Over the years, Hagerty has reported on the sale of many cars linked to the James Bond movies. Almost without exception, they have reached prices that are massively higher than equivalent cars that aren’t linked to Ian Fleming’s suave but fictional spy.
Back in August 2019, RM Sotheby’s sold an Aston Martin DB5 that had been owned by EonProductions and used in the launch of the Bond film Thunderball. Built to ‘Q’ specification, it sold for $6.385M, over four times the top Hagerty Price Guide value for the model at that time. Last December in London, Bonhams offered another Bond car, a 1969 Mercury Cougar XR-7 convertible that starred in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. It sold for £356,500 ($481,382), making it easily the most expensive Cougar in the world.
Then, there was Spectre. Back in 2015, Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) created ten special Land Rover 110 Defenders for the movie with help from now in-house modifiers, Bowler. After filming some were sold, one through Bonhams at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed sale for £365,000, reportedly to Gordon Ramsay.
The vehicle you see here, a 1982 Series III Land Rover sold by RM Sotheby’s, is not one of those. It’s a copy of one used by Daniel Craig in the forthcoming Bond movie No Time To Die. No matter. It sold for £55,200 (about $76,370) more than double both the auction house’s top estimate and the Hagerty Price Guide’s highest ‘concours’ value for the model. Even cars that look like Bond cars tend to be touched by the franchise’s gold finger (if you excuse the pun).
OK, the Bond connection is great fun and the value it achieved is impressive, but it’s actually the vehicle itself that resonated with me. The Series III Land Rover has always been a bit unloved: People love the earlier ‘Series’ Land Rovers and later Defenders are now really hot property, but the Series III models tended to fall between the gaps. Sure, other ‘Bond Edition’ Series III Land Rovers are for sale for much less than this one went for, but this is a really special vehicle: stunning in Marine Blue with wide arches, bonnet-mounted spare wheel and with seating for seven, the car is a very cool-looking and practical classic. Plus, if it was purchased by a British buyer then in a few months it will be 40 years old and eligible for free historic road tax. Could I see myself in it? Absolutely. Even without the tuxedo.
John Mayhead is publisher of the U.K. Hagerty Price Guide.