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In 1962, over a winning hand of Chemin-de-Fer, a secret agent introduced himself and twenty-five films later he needs no introduction. By the third film, 1964’s Goldfinger, the franchise had found its footing and 007 his car, the Aston Martin DB5. The title song’s opening chorus “Goldfinger, He's the man, the man with the Midas touch” as belted out by Shirley Bassey, is relevant today as it can be argued that any car featured in the long-running film series has the “Midas touch”. Values of the Aston Martin DB5 have skyrocketed since the re-introduction of the model in Daniel Craig’s first outing as James Bond in 2006’s Casino Royale. It had a starring role in 2012’s Skyfall and featured in the closing credits of the 2015 film Spectre.
Sam Mendes, the director of both Skyfall and Spectre wanted a spectacular snow chase scene and turned to Jaguar Land Rover to assist. With the standard Land Rover 110 Defender deemed a bit too bland for a baddy’s getaway car they turned to leading Land Rover modifiers, Bowler. The firm transformed 10 standard production, Santorini Black, crew-cab 110s into the SVX Concept or Spectre Defender. The cars featured huge 37-inch tyres, heavy-duty roll cages plus toughened suspensions with rose joints and Bilstein rally dampers. A hydraulic handbrake was installed, and its lever repositioned. The engine was tuned to give 180 bhp and Recaro seats fitted. Three ‘halo’ cars with high finishes were created for close-up shots while the rest were damaged by the aeroplane piloted by James Bond.
The Land Rovers fell into two categories for the chase sequence, high-speed 'getaway' road cars and low-speed snow cars. This particular Land Rover #462459 (listed as D3 from LR and 'Car 9' by Bowlers) was developed for the snow scene and given the way in which some of these cars were used during filming, it is unsurprising that not all survived intact with three cars out of the original ten apparently destroyed. However, this particular Spectre Defender was used for drive-by filming only, sustaining no damage during those scenes, and represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Currently, this vehicle is not UK-registered but our vendor believes that following disconnection of the hydraulic hand brake used for special effects and subject to an IVA (Individual Vehicle Approval) test it should be possible to register and MOT the car in the normal way.
The car's history file is interesting and includes a full risk assessment form for 'D3 SALLDHSP8A462459', its LR build spec, a full set of employee timesheets relating to 462459's build, an EC Certificate of Conformity, correspondence between Bowler and JLR as well as invoices for the vehicle and a copy of the original contract, and an MOT dated 18/01/2017. Fascinatingly, it also includes a monthly 'Crew Production Calendar' from 'Spectre 007' running from December 2014 to June '15 and Location Call Sheets detailing the cast and crew and who should be where and when and wearing what. With the car, there is also the small plastic 'SV-X' badge that was stuck on the rear and an Austrian number plate ''62734Z' which we believe was used on a number of cars during filming. Although not currently on the road, this amazing vehicle would make a fantastic addition to any James Bond fan’s collection or a rather menacing shooting vehicle for private estate use.
In conclusion, auction results for the other Spectre Land Rovers sold in recent years have seen very high prices achieved and we would perhaps refer you to the “Midas touch” of owning any vehicle closely associated with the James Bond franchise.