Quick, what's the most authentic James Bond car? If your answer was "Aston Martin DB5," you've got great taste in movies—but you need to read more books. Because the car that Bond drove in the Ian Fleming novel Thunderball was a Bentley R-Type Continental, not an Aston. And now you can own the genuine article, purchased new by Ian Fleming as a gift to the real-life man who inspired the 007 character Felix Leiter.
, this 1953 Bentley was purchased by Fleming as a gift for his friend and collaborator Ivar Bryce. Bryce was a British agent during WWII, and is said to be the inspiration for the recurring character Felix Leiter, James Bond's frequent collaborator from the FBI.
The Bond connections don't stop there. In the 1961 novel Thunderball, Bond drove a Bentley R-Type Continental, purchased as a wreck and restored to Bond's specification in dark grey with a black leather interior—the same color combination originally worn by this car.
Of course, by the time Thunderball was adapted into the fourth James Bond movie in 1965, Sean Connery's character had already been given his trademark Aston Martin. The Bentley never featured in the movie series, despite being the vehicle Fleming envisioned for Bond.
But if you want to own the world's most authentic Bond car, you're in luck: . Having sat in a Hollywood garage untouched for over 30 years, Gullwing describes this left-hand-drive, manual-transmission example as "an ideal restoration candidate."
And given that Bond rebuilt his Bentley from a basketcase in the novel, buying and restoring this real-life secret agent car is probably the most 007 thing you could do.