car. That’s not a bad mark-up for something that, as far as we know, doesn’t have a huge role in the film.
8. 1937 Bentley 4 ¼-Litre Gurney Nutting 3-Position DHC
Bond film appearance: Never Say Never Again (1983)
Standard value at time of sale: £133,300
This Bentley driven by Sean Connery in Never Say Never Again sold in 2004 for £188,500 and again in 2010 for £221,500
Sean Connery as Bond drove this car in a few scenes in the 1983 Warner Brothers blockbuster Never Say Never Again in 1983.
It sold for £188,500 when it was auctioned by Bonhams in September 2004, yet just six years later returned to the sale room and earned it vendor a healthy profit.
The second time around – again at a Bonhams sale – it achieved £221,500, which is over two thirds more than a standard car of the time. This one was quite the star, however: not only did it have the Bond connection, but it also appeared in Magnum, P.I. and was a true concours example, having starred at Pebble Beach in 2003 following a restoration that reportedly cost in excess of $450,000.
7. 1969 Aston Martin DBS-6
Bond film appearance: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
Standard value at time of sale: £3,050
This green Aston Martin DBS-6 from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was exported to Australia where it was sold in 1978 for a 182% premium on the usual values at the time. It is still owned by the same individual today
James Bond has only been married once, and this was his wedding car. Used in a number of scenes in the 1969 movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, this green six-cylinder Aston Martin DBS was exported to Australia where it was sold in 1978 to the current owner, Sigi Zidziunas.
He who told ABC News in Australia: ‘It was advertised in the paper as an ex-film car, but I didn’t believe it, because — no offence — who believes used car salesmen?’
Even then, it was expensive: advertised at $14,950 AUD, Zidziunas knocked him down to $14,200 – the equivalent of £8,991. Standard cars in good condition were then worth £3,050 according to contemporary guides: that’s a 182 per cent premium.
6. 2008 Aston Martin DBS V12
Bond film appearance: Quantum of Solace (2008)
Standard value at time of sale: £70,000
This is one of seven Aston Martin DBS cars used in the filming of 2008 film, Quantum of Solace – and fortunately isn’t one of the two to be totally trashed during the opening sequence of the movie
Driven by Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace, this 2008 Aston Martin DBS was one of seven used for filming.
Sold as a ‘collector’s item’, the auction house Christie’s warned potential buyers that they were responsible for ‘all tests and repairs and any other legally required formalities’ to turn it back into a road car.
The caution did not deter buyers: it smashed its top pre-sale estimate of £150,000, selling for £241,250, some 245 per cent above what a standard car was worth at the time.
5. 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7
Bond film appearance: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
Standard value at time of sale: £55,500
This is one of the four Mercury Cougars driven by The Contessa Teresa Di Vicenzo – also known as Tracy Bond – in the 1969 film On her Majesty’s Secret Service
The Contessa Teresa Di Vicenzo, also known as Tracy Bond, drove a stunning car throughout the 1969 movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service including the first scene which it shared with the Aston Martin DBS-6 described above.
One of a reported four Cougars used for filming, it was sold at the Bonhams Bond Street Sale in London on 16 December 2020 for £365,500, smashing its pre-sale estimate of £100,000 to £150,000.
That’s a huge 559 per cent above the standard price for the model a year ago.
4. 1965 Aston Martin DB5
Bond film appearance: Goldfinger (1964) and Thunderball (1965)
Standard value at time of sale: £616,550
The DB5 from Goldfinger and Thunderball is the most expensive film car to ever go under the hammer, with a sale price of more than £4.5million
Billed as the ‘most famous car in the world’ when offered for auction in 2019 by RM Sotheby’s, this was the real deal: one of two cars purchased by Eon Productions for the launch of Thunderball and then converted to ‘Q Branch’ specification for the movie Goldfinger.
It sold just over its top estimate for $6.38m, or £4.67m, a mark-up of 759 per cent over the value of a ‘standard’ DB5 at the time.
In this case, provenance was everything: a similar DB5 that has been used as a stunt car in the filming of Golden Eye was sold by Bonhams the previous year, but it ‘only’ made £1,961,500, just over three times the value of a standard model.
3. 2014 Land Rover Defender 110 Double Cab SVX
Bond film appearance: Spectre (2015)
Standard value at time of sale: £35,200
One of a section of specially-converted Land Rover Defenders from 2015 film Spectre was sold at auction in 2015, around the time the iconic 4X4 went out of production
RM Sotheby’s sold one of a selection of special Bond SVX Defender 110s that featured in the chase scene of 2015 film Spectre for £230,000. The following July a second example was taken to the block and hit a whopping £365,000.
The timing was perfect: production of the original Defender had ended in 2016 but in 2018, the factory had announced a short run of 70th Anniversary specials, sending demand for the model sky-high.
The price of the Bonhams example was nearly 940 per cent higher than a standard 110 Defender – and it’s as cool as the frozen Austrian landscape where it was filmed.
2. 1974 AMC Hornet
Bond film appearance: The Man With The Golden Gun (1974)
Standard value at time of sale: £5,200
This is the stunt car used for the corkscrew jump in the iconic James Bond scene in the 1974 film The Man With the Golden Gun. It sold at a US auction in 2017 for almost £90,000
Ask anyone to name a James Bond stunt, and the corkscrew ‘Astro Spiral’ jump made by Roger Moore’s Bond in the 1974 movie The Man with the Golden Gun has to be right at the top of the list.
The American-made car used was an unlikely hero: an AMC Hornet so mundane that even the US Hagerty Price Guide doesn’t deem it worthy of inclusion.
But the actual car used in filming was very special: maintained exactly as it was during filming, it sold at RM Sotheby’s Auburn, Indiana sale in 2017 for $110,000 (£89,105) – in excess of 1,600 per cent over the value of a standard car. That puts it in second place.
1. 1977 Lotus Esprit S1 ‘Wet Nellie’
Bond film appearance: The Spy Who Love Me (1977)
Standard value at time of sale: £12,300
The Lotus – which was bought at the sale by Elon Musk – was actually a film prop submarine used just in underwater scenes, and it doesn’t even have wheels. Still, it tops our list
The most valuable Bond car compared with its standard, road-going opposite number is this 1977 Lotus Esprit S1, better known as ‘Wet Nellie’ that starred in the 1977 movie The Spy Who Loved Me.
It sold at RM Sotheby’s 2013 London auction for £616,000, a huge 4,908 per cent mark-up over the standard Hagerty Price Guide value of the model at the time.
Lost after filming, it was rediscovered in a New York storage container in 1989, having been sold for $100 in a blind auction to the next lucky owners.
In fact, the Lotus – which was bought at the sale by Elon Musk – was actually a film prop submarine used just in underwater scenes, and it doesn’t even have wheels. Still, it tops our list.
*sold for values based on advertised price or highest bid for an unsold lot