Back in the day, Jaguar built five hybrid C-X75 prototypes, only to cancel former design boss Ian Callum’s dream supercar project soon afterwards. Then came the Bond-movie production team searching for a unique villain vehicle, and Jaguar was more than happy to pay for some sweet product placement. Aston Martin’s British competitor probably figured that its stillborn halo car would end up looking better on screen than Bond’s DB10.
For the five-week shoot in Rome, Williams Advanced Engineering resprayed the fourth hybrid prototype for the beauty shots and then set to build four stunt cars based around FIA-spec space frames, powered by a slightly detuned version of Jaguar’s 5.0-liter supercharged V-8. These four Spectre C-X75s also got upgraded with a full WRC-style suspension after Williams found that the stock shocks collapsed on impact during the early days of shooting Spectre’s riverbank scene.
Once their work trip to Rome was over, the stunt cars went back to Williams for a full rebuild.
The car in question here, the first of the Williams-built V-8 stunt cars, has been for sale since January. From the production team’s standpoint, this was “Car Two,” since they also had the re-painted, original prototype hybrid. “Car Two,” the first stunt-spec V-8 car, is the most refined of the four stunt cars, used for closeup shots and sporting tighter panel gaps. It was also used with a seat attached to its roof so stunt driver Wade Eastwood could control it from the outside while Dave Bautista focused on his acting.
Following the rebuild, “Car Two” (aka chassis no. 24001) was sent around the world to promote the movie premier and was even shipped to Mexico in late 2015 for an appearance at the Mexican Grand Prix. On a much smaller track an hour from Mexico City, Filipe Massa hooned it for a while in front of the cameras, and as it happens, once Martin Brundle was also finished with his part of the tire smoking, even I got to drive the thing.
Back then, this car didn’t have the fancy chassis plate it sports today, but its dash display already read “Spectre” during startup. As you would expect from a true engineers’ car, the Spectre C-X75 drives remarkably well, mostly thanks to its lightweight body, 492-horsepower supercharged V-8, and chassis setup designed completely by Formula 1 people. With no ABS or traction control in sight, it is the perfect track car Jaguar still couldn’t put into production.
Following the Spectre tour, in May 2016, chassis no. 24001 was sold to “a British collector who had served as a consultant to the manufacturer and therefore received personal consideration.” Since then, it has popped up at a number of British events. It’s also been for sale since January, and with its clutch recently replaced at Williams, the best V-8 C-X75 is now certainly ready for more action.
Your chance to grab it arrives at RM Sotheby’s Abu Dhabi sale on November 30, and this C-X75 really being everything an enthusiast can wish for. Beautiful, rare, raw, and probably as fun to drive as any stripped supercar. Just not on public roads, unfortunately.