James Bond fans will need to fend off Land Rover enthusiasts when a Defender used in the 2015 film "Spectre" crosses the auction block on May 23. It's part of an online sale organized by England-based Silverstone Auctions.
The producers chose Land Rover's time-tested pickup to star in a snowy-turned-fiery car chase. The stock Defender 110 wouldn't have cut it, so tuner and race car builder Bowler -- which Land Rover purchased in 2019 -- installed 37-inch tires, a firmer suspension, and a hydraulic hand brake controlled via a giant lever. The modifications also included welding in a heavy-duty roll cage, because killing bad guys is James Bond's job, not the car's. And, the 2.2-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel saw its output rise from 122 to 180 horsepower.
Silverstone Auctions noted Bowler built one of the Defenders purchased by Eon Productions for road use and modified the other nine trucks for the knee-deep snow scenes; the example for sale is from the latter group. Three cars were inevitably destroyed during filming so only seven are left. There's no pre-auction estimate but we expect the winning bidder will need to sign a check with at least six digits on it. Any item related to James Bond (whether it's a gun, a tie, or a car) is sought-after and Defender values have sky-rocketed in recent years.
For context, South Carolina-based Himalaya built a replica of the rig used in "Spectre" in 2019 and priced it at $165,000. It received many of the same upgrades but its engine bay housed a 525-horsepower LS3 V8.
Nick Whale, Silverstone's managing director, reminded bidders that the Defender will need to be registered before it's driven on a public road in England or abroad. In turn, we'll remind you that importing it to the United States will be illegal until 2040 unless it's brought in under the Show & Display rule. That might not be a deal-breaker because the odds of this truck being used as a daily driver, as an off-roader, or both are extremely low.