The most expensive James Bond 007 movie-related car sold at public auction was an Aston Martin DB5 but other cars have claimed an even larger premium over the standard models.
Cars used in the various James Bond 007 movies tend to sell at a premium over standard cars, although the most expensive Bond car does not claim the highest premium. Bond is famous for driving Aston Martins, although sponsorship deals had seen him in various other brands too. Although an Aston Martin DB5 is the most expensive Bond car ever sold at public auction, cars from lesser-known brands sold for far higher premiums over the standard models.
Premium For Expensive Bond Cars Sold at Auction
Hagerty, which knows more than most about the value of classic cars, analyzed the premium paid for James Bond movie cars at public sales and found the premium is up to nearly 5000% over similar standard models. The most expensive Bond car ever sold at public auction was a 1965 Aston Martin DB5 that set a model record when it achieved $6,385,000 at the RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2019 sale. However, this was only 759% more than the average DB5 price for cars in a similar condition.
Hagerty valuation analysts compared the values of real Bond cars which were used during the production of the famous films to the prices of standard examples of the same model and found that a starring role in a James Bond movie added on average over 1000 percent to the value of a car.
Probably the most impressive premium ever was not for a Bond car but rather the £25,500 ($35,000) paid for 1970 UK tax disc issued to the original ‘Goldfinger’ Aston Martin DB5, used by Pinewood Studios in the James Bond film at the Bonhams Goodwood Revival Sale 2021.
Top Ten Premiums for Expensive Bond Cars Sold
In reverse order, Hagerty reveals 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, Diamonds Are Forever
Year of sale: 2004 Standard Hagerty Value: £9200 Bond Car Value: £12,650 Bond Premium: 37.5%
The red Ford Mustang Mach 1 driven by Tiffany Case certainly made a visual impact in the 1971 movie Diamonds are Forever, but it didn’t excite the buyers when offered for sale by Barrett-Jackson in 2004, failing to reach its reserve with a top bid of $23,000 (£12,650).
That was 37.5% more than a standard car was worth at the time, but the no-sale puts the car at the bottom of the list.
9: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 190E, No Time To Die
Year of sale: 2021 Standard Hagerty Value: £6500 Bond Car Value: £8991 Bond Premium: 38%
This car is currently for sale on classified advert site Car and Classic and “starred” in No Time to Die, the most recent movie in the franchise. It doesn’t even feature in the trailers and to be honest I failed to spot it in the actual movie (and I personally do like the 190E very much).
Despite that, the value of this car is nearly 40% higher than a standard car – not a bad mark-up for something that doesn’t have a huge role in the film.
8: 1937 Bentley 4 ¼-Litre Gurney Nutting 3-Position DHC, Never Say Never Again
Year of sale: 2010 Standard Hagerty Value: £133,300 Bond Car Value: £221,500 Bond Premium: 66%
James Bond drove this car in a few scenes in the 1983 Warner Brothers blockbuster Never Say Never Again and it sold for £188,500 when it was auctioned by Bonhams in September 2004. Six years later, the car returned to the saleroom, and this time Bonhams achieved £221,500 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, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Year of sale: 1978 Standard Hagerty Value: £3050 Bond Car Value: £8991 Bond Premium: 182%
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, 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 offense — 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 £8991. Standard cars in good condition were then worth £3050 according to contemporary guides: that’s a 182% premium.
6: 2008 Aston Martin DBS V12, Quantum of Solace
Year of sale: 2012 Standard Hagerty Value: £70,000 Bond Car Value: £241,250 Bond Premium: 245%
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% over what a standard car was worth at the time.
5: 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Year of sale: 2020 Standard Hagerty Value: £55,500 Bond Car Value: £365,500 Bond Premium: 559%
The Contessa Teresa Di Vicenzo, also known as Tracy Bond, drove a stunning car throughout the 1969 Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service including the first scene which it shared with the Aston Martin DBS-6 described above. One of the reported four Cougars used for filming was sold at the Bonhams Bond Street Sale 2020 in London for £365,500, smashing its pre-sale estimate of £100,000 to £150,000. That’s a huge 559% above the standard price for the model
4: 1965 Aston Martin DB5, Thunderball and Goldfinger — Most Expensive of the Bond Cars Ever Sold
Year of sale: 2019 Standard Hagerty Value: £616,550 Bond Car Value: £4,677,850 Bond Premium: 759%
Billed as ‘The most famous car in the world’ when offered for auction in 2019 by RM Sotheby’s and the iconic Bond car, 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. The 1965 Aston Martin DB5 sold just over its top estimate for $6.38m, or £4.67m, a mark-up of 759% over a standard DB5 at RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2019.
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 at Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale 2018, but it ‘only’ made £1,961,500, just over three times the value of a standard model. But still, it’s only fourth on the list…
3: 2014 Land Rover Defender 110 Double Cab SVX, Spectre
Year of sale: 2018 Standard Hagerty Value: £35,200 Bond Car Value: £365,000 Bond Premium: 937%
In 2017, RM Sotheby’s sold one of these special Bond SVX Defender 110s for £230,000 and the following July, Bonhams sold another for £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. Demand for the model went sky-high. The price of the Bonhams Spectre Defender was nearly 940% higher than a standard 110 Defender, but then again, just look at it. It’s as cool as the frozen Austrian landscape where it was filmed
1974 AMC Hornet, The Man With The Golden Gun
Year of sale: 2017 Standard Hagerty Value: £5200 Bond Car Value: £89,105 Bond Premium: 1614%
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 stunt was apparently filmed in one go and with no special effects. 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) – over 1600% over the value of a standard car. That puts it in second place
Most Expensive Premium for a Bond Cars Sold at Auction
First: 1977 Lotus Esprit S1 ‘Wet Nellie’, The Spy Who Love Me
Year of sale: 2013 Standard Hagerty Value: £12,300 Bond Car Value: £616,000 Bond Premium: 4908%
The most valuable Bond car compared with its standard, road-going opposite number is the 1977 Lotus Esprit S1 known as ‘Wet Nellie’ that starred in the 1977 movie The Spy Who Loved Me. It sold at RM Sotheby’s London 2013 auction for £616,000, a huge 4908% 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 reportedly 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. So, is it even a car? Should the lowly AMC Hornet take the chequered flag?
Best Supporting Actors
Two other Bond cars have been offered at auction, but they failed to make the list because neither was available to the public, so there is no ‘standard’ value. Both cars starred in the 2015 movie Spectre where they famously chased each other through the streets of Rome. Bond’s Aston Martin DB10 was sold by Christie’s in 2016 for £2,434,500 ($3.5M) and in 2019 RM Sotheby’s offered bad-guy Mr Hinx’s Jaguar C-X75 at an auction in Abu Dhabi but it failed to reach its $800,000 low estimate.
Because Hagerty monitors and tracks thousands of auction, dealer and private sales every year, it is able to compare the average sale price of a standard car with the sale price of the same model that has been used during movie making. Hagerty converted the prices using the exchange rate for that time, then compared it to the Hagerty Price Guide value for that year.