The True Cost Of James Bond’s Recklessness

When we think about British films, James Bond is never too far from our minds. Having past half a century of releases and an incredible 24 successful movies as part of the franchise, we look back at some of 007’s iconic movies and memorable car scenes.

One thing however that will, no doubt, stick in the minds of fans now and long into the future, is the recklessness that comes in hand-in-hand with 007’s escapades.

Fighting off the bad guys, whether it was Goldfinger, Dr. No or Jaws, Bond simply couldn’t help himself from leaving a trail of destruction along the way. Of course, he was often reminded of this by his superiors such as M. Then again, it wouldn’t be a Bond film at the end of the day without James getting told off by his boss like a school child for the countless amount of damage that he’d caused along the way.

But did we, as fans, really enjoy the sheer number of road traffic collisions? In this article, Lookers have compared the total cost of damages of five of the most popular Bond films with the rating that fans gave it on Rotten Tomatoes. The final bill will include not only the repair or scrap bills that Bond himself racked up but also that of the villain’s car too.

Let’s find who blew the most and whether it paid off!

Sean Connery as James Bond in Goldfinger
Sean Connery with his Aston Martin DB5 in Goldfinger – Photo credit: Aston Martin

1962 – Dr. No

As Bond heads to meet Miss Taro, the three blind mice, as they became affectionately known, began following him down the mountain side in a Cadillac LaSalle. Fortunately, the British intelligence officer has just the right amount of skill behind the wheel to send his pursuers cascading down the cliff face. A 1939 Cadillac LaSalle is an incredibly rare and sought-after vehicle. Although we couldn’t locate any replicable models currently available for sale, we were able to find some convertible and sedan alternatives that are fetching a rather pretty (Miss Money) penny – to the tune of £50,000. Combine that with the cost of the damage that 007 had made to his own Sunbeam Alpine Series II, having had its roof otherwise decapitated, and we’re left with quite a sizeable bill. We were able to find a similar Sunbeam for sale for £11,950.

Car damages: £53,995
Fan rating: 82%

1964 – Goldfinger

Then came the stunning Aston Martin DB5, undoubtedly a fan favourite of all the vehicles that James Bond was tasked with driving and surely one of the hardest to watch him destroy. As he and Tilly Masterson are fleeing Goldfinger’s henchmen, Bond utilises every gadget that the DB5 has to offer to get rid of them. We’d like to note that he’s certainly lucky that the environmental agency chose not to get involved on this occasion as he sprayed copious amounts of oil all over the forest floor!

Two Rolls-Royce Phantom III Sedancas and an Aston Martin DB5 tallied the category D write-off list. The Rolls can be found for sale online at £175,000 while the cheapest DB5 we were able to source cost £671k.

Car damages: £1.02 million
Fan rating: 89%

Aston Martin DB5 Car chase in GoldenEye
James Bond chases Xenia Onatopp in her Ferrari through France in his Aston Martin DB5 – Photo credit: Aston Martin

1995 – GoldenEye

Pierce Brosnan rightfully earns himself the title of the most destructive Bond thanks to the whopping 52 crashes he managed to cause during his tenure as 007, six more than that of Roger Moore. GoldenEye back in 1995 was Brosnan’s crème de la crème when it came to recklessness.

Negotiating the streets of St Petersburg in a tank, 007 successfully tears apart the city in pursuit of Colonel Ourumov. It was the classic Soviet military vehicles, the UAZs, at the receiving end of Bond’s battering, with numerous ending up in the canals. Meanwhile, the police vehicles used in this chase are the VAZ, which also suffer numerous sucker punches from the secret service agent and his fully equipped tank which, producers noted, only cost around £9,000.

Perhaps the most impressive scene in the chase, however, was the tank blasting through a Barkas B1000 flatbed truck stocked with 90,000 cans of Perrier.

The Barkas B1000 can be purchased for around £3,000 nowadays, the UAZ 469 vehicle for £15,200, and the VAZ 2106s for £5,500. Despite not being able to predict just how much the wreckage in Russia managed to equate to, thanks to the sheer number of buildings which came in the way of Bond and his battering ram of a tank, we’re fairly confident it was in the millions – especially once considering that the statue of Tsar Nicholas took one for the team as well!

Car damages: £99,312
Fan rating: 83%

Jame Bond car chase in the snow in Spectre
Car chase in the snow in Spectre – Photo credit: Jaguar Land Rover

1987 – The Living Daylights

Admittedly, Timothy Dalton didn’t have a reputation for wrecking things quite like his counterparts, but on one fateful journey he did manage to cause quite the stir and leave a wave of destruction behind him.

Travelling with Kara Milvoy through wintery conditions in Bratislava, the radio plays out that the KGB are on the lookout for a foreign vehicle. Within seconds the forces are in pursuit of 007, demanding that he pull into the side of the road. Fortunately for Bond, his Aston Martin V8 is specially equipped with lasers which are quick to resolve any threat posed by the KGB – slicing the chassis from their Lada 1500.

The next hurdle he faces is a MAN Truck parked in the centre of the road. But the front-mounted rockets that can be fired at the flick of a switch from the V8 soon to deal with it, exploding the vehicle into smithereens. Still having evaded capture, Bond destroys not one but three more KGB vehicles – Lada 1500s to be precise – before the Aston finally grinds to a halt, buried in the snow. The self-destruct button is activated on the stunning British vehicle as Bond and Kara escape down the mountainside on a cello. Yes, you did read that correctly.

A second-hand MAN truck can be picked up for around £10,000, with the Ladas fetching £7,500 each at auction. However, the V8 on the other hand, is currently selling for the princely sum of £700,000 meaning Bond had a rather expensive day out!

Car damages: £740,000
Fan rating: 66%

James Bond in an airplane car chase in Spectre
James Bond in an airplane car chase in Spectre – Photo credit: Jaguar Land Rover

2015 – Spectre

Film 24 and the most recent James Bond edition was Spectre in 2015 and it’s fair to say it didn’t disappoint when it came to damage. Over the course of the film, £24 million was spent on destruction but one scene in particular set things alight. A whole night of filming was spent in the Vatican for four seconds worth of footage.

Bond Stunt Co-ordinator, Gary Powell, speaking to the Daily Mail, said: “We set the record for smashing up cars on Spectre.” Filming in Rome alone cost a mind-blowing seven figures with written off Aston Martin DB10s making up most of the costing.

Negotiating the tight winding streets of the Italian capital catered to the highest speed chase in the film as Bond in his DB10 attempts to evade capture from Mr Hinx in his Jaguar C-X75. The Jaguar burst into flames, the Aston ends up in the water, and Bond escapes via his specially developed ejector seat.

The C-X75 would set you back three-quarters of a million while the DB10, which only one went for sale, reeled in a phenomenal £3 million at auction.

Car damages: £3,750,000
Fan rating: 61%

As it stands, we are unsure at the amount of carnage that the new Bond film will bring but we think it’s fair to say that there’ll be sizeable damage bill come close of play, if films of yesteryear are anything to go by.

Top image of James Bond car chase in a plane in Spectre – Photo credit: Jaguar Land Rover

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