On the heels of the new 007 movie No Time to Die, American auction house Hagerty reveals the going prices of the British secret agent’s most famous cars
The Michigan-based automotive valuation analysts compared the values of series production cars which were used in the production of James Bond films to the prices of standard examples, and found that a starring role in a James Bond movie added on average over 1,000 per cent to the value of a car. One vehicle however, was worth nearly 5,000 percent more than its road-going equivalent, and it’s not the car that you were expecting either.
The 1965 Aston Martin DB5 that was first seen in Goldfinger has often been billed as the ‘most famous car in the world’. Two specially prepared DB5 coupes were used in the films Goldfinger and Thunderball. One of them sold for £4.67m (S$8.59m) in 2019, a mark-up of 759 percent over a standard DB5.
It’s not just the model that’s of value, but the actual use of the car. A similar Aston Martin DB5 that was used in the filming of GoldenEye was sold by auction house Bonhams in 2018 fetched only £1,961,500.
Unbelievably, the DB5 is only the fourth ‘most appreciated in value’ car in the list.
It’s trumped into third place by the 2014 Land Rover Defender 110 Double Cab SVX from the 2015 film Spectre. Two cars were used for filming, and in 2019, auction house Bonhams sold one for £365,000 (S$671868). That’s 940 percent higher than the price of a standard Land Rover Defender in the UK when it was new.
In second place is a very interesting car in the form of the 1974 AMC Hornet, seen performing the corkscrew jump stunt in The Man with the Golden Gun. The American Hornet was cheap and not a very interesting car even when new in the 1970s, yet in 2017, the actual car used in the filming of the incredible stunt was sold in Auburn, Indiana for US$110,000 (S$149,325). According to auctioneers RM Sotheby’s, that’s an incredible 1600 percent above a normal AMC Hornet’s value on the secondary market. The fact that it was maintained in filming condition without further ‘updates’ may have contributed to its price, being a significant piece of 007 film history.
The most expensive 007 on-screen car to date is the 1977 Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me. More specifically, it’s the converted submarine version of the car used in the film. It’s actually a film prop, and thought lost forever until it was rediscovered in a New York storage container in 1989, having been sold for just US$100 in a blind auction.
After restoration it fetched £616,000 (S$113,3914) in 2013 at a London auction, with the buyer being none other than Tesla boss Elon Musk. That’s a 4,908 percent markup over what a standard Lotus Esprit S1 would have traded for at the time, with a value of around £12,000 on the car enthusiast’s market in the United Kingdom. So what if you can’t actually drive it? It’s an iconic piece of movie history.