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Friday, November 14, 2008

The 007 Hottest Cars from the James Bond Legacy

Across 46 years, 22 films and six leading actors, the James Bond film legacy has featured some of the world’s most luxurious and iconic sportscars. From the signature Aston Martin DB5 in Goldfinger to the Lotus Esprit Turbo in For Your Eyes Only, 007 has spared no expense in choosing his wheels. To celebrate the release of the Quantum of Solace, here’s a list of the 007 hottest cars from the James Bond Legacy…

001: the BMW Z8

In the 1999 film The World Is Not Enough, James Bond piloted this bad little Beemer before it was officially produced by BMW. Apparently, those are the kind of perks that accompany a license to kill. During filming, the crew actually used a series of working mock-ups of the Z8 that vary a bit from the official production car. After the first model rolled out of the factory, all 5,703 of the original BMW Z8’s sold out, going for a starting price of $128,000.

002: the Alfa Romeo 159

The Alfa Romeo 159 is among the latest James Bond sportscars, as featured in the 2008 Bond film Quantum of Solace. This one, however, isn’t driven by 007– but a chase scene rival pitted against Bond’s Aston Martin. During the production of the film, the set was closed down due to a third and terrible accident where a stuntman driving the 159 crashed into a wall. The stuntman was airlifted to a nearby hospital where he lay in a coma for days– the same hospital in which he was treated for injuries in shooting the same scene days prior. If you perform your own stunts and want a piece of the Bond villainy action, you can get your hands on an Alfa Romeo 159 for around $33k before import costs…

003: the 1971 Mustang Mach-1

In 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever, 007 took to the streets of Las Vegas in a Ford Mustang Mach-1– in hot pursuit of the Las Vegas Police. Diamonds was Sean Connery’s last film, but also the first film in history to feature the now-famous “two-wheeled stunt”, where a car is lifted off the ground, balancing on two wheels on one side of the car. The ‘71 Mach-1 featured plenty of muscle in its 429hp V8 option, which will fetch you around $25,000 well-restored on today’s market.

004: the Aston Martin DBS

Bond’s Aston Martin finally got itself a facelift. Like the BMW Z8, the Aston Martin DBS was featured in a Bond film before it hit the public. This $265,000 Aston Martin features a 6.0L V12 pushing 510 horses to hit 62mph in 4.3 seconds. The DBS was pitted against that Alpha Romeo 159 above, and this one didn’t escape without bruises either. During filming, a stuntdriver reportedly lost control of the Aston Martin– which wound up in Lake Garda in Italy…

005: the Toyota 2000GT

Produced between 1967 and 1970, the Toyota 2000GT was built in very limited numbers, designed to show that Japanese autos could compete with the sportscars of Europe. Apparently James Bond took notice, as the 2000GT was famously featured in 1967’s You Only Live Twice. However, Bond’s 2000GT had a slight problem– Sean Connery was too tall to fit in the Toyota, so a convertible version was made to compensate. While the original 2000GT sold in the U.S. for $6,800, it can be found at auction today for as high as $200,000.

006: the Lotus Esprit

In 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me featuring Roger Moore, the Lotus Esprit became one of Q’s most impressive sportscar mods. In a long chase scene between 007 and the infamous Bond-villain Jaws, Bond’s Lotus Esprit makes a cunning escape by transforming into a fully-diveable submarine. While a submersible version featuring that bikini blonde above are not available today, a similar Lotus Esprit could be originally purchased for around $16,800 at the dealer in 1977.

007: the Aston Martin DB5

Last but certainly not least– the original Bond-mobile, the 1963 Aston Martin DB5. In the 1964 film Goldfinger, 007 was provided with a weaponized DB5 by Q Branch himself. Aston Martin, however, wasn’t so keen on the deal. After much negotiating, Aston Martin finally agreed to a product placement deal that made automotive history for the brand. The DB5 was the latest-and-greatest sportscar to be produced in the UK, initially selling for $13,000. Its inline six engine produced 282hp to hit 62mph in 8.1 seconds. Bond’s version, however, was outfitted with an array of gadgets from smokescreens to heavy machine guns. Its not the weaponry that makes the Aston Martin DB5 a legend– it is its design which symbolizes the class and cool that has made James Bond the legend he is today. If there is one car that fully explains what StyleCrave is about, you’re looking at it, front and center.