When it comes to Bond movies, the cars remain as popular as the stars that drive them. What would 007 be without his Lotus Esprit submarine or Aston Martin DB5, or even a DBS with an array of machine guns on the roof, thanks to Q?
The world’s largest private collection of James Bond cars, housing some 62 famous vehicles spanning every decade of 007, sits in the Miami Auto Museum in Florida, owned by property tycoon, and Donald Trump’s business partner, Michael Dezer.
And now it can all be yours, with Dezer putting the entire collection up for sale. Price tag: a cool $33 million.
Stuart Donovan and his wife Barbara have been Dezer’s British representatives for the past five years. Three years ago, the pair discovered the Bond Collection for sale in England, along with the Cars of the Stars collection that possessed some Hollywood wheeled memorabilia as well: the Batmobile, Hasselhoff’s KITT, Herbie and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, among others.
Dezer, with his son Gil in tow, flew their private jet from Florida to England. That same day they purchased both collections and returned home to Miami in time for supper. Donovan then set about the grueling task of shipping more than 90 vehicles to America.
Since then many cars have joined the party, including three from "Skyfall" and the GAZ Volga from "Octopussy," bought by Donovan just last week. The Bond Collection is a small part of Dezer’s 1,500 vehicles, all of which went on display to the public in 2011. While his other classics will remain at Dezer's various museums, Dezer has decided that everything Bond must go in one sale.
That includes the Ford Mustang Mach 1 from "Diamonds Are Forever" and the Aston Martin V8 – with skis – from "The Living Daylights;" even the Aston Martin DB5 and Russian T55 tank from "Goldeneye" are up for grabs. Beyond cars the collection features the Skidoo from "Die Another Day," and the speedboat from "Live And Let Die," as well as plenty of motorbikes, a hovercraft and half a Renault 11 from "Diamonds Are Forever."
Donovan was at that auction, and had his eyes on the swimming Lotus. However, a mystery phone bidder, who later turned out to be Tesla CEO Elon Musk, stole the prize for $967,000. Donovan was the under-bidder Musk was fighting.
The Lotus submarine in Dezer's collection was found in a scrapyard in the Bahamas, and was used in the film purely as a car that could retract its wheels. This car, while not as famous as Musk’s latest hallway decoration, is currently undergoing restoration. It’s one of five Esprits in the collection.
In the brief time Dezer has owned his James Bond museum, it’s grown to become the largest and most comprehensive in the world, featuring mounds of additional memorabilia as well as the obvious iconic vehicles. Those that aren’t business partners with Trump may want to visit the museum while it’s still open, as once it’s sold, there’s no telling what the new owner may do.
Maybe Trump himself will take the plunge. Or perhaps Elon Musk seizes the chance to expand beyond a famous sub, grabbing ownership to the largest Bond collection on earth. If I owned a car company and built space rockets for a living, I know I would.
For serious inquires about the purchase of the collection, please contact Stuart or Barbara Donovan at firstname.lastname@example.org
- James Bond
- Aston Martin DB5
- Michael Dezer
- Lotus Esprit