Michael Jordan and James Bond Owned the Same Surprising Car
Michael Jordan has a fantastic car collection. He has owned Corvettes, Ferraris, and possibly a Bugatti. He is especially fond of his Porsches. Jordan is not known for collecting British cars such as Aston Martins, Lotuses, or Jaguars. So where does his car collection intersect with James Bond? The BMW section.
In 1991, Michael Jordan won the first NBA title of his first three-peat. But he was already one of the most famous players on the court, and already had his Nike sponsorship. Before his Ferrari or Corvette days, his Airness celebrated by buying himself a 1991 BMW 850i. The huge coupe had a 5.0-liter V12 and a six-speed manual transmission. He also optioned it with a “parchment” colored white leather interior and it was finished in “Mauritius” metallic blue paint.
Longtime Michael Jordan fans will remember this as the iconic 90s supercar with the pop-up headlights that wore the unforgettable “M AIR J” plates. There’s a classic photo of MJ stopping on his way to opening day at Wrigley Field to sign an autograph for a police officer, through the front window of his 850i.
Michael Jordan probably put 8,000 miles on his BMW before selling it in 1995. It just came up for sale on the Bring a Trailer auction site, wearing MJ’s vanity plates and with sales paperwork with his signature. It went for $108,723.
So how does James Bond fit in to all of this? 1995’s Goldeneye was Pierce Brosnan’s debut as James Bond. And as often happened, when the franchise switched actors a car company tried hard to get Agent 007 to switch cars. BMW must have paid an arm and a leg to debut its 1996 Z3 convertible in the film.
The Z3 was set to be a big seller in markets such as North America. So the product placement was wise. But the little roadster was far from a quintessential Bond car. How do I know this? When BMW gifted Pierce Brosnan a car, it went with its V-12-powered grand tourer, a silver-on-silver 850ci. (BMW changed the model’s name from 850i to 850ci in the Fall of 1993).
According to Brosnan, he took the car to Idaho when he was filming 1997’s Dante’s Peak. And it got him in some trouble. A local police officer that Brosnan refers to only as, “Spike” clocked him doing 120 mph. Spike and the police chief came to the film set to talk to Brosnan. His excuse? “I didn’t realize it because the damn car was so good–so smooth.” And of course, he didn’t get a ticket. It seems the guys just wanted to chat with James Bond.
Learn about how Jay Leno bought two different James Bonds’ first car, or see Pierce Brosnan’s speeding warning story in the video below: