What Cars Sean Connery Drove on Screen and in Real Life

The cars driven by the legendary actor and his main characters.

On October 31, British actor Sean Connery — the first and most beloved James Bond — passed away. The imposing Scot is primarily associated with the elegant Aston Martin DB5, although his 007 character managed to drive a good dozen sports cars in the James Bond movies — and not always British ones.

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In real life, Sean Connery was not a crazy car enthusiast — like, say, Hollywood stars Steve McQueen or Paul Newman. Still, you cannot deny him a taste for interesting and fast cars! We decided to pay our last respects to the wonderful actor and show what cars his on-screen characters drove and what cars he chose for himself.

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1959: Sean Connery shows astonished viewers the first unmanned technology. (Of course, we are joking. Here, in Disneyland, the still-unknown actor was photographed with Janet Munro, a partner in the adventure movie ‘Darby O'Gill and the Little People’).

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1962, Dr. No: Sunbeam Alpine

After this movie, the truck driver's son Sean Connery — an aspiring actor who played minor roles of bandits — turned into a real star. The first James Bond movie was shot on a very modest budget (less than one million dollars), so there were no luxury cars: Mr. Bond drove an Alpine roadster of the now-forgotten Sunbeam company.

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Watch the obligatory James Bond chase: you will smile at the small car with a 1.6-liter 80-hp and the level of visual effects (the close-ups with Connery's face were shot with a moving background and the cars on the dirt road were creaking with might and main). That was a fail for a sound engineer. However, we will not be strict with him —they hired only one sound engineer was hired for the sake of saving on the movie, although two are the standard.

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1963, From Russia with Love: Bentley 4¼ Litre

It seems that Connery's character was promoted in rank for the second film: a real Bentley was used as a Bond car in the movie (just a joke —the movie budget was doubled). However, the car was old: this was an open-top 1938 Bentley 4-Litre by Vanden Plas. Well, we understand that the possibilities of counterintelligence are not unlimited — the economic situation in England in the sixties was not brilliant. You can see a filming process in the photo: the entire car did not get into the frame.

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The only spy contraption that the Bentley had was a radiotelephone, which was impressive for 1963. The only chase in the movie does without cars at all because it happens in the sea. By the way, it is worth explaining that the author of the 007novels Ian Fleming portrayed Bond as a big fan of Bentley but the models of the company appeared only sporadically in the movies.

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1964, Goldfinger: Aston Martin DB5

By the third Bond film, Connery's character takes on a canonical image, swapping a Bentley for an Aston Martin. If in the 1959 novel of the same name, Ian Fleming transfers the spy to an Aston Martin DB Mark III, then in the movie, weapons specialist Q gives agent 007 the latest Aston Martin DB5.

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The blades in the wheels, machine guns in the front fenders, an oil sprayer in the back and an armored wall in the trunk help to fight Goldfinger's henchmen. Bond gets rid of the thug in the passenger seat by using aт ejector (the activation button was hidden in the gearbox). A mechanism for quickly changing license plates was also provided. By the way, there were almost no spy bells and whistles in the book — only reinforced bumpers and a stash for a gun. It seems that Aston Martin takes up a good half of the screen time, either chasing along a picturesque serpentine in the Alps or running away from a whole platoon of Asian murderers in Mercedes cars.

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1964: Porsche 356

Sean Connery, who came to international fame, begins to receive good royalties: if he received only £10,000 for the first Bond film, then he earned £167,000 for the second and a little more for the third (after legal proceedings, he was able to shake off as much as £330,000 from the film studio). Somewhere in 1964, the actor buys a Porsche. We do not know whether it was miserliness or something else but Connery did not buy the latest Porsche 911 with a six-cylinder engine but a four-cylinder 1959 Porsche 356 (pictured driving on an Edinburgh street).

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1964, Woman of Straw: Jaguar XKR

This is a half-forgotten detective story with Gina Lollobrigida, in which Connery's character — the nephew of tycoon Charles Richmond — drives around in a luxurious scarlet 1962 Jaguar E-Type. The car with the chassis number 860419 has been preserved to this day. It is in excellent condition and periodically on display.

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1965, Thunderball: Aston Martin DB5 (again)

The canonical Aston Martin DB5 appears again in the fourth Bond film but there it has only a cameo role: first, Connery’s character gets rid of his pursuers with the help of a new “gadget” — a water cannon, the nozzles of which are hidden behind the taillights. Then, during the chase, they try to kill him (but everything ends badly for the shooter). The photo shows a scene from Thunderball with Bond flying on a jetpack.

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By the way, the same pair of cars took part in the filming of Goldfinger and Thunderball: the first one is a pre-production prototype (chassis number DP/2161/1) for driving filming (Connery was really driving this car) and the second (DB5/1486/R) was used to shoot numerous spy gadgets in action. After the release of Goldfinger, the film studio ordered a couple of cars with a full set of spy bells and whistles from Aston Martin to promote the film. Of these four cars, only three have come down to us — the first was stolen in 1997. By the way, one of the advertising cars was sold for $ 6.4 million at auction last year. By the way, many years after the shooting, Sean Connery bought a similar Aston Martin.

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1967, You only live twice: Toyota 2000GT

During the course of the movies, the super agent often drove his girlfriends' cars. The fifth film was set in Japan and the shooting was partially sponsored by Toyota. So, the “main role” was given to an elegant Toyota 2000GT and the villains drove black Toyota Crown sedans… Sean Connery never got to drive — the driver was a Japanese intelligence agent Aki (Akiko Wakabayashi). It is funny that the actress did not know how to drive, so the pedals and gearbox were controlled by a stuntman.

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A couple of cars assembled for the film are real unique. The Toyota 2000GT itself is a rarity — only 351 copies were assembled and all of them had a coupe body. But designer Toshio Okada drew an open-top version specially commissioned by the filmmakers. Two of these cars were made at the Toyopet technical center in Tsunashima. The reason is prosaic: the tall Connery did not fit in a low compartment and the filmmakers were uncomfortable shooting scenes in the car. To save time, they did not even make a folding top for cars. Only one car has survived to this day, which is now displayed at the Toyota Museum.

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1967: the Jensen CV8

Only after finishing shooting in the next Bond movie, Connery got a new car. Or rather, it was used again — he noticed a large Jensen CV8 coupe in his favorite dark green color in the window of Charles Follet's car dealership in London's Mayfair district. In May 1967, the actor became an owner of an eight-cylinder coupe, having spent £2,000 on it (at least, this is how much it cost at the dealership).

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The sports car with the chassis number 104/2158 previously belonged to media magnate Mogul Clive Carr, News of the World head. Sean Connery drove the Jensen for only a year but the car managed to star in a movie during that time. The Bowler and the Bunnet, a documentary about the shipyards in Glasgow, was Connery's first and only directorial experience (this is a still from the movie). Now, the car is restored and is in the private collection of a Jensen fan.

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1960-ies: Bentley S2 Saloon

Of course, we cannot be sure about the contents of Sean Connery's garage. But they say that the actor bought this gray-steel 1962 Bentley S2 in the ‘60s.

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1971, Diamonds are forever: Triumph Stag

After the failure with George Lazenby in the role of Bond, Sean Connery was once again returned to the position of 007. The super agent is investigating diamond smuggling and he is seen driving an open mustard-colored Triumph Stag in several scenes: for example, in this photo, he is driving through the streets of Amsterdam. In the story, the car belongs to the smuggler Peter Franks, whom bond pretends to be.

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1971, Diamonds are forever: Ford Mustang Mach 1

The plot of the new movie “Diamonds are forever” is teetering on the edge of comedy and absurd, as well as James Bond’s list of equipment: there are a leisurely three-wheeled Honda ATC-90 and even a lunar rover. But the main “car” role, of course, is given to a scarlet Ford Mustang Mach 1, which belongs to Bond's girlfriend, red-haired smuggler Tiffany Case. The appearance of Ford in the movie can be simply explained — the American company financed the shooting.

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It is believed that three Mustangs starred in the movie: they were identical in design but with different equipment – one had a powerful 7-liter engine, another was equipped with a 5.8-liter powertrain and the most modest — with a 5-liter unit. The writers came up with a hilariously funny chase through the streets of Las Vegas, in which Bond fools the police single-handedly and escapes from the sheriff at the end, squeezing on two wheels along a narrow passage between houses (a cute easter egg is hidden in the same scene — the car enters the passage on the one side and drives out on the other). The least powerful of the cars took part in the shooting of this trick (and you can notice a safety cage in the rear window in the photo). Apparently, all three cars have survived to this day, although not all of them are in perfect condition. Admittedly, the only truly legendary Mustang in the movie is the Steve McQueen from “Bullitt”.

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1973: BMW 3.0 CSL

Shortly after filming ‘Diamonds are forever’, Connery gets a brand-new BMW. On July 25, the actor receives a coupe in the E9 body — and not a simple one but a lightweight 3.0 CSL with a 200-hp engine (by the way, a CSL with right-hand drive is doubly rare). The car cost him £7,000 at that time (could buy almost any supercar for such money you). Connery had ordered a phone installed in the car. It is said that he went to Ireland to shoot the dystopian “Zardoz”. In 1976, the actor sold the car. A few years ago, the BMW changed its owner again and was seriously restored.

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1983, Never say never again: Bentley 4½ Litre

Sean Connery is starring as James bond for the last time after a 12-year hiatus. In “Never say never”, you can notice the super agent's Bentley again, very briefly: this time, it is an open-top 4½ Litre by Gurney Nutting.

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1983, Never say never again: Yamaha XJ650 Turbo

Well, the “combat” means of transportation for the super agent becomes a motorcycle (it seems this was for the first time). A super trendy Yamaha with a turbo engine was chosen for the movie. As befits a spy motorcycle, it is equipped with rocket boosters, bumpers and a bunch of unknown gadgets.

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1986: BMW 635 CSi

Connery wanted to receive another experience with BMW in the ‘80s: moving to Spain, he bought a white coupe of the sixth series. The actor regularly drove it until 1997, although a little: at the time of sale, the mileage was only 27,000 miles. More than 10 years ago, someone was lucky enough to buy a car with such a background for just over £7,000.

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Already in our time, Sean Connery was seen driving a Bentley Arnage, a Range Rover Vogue and even a Tesla Model S. The James Bond movies helped Connery become famous and earn good money, but you should watch “The Name of the Rose”. There are no cars, shootouts, or vodka martinis, but you will make sure that Connery was a really great actor.