James Bond Barrel Rolling AMC Hornet Heads To Auction

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Amazingly, the daring stunt was done in just one take.

The upcoming sale of a 1974 AC Hornet wouldn’t normally attract a lot of attention – but this one performed one of the greatest movie stunts of all time. Remember when the Jaguar E-Pace made a dramatic debut with a record-breaking barrel roll a few weeks ago? That daring stunt was inspired by the famous scene in The Man with The Golden Gun, in which James Bond performed a perfect barrel roll over a river in a stolen AMC Hornet. Now the actual car that did the stunt is heading to auction.

To execute the stunt safely, the AMC Hornet had to be heavily modified. The engine was moved further behind the front axle to improve the weight distribution, and the driver also sat in the center. A rollcage was also fitted. Remarkably, the stunt was done in just one take by driver Jay Milligan - the only damage the car sustained was a cracked windshield.

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We just wish that jarring slide whistle sound wasn’t added in post-production for comic effect. The car is being sold at auction by Milligan’s son, who describes it being in “as-jumped condition.” According to Hemmings, the scene is also notable for being the first computer-aided movie stunt. Engineer Raymond McHenry originally created a computer program that simulated car accidents to improve road safety. After using the software to help plan the barrel roll, which Milligan performed for the first time publicly in 1972, he sold the rights of the software to the producers of James Bond to help plan the ambitious stunt. Two Hornets were modified for the film.

The one that did the barrel roll in the film went into Milligan’s private collection where it's remained ever since, while the other was used to continue performing the stunt at public events. Auctions America estimates that the barrel rolling AMC Hornet will sell for between $250,000 and $350,000 when it goes under the hammer at the Auburn Fall auction in Auburn, Indiana, from August 31 to September 3.

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