What Would James Bond Drive Today?

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the release of the first James Bond movie, Dr. No, in London.  A lot has changed over that time – the cold war ended (officially anyway), man has walked on the moon and we’ve seen terrorists with destructive desires that rival some of Bond’s worst fictional enemies.

Not only has the world changed, but the vehicles that we drive.  For a little entertainment and a break from some of the real world worries, give some thought to what kind of car James Bond would drive today.  An Aston Martin is the quick thought to come to mind, as it has so long been part of the movies.  In reality though, that is probably out of the price range of a government agent, even one very well paid and a bachelor.

In the original Ian Fleming books, James Bond drove a 20-year old 1933 Bentley convertible coupe, grey, with a supercharger.  The car was described as big, rear-wheel drive and fast for the time.  He bought the car almost new and had it inspected each year by a Bentley mechanic to keep it in top condition as he was passionate about his driving and liked to drive it hard and fast. 

If Bond were looking for a car today, it is hard to imagine him driving something 20 years old – today’s products are not designed to last like that and the technology changes so fast.  Bentley’s had a strong association with racing at the time and during the 20’s won a number of world championships.  It is a safe to imagine that someone like James Bond would want a car associated with a racing tradition.  There are so many different classes of races and vehicles from sports cars to Formula One race cars that most car manufacturers have some representation in some form.  Even Bentleys have reappeared on the race circuits in recent years.

It is also likely that Bond would prefer a British car, although not necessarily.  He carried an Italian and later German handgun.  He also preferred coffee to tea, a not-very-British concept.  Car manufacturers are so intertwined with suppliers and owners from other firms it is hard to find something purely British.  Even Aston Martin is owned by Ford.

One remaining British car company is the Morgan, which sells cars with a classic look that are capable of reaching 170 mph.  The Morgan AeroMax is one model.  Morgan’s have also been seen on racetracks recently.  The handling may not be quite up to Bond’s standards though and at 130 mph, the front end starts to lift due to the aerodynamics (the race version features a spoiler for control).  The price is steep though at well over $150,000. 
Morgan AeroMax - Google Image search

Bentley could still be an option, with the price tag again being the biggest hurdle.  The Continental GT coupe with a V12 engine is impressive and reported to handle well.  It still has the classic style and luxury one would expect for a Bond-like character.  Aston Martins are also a good choice, balancing performance with style, but again may be pricey for a realistic perspective.  In the books, Ian Fleming often had Bond’s character or cover story being a rich playboy, explaining why he was given an Aston Martin to drive in Goldfinger.

There are several high performing cars available for under $100,000 that could be serious contenders.  One is the Nissan GT-R, by all accounts a top-notch sports car that really delivers.  Of course, it is a bit hard to imagine our favorite British spy driving a Japanese car, but not out of the question if focusing on the performance.  Another option would be a Porsche 911 Carrera.  Again, a very fast car, one that can accelerate from 0-60 in about 4 seconds, just like the Nissan.  The Porsche handling has been improved and offers great cornering speed and control and has a very strong tie to sports car racing.

One last car to consider is the Lotus Evora.  It is built to race and can reach 160 mph.  The Evora S with a supercharger added to the Toyota V6 will reach 60 mph in less than 5 seconds and is comparable to the Porsche.  The Evora has a top speed of 162 mph and great handling.  For those of us that grew up watching Roger Moore as Bond can certainly relate to the Lotus via the Esprit featured in several of the films.  After all, what boy could forget a car that turns into a submarine, equipped with anti-aircraft missiles?  Bad news, though, for those readers looking for a ‘real’ British car for the Bond of 2012 – Lotus is now owned by a Malaysian car manufacturer, although still produced in England. 
Lotus Evora - Google Image Search

Lotus is also well represented in the racing world, with the Lotus Formula One team being a solid contender.  In fact, this season, one of their drivers has made a point of literally bumping off the competition, which has helped his teammate – but that is another story.

Looking at the options, the Lotus Evora S seems the best pick for Bond’s personal car.  He could even get it in the battleship grey of his original Bentley, although, the name is much fancier and is now Storm Titanium.  Buying a used Bentley, one a few years old, is another solid option and would certainly meet the criteria set by Ian Fleming when he wrote the first Bond book in the 1950’s.

Certainly, any one of these would be a fantastic car and you could hardly go wrong.  I know that I’d be content driving any of these!


Feel free to comment and share your pick (there are many other cars not even mentioned).  Keep it classy - we are talking about Bond.


Eric Smith, CPP is the leading authority on organizational self-defense.  He has extensive experience in law enforcement as well as security management.  Eric is available for staff education and security awareness training as well as business coaching to help organizations provide safe workplaces.  To learn more email eric@businesskarate.com.



If you would like to reprint this post, please contact Eric at eric@businesskarate.com. 

No comments:

Post a Comment