License to thrill — the top five James Bond cars

1964 Aston Martin DB5

1964 Aston Martin DB5  (AP)

From his iconic bullet-firing Aston Martin DB5 to a gondola on wheels, James Bond has driven a dizzying array of motors that would leave any car fanatic shaken and stirred. Here we pick 007's top five rides:

Aston Martin DB5

(Goldfinger, Thunderball)

James's Bond's stylish Aston Martin DB5 is the quintessential 007 car and one of the most recognizable motors in the world. Sean Connery first got behind the wheel of the silver-birch DB5 for 1964's Goldfinger, dazzling fans with gadgets like pop-up guns, revolving number plates and a hidden car phone (albeit not that impressive by today's standards). It was also equipped with a set of tire-shredding, chariot-style wheel extenders and for any US drivers not used to driving stick, make sure you leave that ominous red button on the gear knob alone - it just happens to be the ejector seat. One of the two DB5s built for production was sold at auction for £2.6 million ($4.1 million) in 2010. The other was rebuilt as a regular road car and sold on, only to be stolen from its last owner in Florida.

Lotus Esprit S1

(The Spy Who Loved Me)

James Bond had a license to snorkel with this seafaring supercar. The sleek white Lotus doubled as a sub in 1977s' The Spy Who Loved Me -- though it would probably have been a more apt ride for Octopussy. The car's legendary scene involved 007 trying his best to escape an enemy chopper, with the nimble Lotus first twisting and turning to evade a hail of machinegun fire, before James and his sexy female co-star hurtle headlong into the ocean. "Can you swim?" he coolly asks a bewildered Barbara Bach. The Lotus duly obliges and Bond and his KGB beauty make good their underwater escape.

BMW 750iL

(Tomorrow Never Dies)

It may have looked like a bland corporate sedan but the BMW 750iL took Bluetooth to a whole new level. Already bristling with the usual Q Branch gadgets, it could be controlled remotely via a cell phone. Tomorrow Never dies, and neither does Hollywood smoothie Pierce Brosnan, thanks to this unique feature. Surrounded by villains inside a German parking garage, Bond remotely fires up the engine, scatters the bad guys with a smoke bomb then leaps in through the window. Ducking for cover in the backseat, the secret agent deploys missiles, stingers and even a miniature buzz saw before crash-landing his bodacious Beema through the window of an Avis rental station. Classic Bond!

Citroën 2CV

(For Your Eyes Only)

It might not look sexy but Roger Moore is so darn cool he can instantly pimp the lamest of rides. And this diminutive French classic is as sure-footed as a mountain goat as 007 outruns two equally pedestrian Peugeots on a Spanish mountainside in 1981's For Your Eyes Only. The bespoke canary-yellow Citroën was equipped with a beefed-up engine to withstand the epic pursuit, which ends with his chief tormentor's vehicle nestling precariously in an olive tree and a classic Bond quip: "Love a drive in the country, don't you?"

Aston Martin V12 Vanquish

(Die Another Day)

Striking looks, seamless performance and a great engine... but that's enough about Brosnan. The ridiculously good-looking Aston Martin Vanquish was just as handsome even if it did feature one of the most ludicrous Bond gadgets ever devised -- a full-on cloaking device known as "adaptive camouflage" that bordered on cheating. At the push of a button the sleek sports car became invisible, allowing 007 to trick North Korean nemesis Zao into a frozen lake and thus ensuring Bond lived to drive another day.