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What car did the REAL James Bond drive?

Dusko Popov in 1947.

If there is any item synonymous with 007, it is the car. After all, who can forget the classic image of Sean Connery and that beautiful Aston Martin DB5 in Goldfinger?

That MI6 agent Dusko Popov was Ian Fleming's inspiration for James Bond is beyond question; it was well-established in INTO THE LION'S MOUTH. The origin of the famous casino scene seems proof enough (ICYMI: But what about the cars of Bond? Fleming loved cars and none was more beautiful than the Aston Martin.

Would Fleming have paid any attention to the car or cars that Popov drove? Who knows? It is likely that Fleming knew what car Popov drove in Lisbon when Ian shadowed him in 1941: Jaguar. I say "likely" because this was the car Popov parked at the Estoril Palacio Hotel where Ian also had stayed and was the starting point of Fleming's tag (which ultimately led to Casino Estoril). This was also the car that someone (details in my book) blew up.

Yet Popov also loved German engineering, driving BMWs before and after the war. While on assignment in 1941-42 for double agent duties in the U.S., he drove an inconspicuous Buick coupe. And the sporty convertible at the top of this article? That's a 1947 Allard K1 Roadster. Not bad.

But what about the Aston Martin? Did Dusko "feel the need for speed?" Nope. But someone very important to him did. During the war, Popov had an MI5 driver who would pick him up at various airfields, and return him when Dusko was off to Lisbon or Madrid. This driver, who also drove the famous "Major Martin" cadaver to the coast for Operation Mincemeat, was none other than St. John "Jock" Horsfall--professional race car driver.

MI5 wanted a skilled driver who liked to drive fast and, if necessary, could lose a tail. Horsfall was just the man, having won the 1938 Leinster Trophy.

Driving an Aston Martin.

St. John "Jock" Horsfall

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