Have you ever wanted to own one of the cars from a James Bond film? One lucky person was able to fulfill this dream recently. The Land Rover featured in the 2015 Spectre film was up for auction. And it sold quickly.
James Bond and the Land Rover
In 2015, Spectre was released. Starring Daniel Craig, it was the 24th James Bond film. One of the spectacular action scenes in the movie featured a Land Rover Defender, which is a popular British off-road version. Land Rovers have been part of other James Bond films, including the 2012 Skyfall film. Overall, Land Rovers have appeared in seven Bond movies.
The car company had a partnership with Spectre, and provided special vehicles from Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations. The Land Rover Defender was specifically modified for the movie. In total, ten identical, black Land Rovers were used during filming.
You can’t buy the 2014 Land Rover Defender used in the film directly from the manufacturer because it was custom-made for the film. For instance, the car had special 37-inch all-terrain tires. It also featured a roll cage to protect the driver during the stunts. Additionally, it had seats with 4-point harnesses, skid plates as extra body protection, diamond plating on some surfaces, a roof rack with lights, and an upgraded engine. The car earned the nickname Bigfoot because of its enormous tires.
In the film, it’s the villains who drive the Land Rover. Since part of Spectre was shot in the Austrian Alps, the villains needed an off-road vehicle that could handle the difficult terrain. The extra modifications made the car safer for the stunt crew to drive.
One of the ten Land Rover Defenders from the film was part of the Bonhams auction in the U.K. It was featured in the Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale of collector’s motor cars in July 2018. There were 388 items sold at this auction, but lot number 379 got most of the attention. It was the 2014 Land Rover Defender from the James Bond film.
The Land Rover sold for £365,500 ($470,198). One of the reasons for the high price was the fact that the car actually had screen time in the film. There were tags from the movie that proved this. It also had some damage left on the exterior from the stunts. The hood had marks left from filming the action scenes.
Another reason for the high price was the car came with a few extras. The buyer received an Austrian license plate from the film, framed movie still from Spectre, and the film’s shooting schedule. All of these items are valuable on their own.
A previous auction in 2017 also featured a Land Rover Defender from Spectre. It was offered by RM Sotheby’s and sold for £230,000 ($296,091). It’s not clear why this auction didn’t bring as much as the later one in 2018, but the car still sold for a high amount.
The fate of the other Land Rovers
Fans know there were then identical Land Rover Defenders in the 2015 film. However, not all of them were seen in the movie. Some of them were only used for promotional purposes or saved as extras in case a stunt went wrong. A few never made it to film. According to RM Sotheby’s, eight of the Land Rovers remain in private ownership. It’s not surprising collectors grabbed these valuable vehicles when they had the chance.
It’s amazing that any of the Land Rover Defenders survived, considering that a major theft occurred during the filming of Spectre. Thieves stole five customized Range Rover Sports and one Range Rover Evoque in Dusseldorf, Germany, before shooting started. They were taken from a studio lot at night. The studio estimated the five vehicles cost a total of $1 million. The cars were supposed to be shipped to Austria for filming. The theft didn’t slow down production significantly. Fortunately, the car manufacturer offered replacements, which were similar to the ones taken. The stolen cars weren’t recovered, and the thieves were never identified to the public.
James Bond remains an icon, so the cars in his films will continue to be important, and collectors will continue to go after them. Although the current owners of the Land Rover Defenders from Spectre don’t seem to be interested in selling their vehicles, this may change in the future. If you’re eager to own a piece of film history, you may want to start saving now. Cars from the Bond films will only increase in value over time, so you can expect to pay a lot for them in the future.