With people 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 movies and then sold for well above average values. Pictured: Daniel Craig in his final appearance as 007
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 and then sold for astonishing amounts of money.
We’ve teamed up with classic car valuations analysts at Hagerty to compare the values of ten genuine cars used during the production of the famous Bond 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 grabbed attention when it roared onto the big screen in the 1971 movie Diamonds are Forever.
However, it didn’t set collectors’ pulses racing when it was offered by Barrett-Jackson auctions in 2004. In fact, the hammer failed to drop for the Mustang as bidding didn’t reach its sale reserve. A top bid of $23,000 (£12,650) was as high as paddle-raising went.
Despite not changing hands, the top bid was 37.5 per cent more than a standard Mach 1 was worth at the time. Yet its unsold status means it is bottom of this 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
Despite being a 1990s Merc, this is the model in our list that most recently appears in a Bond film. In fact, it debuted on the silver screen this week.
It is currently for sale on classified advert site Car and Classic. It is a surviving motor from filming of No Time to Die. However, [as we’ve not seen it yet] we’re unaware of how prevalent it is in the movie, with the 190E not even featuring in the trailers.
Despite its unknown fame levels, the price tag placed on the car is nearly 40 per cent higher than a standard 1991 Mercedes saloon.
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 number of 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 its then 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 model was worth of the time. Hagerty says this specific car is quite the star: not only did it have the Bond connection, but it also appeared in Magnum, P.I. and was a true concours example, wowing onlookers 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 of choice. Used in a number of scenes in the 1969 movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the green six-cylinder Aston Martin DBS was exported to Australia after filming ended and was last 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 paid a sum of $14,200 in ’78 – 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 – though not one of two that were trashed during the film’s opening sequence with Bond being pursued by two chasing Alfa Romeo 159s.
Described as a ‘collector’s item’ by the selling auction house, Christie’s, it 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 little to deter Aston Martin fans and Bond enthusiasts who tussled to to post a winning bid. It eventually 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 Mercury Cougars used for filming was recently offered at the Bonhams Bond Street Sale in London on 16 December 2020. It – fitted with its ski rack and skis – sold for a massive £365,500, which was well above the pre-sale estimate of £100,000 to £150,000.
It was also a huge 559 per cent higher than the average 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 that appeared in both Thunderball and Goldfinger.
It sold just over its top estimate for $6.38million, which at the time was £4.67million in British pounds. It confirmed 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 of the sale played a huge part in the incredibly high sale price. Production of the original Defender had ended in 2016. However, in 2018 Jaguar Land Rover commissioned 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 used to chase down Daniel Craig as 007 in a crashing plane.
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 any Bond nut to name the franchise’s biggest stunt and the corkscrew ‘Astro Spiral’ jump in the Roger Moore 1974 movie The Man with the Golden Gun will be right at the top of the list.
The American-made car used was an unlikely hero by 007 standards. In fact, the AMC Hornet is still considered so mundane that even the US Hagerty Price Guide doesn’t deem it worthy of inclusion of its regular valuation review.
But the genuine car used in filming was very special – and extremely sought after. Having been 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.
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 when compared to a standard model’s value 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 a mere $100 in a blind auction to the next lucky owners.
The iconic Bond Lotus – which was actually bought at the Sotheby’s sale by Elon Musk – wasn’t even a car. It was a film prop submarine used just in underwater scenes. In fact, it doesn’t even have wheels, despite the film’s footage showing the four corners retracting into the bodywork. Still, despite not being drivable on roads, it tops the list of motors here.
*sold for values based on advertised price or highest bid for an unsold lot
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