It looks like there might be another James Bond vehicle collection on the move. If the Bond in Motion relocation to London is too far, this next one could get as close as your driveway.
The Miami Auto Museum at the Dezer Collection has been home to the largest private collection of James Bond vehicles and memorabilia for the last few years. Now the full display of 59 vehicles (approx 42 genuine, 17 replica) is on the market for one price — £20 million. That’s about $33 million at current exchange rates.
The museum is a 1,200-vehicle collection all owned by real estate developer Michael Dezer. That means all it takes for the whole James Bond exhibit to go on sale is if Dezer decides that it is better suited elsewhere. Since his U.S.-based collection is giving the price only in pounds sterling, it might be an indication that the new home will likely be on the other side of the Atlantic. London’s Bond in Motion is still the largest collection of vehicles from the movies, but the Miami Auto Museum keeps a room with thousands of official 007 merchandise — everything from playing cards to pinball machines. All that memorabilia makes the south Florida exhibit rival for the title of the largest collection of everything James Bond in the world.
For those who know about Bond movie vehicles, there are plenty of automotive icons. The ultimate one, the 1963 Aston Martin DB5 with working gadgets from Goldfinger disappeared decades ago. The other coupe used in the film is held privately in the U.S. Bond in Motion has vehicles like Goldfinger’s Rolls-Royce Phantom III limousine and the “Little Nellie” autogyro, but the rest of the great wheels seem to be in Miami. For example, the exhibit houses most of Bond’s significant Lotus cars. This includes the only drivable Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me (they own the fiberglass mold to make more Lotus submarines.) Also featured are the white and bronze Esprit Turbos used in For Your Eyes Only.
Even the collection’s replica cars are pretty desirable. Although Toyota keeps the only surviving 2000 GT convertible from You Only Live Twice, there are plenty of collectors who would love to have the museum’s well-finished coupe conversion of the low-volume sportscar. Plus, no Bond collection would be complete without at least a representation of the most notorious villain car, Goldfinger’s Rolls-Royce. Bond’s original ejector-seat DB5 is likely never to be seen again, but the Miami Auto Museum has an interesting car that’s nearly the next-best thing. They have a 1964 Aston Martin that was converted to a gadget car after one-time Bond, George Lazenby used it to spoof the secret agent character in The Return of the Man From UNCLE (see the scene here).
The cars are usually the stars of a any large Bond collection, but there are plenty of other interesting pieces that come in the sale. The new owner will take possession of a Lockheed Jetstar painted to look like Goldfinger’s plane. They also have a working Russian T55 tank from Goldeneye. Possibly the most noteworthy one is a 23’ Fairey Huntress. Until genuine vehicles from Dr. No are found, this boat is the oldest surviving vehicle driven by James Bond on the silver screen.
Other Bond vehicles of interest include:
–Land Rover Defender and Audi A5 chase duo from Skyfall
–1971 Ford Mustang Mach I used in Diamonds are Forever (infamous for going into an ally on one set of wheels and leaving on the opposite)
–Replica of the fire-breathing dragon tank from Dr. No
–1976 Kawasaki Z900 with torpedo sidecar from The Spy Who Loved Me
–2001 Aston Martin V12 Vanquish from Die Another Day
–1966 Aston Martin DB5 used in Goldeneye
A sale this big would usually be used for a huge publicity push (the collection could have held the world’s coolest auction with all this Bond memorabilia,) but the Miami Auto Museum is being a bit quieter. Just simply write a £20 million check and then practice making martinis while you wait for shipping.