Spectre Defender: Showpiece of the Week


The Land Rover Defender is famous for many things. Some of them would be familiar to Maurice Wilks, and he'd likely be chuffed at just how long-lived and popular his idea of a utility vehicle for farmers has proven to be. Others possibly less so. Quite what he'd make of the prices now paid for the final iterations is anyone's guess. It's possible to pay up to £80k for a well-equipped, very low mileage model. And that's just in standard format.

If you want a one-off Twisted model, you can add around £20k - for rather lovely T80-spec 130, in this case - or even double it if you'd prefer to have an LS3 6.2-litre V8 doing all the donkey work. Predictably though, the really silly Showpiece-sized sums are saved for the ultra-rare and highly sought after 70th Anniversary cars built (or converted, at least) by Land Rover to run a naturally-aspirated version of JLR's always-invigorating 5.0-litre V8.


We drove the car at its launch and can testify to its enormous, anachronistic appeal. But the fact remains that it was tremendously expensive back then at £150,000 - and now they make a nearly-new Porsche 911 GT3 Touring look cheap. There are two available on PH, both 90s, for £215,000 and £225,000.

Today's biscuit though goes to something even less common. In 2015, Eon Productions approached Land Rover about supplying it with Defender 110s for the Spectre movie. It ended up with 10 (because Hollywood) but decided that the model's humble exterior needed some extensive reworking for the job. This task was apparently shared between the manufacturer's newly created SVO department and long-time Land Rover tuner, Bowler.

Certainly the result befits the latter. The Spectre Defender - also known as "Bigfoot" - comes with enormous 37-inch all-terrain tyres, which are said to have necessitated an independent steering shock absorber to prevent the rack from breaking its mounts under the extra load. Unsurprisingly the arches have expanded with wheels, as has the chassis, where you get a suspension based on Bowler's racing configuration, including long-travel rally-spec springs and dampers, along with Rose joints and bespoke turrets.


Word at the time suggested that all this robust cushioning actually made Bigfoot really rather pleasant to drive - not least because the old Ford Duratorq motor has also been given a thorough Bowler-style going over. You'll have to make do with this one being left-hand drive, of course - not to mention the imposition of front race seats and harnesses - but you also get a winch, roll cage and fire extinguisher system for your money.

Oh, yes - money. Well, you'll need a lot of it. Very nearly £330,000 in fact. Which is a tiny bit hard to justify when you could get this much quicker (and certainly no less tough) Bowler Bulldog and still have the change left over to buy the cheaper of the two Anniversary V8s for getting to and from the shops. But they haven't been in a Bond film. Go big or go home, James. Said Moneypenny never.

See the full ad here

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (21) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Turbobanana 20 May 2019

    Something attempting to be a replica of this used to park outside where I work. It had to arrive early in order to bag one of the spaces on the end, as it needed to stick 2 wheels onto the pavement to fit in the space.

  • ChocolateFrog 20 May 2019

    Is this Harry Metcalfs defender?

  • RacerMike 20 May 2019

    ChocolateFrog said:
    Is this Harry Metcalfs defender?
    The registration on his is OO07 SVX, and that also seems to still be registered (but with an expired MOT). I suspect it's a different one.

  • Water Fairy 20 May 2019

    Just read the add and it made me cringe. Talk about a sales pitch! So if I read right it still has the same basic diesel engine with a few tweaks? Chuck in a few other gadets and name drop a couple of JB films and it's £330K.

    I'm all for choice, rarity and interesting one offs but come on..............

  • bloomen 20 May 2019

    So the ad tells me it has... big tyres. And was Bondy.

    Can they tell us where the other £300,000+ went into it?

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