The late Sean Connery might have been the best-known actor to star on the big screen in the role of Bond, James Bond, but there were others, including Australian-born George Lazenby, who portrayed 007 in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in 1969.
The movie also starred Diana Rigg as Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo and featured — no surprise — an icy, dicey high-speed car chase with the Contessa’s Mercury Cougar being pursued by the forces of evil.
That Cougar XR7 convertible, complete with Kneissl skis mounted on its trunk, will be offered for bidding December 16 when Bonhams stages its annual Bond Street Sale in London. The auction house expects the car, being offered at auction for the first time, to sell for £100,000 to £150,000 ($133,000 to $200,000).
Bonhams says the car has undergone a complete restoration and is one of three XR7 convertibles used by Eon Productions in the filming of the movie.
“Early research suggests that this example was used in the ‘barn scene’ when James Bond, played by George Lazenby in his only outing as 007, proposed to Tracy as they sheltered in the car from a blizzard,” Bonhams said in its news release.
The auction house adds that the car was a special order delivered to the UK in February 1969. It is one of only 127 XR7 convertibles for the 1969 model year powered by a 428cid Cobra Jet V8 engine.
“However,” Bonhams notes, “the Cougar was in a far from red carpet condition when it was purchased by the vendor, initially for its engine, from an advertisement in the classified advertising magazine ‘Exchange and Mart’ in the late 1980s.
“Upon discovering the car’s illustrious past, he embarked on a ‘nut and bolt’ restoration, bringing the Cougar up to concours standard over a 30-year period.”
Tim Schofield, head of Bonhams’ UK motor cars department, added, “This unique Cougar… is not only an important piece of film history but also a stunning example of a 1960s muscle car.
“We are sure it will leave the saleroom stirred if not shaken.”