Website last updated: 4-10-2017

31 August-3 September 2017
Auction Sale Of The 1974 Amc Hornet Hatchback James Bond Stunt

By: FSWL team
Published:
2017-08-02
Amc hornet astro spiral the man with the golden g
The stunt car used in the 1974 James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun (co-starring Swedish actresses Britt Ekland and Maud Adams) equipped with center steering, upgraded suspension and roll cage, specially balanced for “Astro-Spiral” jumps in operable and 'as-jumped' condition is to be offered (without reserve!) at Auctions America sale on August 31-September 3.

NOTE: There's also going to be a lot of Bond related Memorabilia in the sale. A website with the Bond stuff will be listed soon so watch this space.


Offered from the Jay Milligan collection, This 1974 AMC Hornet Hatchback is the actual stunt car used in The Man with the Golden Gun. The car is operable and remains in as-jumped condition, having suffered no damage during the stunt’s one-take execution. The engine and chassis numbers of this car match those on the shipping invoice created when the car was sent from the filming location in Thailand back to Jay Milligan’s JM Productions in New York.

AMC Hornet Astro Spiral from The Man with the Golden Gun
When the phrase “Bond Car” is used, it typically brings to mind a gleaming silver Aston Martin DB5 bristling with gadgets, machine guns, and mysterious red buttons that may or may not eject your passenger. To those of a different generation, it might suggest a white Lotus Esprit that Q Branch had converted into a submarine, or perhaps a silver BMW Z8 convertible. For some, though, there is no more noteworthy “Bond Car” than this, the 1974 AMC Hornet X “Astro-Spiral” stunt car from The Man with the Golden Gun (1974).

AMC Hornet Astro Spiral from The Man with the Golden Gun
The famous stunt saw James Bond, played by Roger Moore, drive the Hornet over the remains of a collapsed bridge, corkscrewing over a river to continue his pursuit of the villains. In today’s CGI world this seems a minor undertaking; in 1974 it was awe-inspiring. The corkscrew stunt itself was conceived by famed racing and stunt driver Jay Milligan and was performed by Mr. Milligan publicly as early as 1972. Following his successful execution of the trick at Houston’s Astrodome, Milligan contacted the producers of the Bond series and offered it to them for the next installment of the franchise. The producers secured the right to use the trick and ultimately filed a patent on it to ensure that no one else could perform it on film.

AMC Hornet Astro Spiral from The Man with the Golden Gun
AMC Hornet Astro Spiral from The Man with the Golden Gun
Performing the trick in a controlled setting is one thing; to safely execute the stunt on location in Thailand under the limitations of a movie set is quite another. To produce a film-worthy stunt while ensuring the safety of the driver and film crew, extensive computer modeling was in order. At the time the science of automotive computer modeling was still in its infancy and not yet able to produce useful results for the film. It took the groundbreaking work of Calspan Corporation and engineer Raymond R. McHenry to create the system that ultimately enabled the trick to be successful for the film. Following extensive research, engineering, and programming, the trick was exhaustively planned before the first ramp was built. So successful was this planning that the car, bravely piloted by stunt driver Loren “Bumps” Willard, landed exactly where the simulation predicted after hitting the ramp at the suggested speed of 40 mph. Reportedly the trick only required one take, an amazing testament to both the skill of the programmers and that of “Bumps” Willard.

AMC Hornet Astro Spiral from The Man with the Golden Gun
Due to the pioneering systems created by Calspan and Mr. McHenry, the Hornet survived the jump without incident. In a further indication of the skill of the programmers, the basic technology they created for the stunt still influences computer simulations including today’s most popular racing video games.

The sale represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to own a truly significant piece of automotive, technological and film history.

Please note this vehicle is being sold on bill of sale only.

Media articles about the sale of this unique and very special car:
>Fox News
>Hemmings Daily

All photos above: Copyright © 2017 Auctions America. All rights reserved.

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