How Much Is A Car Cameo In A Bond Film Worth?
By now it has been well documented that an appearance by a product in a James Bond feature film gives that product a considerable financial boost. Why else would brewer Heineken have reportedly paid nearly $45 million to be featured in Skyfall? But the things that get the biggest boost are the cars, and we’re not just talking about car sales figures going up for Aston Martin, but the actual cars featured in the movies.
Hagerty, the insurance company, who tracks car auctions and sales has compiled a report that tells us that, on average, a car actually used in a Bond movie sells for about 1000% more than the retail price for a car of the exact same make and model. A price hike like that could make even Goldfinger drop a golden brick in his trousers.
Generally speaking this can be traced to anything that’s been in movies selling for obscene amounts of money. People simply like buying stuff that has been in a movie. Wilson, the volleyball with a bloody handprint for a face from Cast Away, sold at auction for $18,500 to the CEO of Wilson the company that makes the volleyballs. Considering that a typical Wilson volleyball goes for about $20 that would put the movie prop markup on Wilson at around 92,000%!
This all gets turned up to 11 for Bond Cars. The "Wet Nellie", whose full story you can read here, sold at around $1 million to Elon Musk (the real life Moonraker.) Considering that it’s technically not a car, it’s simply a wet submarine, and that a Lotus Esprit cost these days costs $30,000 that’s a %5,000 increase for a car that can’t even be a car. Although, as we’ve written before, Mr. Musk has promised us he’d make it into a real car. What’s the point? Well, we don’t know.
Even the iconic and legendary Aston Martin DB5 sold for a measly 759% increase from regular Aston Martin prices at $4.6 million. The Aston Martin DBS-6 from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service sold at a 38% premium. The 1974 AMC Hornet from The Man with the Golden Gun sold for 1,614% mark-up. The list goes on and on.
The Bond premium is very real and people are very willing to pay for it. To date there hasn’t been a scientific study as to why people spend so much on movie props, and cars featured in James Bond movies. But, we think it has to do with being close to the characters and stories. The story of James Bond is seen by many as one of class and taste. A certain kind of elegance with those of discerning tastes. In other words, James Bond is cool as all get out. So, according to the inarguable transitive properties of coolness, if you can own something James Bond owns, then you're cool too.
Related: The 5 Best James Bond Car Chases Without Dispute
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