Remember that frosty chase scene in Spectre? The one set high in the Austrian Alps, where Bond escapes the Hoffler Clinic in pursuit of a captured Madeleine Swann? Of course you do. After all, how often do crashed propeller planes slide down mountainsides — taking out trees, henchmen and log stores as they go?
If you’re a real fan, you can probably even tell us which cars 007 was chasing. There was a 2015 Range Rover Sport SVR — slick, sophisticated and almost fast enough to better Bond’s wing-less Britten-Norman airplane. But there was also a handful of 2011 Land Rover Defenders — tooled-up, tricked-out and roaring with villainous potential.
These Defenders — the old breed, not the newfangled futuristic design — were supplied to Sony Pictures by Land Rover themselves. The Bond producers appointed the British carmaker’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division to spec out regular Crew-Cab 110s for the snowy chase. The SVO team then collaborated with Bowler Manufacturing on the project — and did a sterling job.
Huge 37-inch Maxxis Trepador tyres were bolted directly onto Beadlock alloy wheels. There were rose joins and Bilsten rally dampers built to race specification, a full roll cage and Recaro Sports Seats. The engines were also tuned; an extra 60 horsepower stuffed under those rope-trimmed bonnets. But, unfortunately, only 10 were ever made — and most of them fell foul at the hands of Bond.
Thankfully, Bowler Manufacturing weren’t finished with the Spectre Defenders. And, two years ago, director of the Derbyshire-based brand Richard Hayward commissioned a one-off reproduction of the Defender SVX “Spectre” as a tribute to the film.
Using a 2010 Defender 2.4 TDCi as a donor vehicle, Bowler Manufacturing (which builds off-road racing vehicles based on Land Rover and Range Rover chassis) created the car you see here. Many of the engineers who worked on the original Spectre project also lent their expertise to this continuation. And, this year, it’s going up for auction — without reserve — through RM Sotheby’s.
So, if you’re a 007 enthusiast or collector, what would you be getting for your money? Based around a correct-type 2010 Defender 110 Crew Cab, this is the most faithful reproduction of the original Spectre design you’ll ever lay your hands on.
The car has been given a Stage 2 engine upgrade, with improved ECU, intercooler and exhaust — as well as being fitted with Bowler’s very own Fast Road Suspension kit. Widened wheel arches and those gigantic tyres will also give you more than enough ground clearance in the winter — if you’re hoping to hunt down some MI6 men yourself.
It also looks the part. Painted in an appropriately sinister black (continued inside with Santorini black coachwork), this Defender SVX “Spectre” also features film-accurate accessories including a Warn Zeon-10S winch, Safety Devices external rollcage and roof rack, LED lighting, rear deck checker plating and an original set of SVX Recaro seats.
Unlike the film, the car is right-hand drive; a more practical prospect for potential British buyers. And, also unlike many of the cars created for Spectre, it’s also road-registered and ready to go.
So, if you’re looking to dip your toe in the the murky world of Bond villainy — or if you just like the look of this rugged, rough and ready Defender — it may be the ideal off-roader for you. Also, with a new Bond film just around the corner, there’s never been a better time to buy.
2010 Land Rover Defender SVX "Spectre"
Speaking of No Time To Die, here are all the cars Bond will drive (and wreck) in the latest film…
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