Some people love vintage classic cars. Other enthusiasts ogle cutting-edge supercars. A select few cherish both equally; Jay Leno and James Bond are two such car buffs. Jay Leno loves to restore pieces of automotive history and can also appreciate modern technological advances from companies such as Aston Martin. Agent 007, was a gear head since Ian Fleming’s first Bond book: he cherished his old car and enjoyed taking the newest machines out for a spin. Here are two vehicles–one old and one new–both James Bond and Jay Leno own.
James Bond’s 1930 4.5-Litre Blower Bentley
In Ian Fleming’s 1950s novels, 007 Agent James Bond is a retired race car driver and World War Two veteran. His prized possession is a 1930 Bentley with a 4.5-Litre engine, fitted with an Amherst-Villiers engine.
Fleming introduces this car as part of James Bond’s backstory in the first novel, Casino Royale. Bond remembers buying it nearly new, as a teenager, in 1933. He also stored it away carefully to protect it from bombing during the war. It is a convertible coupe, finished in battleship grey. It even features French Marchal headlamps.
Bond says he keeps the car in good shape and drives it hard. By the 1950s, the Bentley is considered a relic, but he knows no contemporary cars are as powerful. He lovingly refers to it as a “locomotive.” Sure enough, it serves him well in journeys and car chases until he crashes it and must replace it.
Jay Leno’s 1930 27-Litre Engine-Swapped Bentley
James Bond (and Ian Fleming) had taste ahead of his time: Modern collectors consider the “Blower Bentley” the pinnacle of British pre-war racing cars. Unfortunately, Bentley only fit 55 of these cars with superchargers, and surviving examples are worth over a million pounds.
Jay Leno’s 1930 Bentley car benefits from an engine-swap James Bond would approve of. An engineer named Bob Petersen fit Leno’s Bentley with a 27-litre engine from a Spitfire airplane. The engine makes 650-700 horsepower and “loads” of torque,” which is essential when the resulting vehicle weighs three tons.
Petersen built Leno’s car with modern fuel injection, an automatic transmission, and electric power steering to make it slightly easier to drive on the road. Unlike James Bond’s car, Leno’s Bentley is a proper four-seater convertible.
James Bond’s Aston Martin DBS V12
2006’s Casino Royale was Daniel Craig’s first outing as James Bond, and Aston Martin set him up with a brand new car: A pre-production 2007 DBS V12. It was a two-door luxury coupe in the tradition of British grand tourers. Its 5.9-Litre AM11 V12 engine makes 510 horsepower and 420 lb-ft. of torque. For his first cars as 007, Bond opted for the six-speed manual transmission, silver paint, and a black leather interior.
During Casino Royale, James Bond wrecks this DBS in spectacular fashion. The film crew installed a nitrogen cannon behind the driver’s seat to flip the car in the air. The stunt set a Guinness World Record when the car rolled over seven times.
James Bond prefers the Aston Martin DBS; he chooses to drive a nearly identical car in the next film: Quantum of Solace.
Jay Leno Bought 007’s Aston Martin DBS V12
A fan of lightweight British sports cars, Leno was instantly attracted to the Aston Martin DBS. So Jay Leno bought himself James Bond’s car: a 2009 Quantum of Solace special edition.
Leno swoons over the details of his DBS, calling the exhaust note “intoxicating” and waxing poetic about the carbon fiber rotors that never suffer brake fade.
It is no secret Jay Leno appreciates sound engineering: he was impressed that Aston Martin managed to keep the car’s weight to 3,480 pounds while having “all the amenities you would expect of a high-end English sports car.” Overall, he sums the DBS up as, “A pretty fantastic car.”