Dean Jeffries' Moon Buggy from Diamonds are Forever

One of the strangest vehicles to come out of the movie series is the Moonbuggy from "Diamonds Are Forever", and the lunar contraption has an even stranger history.

When Sean Connery wrapped up his official run of films in 1971 with "Diamonds Are Forever", 007 found himself in Willard Whyte's Techtronic labs in the Nevada desert - and what better escape vehicle than an experimental moon buggy?

Chased by huge-tired trikes, the Moonbuggy seemed well suited to the Nevada terrain, although it did suffer one of the best known bloopers in Bond-lore. During the filming of the chase, the buggy would often lose its wheels due to its delicate suspension setup, and in one of the shots in the movie they can be clearly seen rolling towards the camera. The buggy was based on a concept sketch by production designer Ken Adam, and was designed and built by Dean Jeffries' automotive workshop in California.
Thirty-three years since the buggy made its big screen debut, the restored vehicle has finally found a permanent home - and ironically it's returning to where it once resided.

The Las Vegas location of Planet Hollywood has purchased the Moonbuggy at Christie's recent auction for £23,000 (approximately $44,000 USD). The vehicle had been residing there for many years as part of a lease
deal with the British-based James Bond International Fan Club.

The Club removed the vehicle a few years ago and placed it for auction in England on several occasions in the past. The best known event was at Planet Hollywood London on Tuesday 31st July 31 2001 where auctioneers Fleetwood Owen had it under the hammer with a "conservative" estimate that it would be sold for at least £150,000 (approximately $210,000 USD in 2001), but nobody came up with a bid to beat the high reserve price.

The Moonbuggy had failed to sell at previous auctions and recently was offered unsuccessfully on Ebay. The Club's estimated value of the Moonbuggy had doubtlessly given potential buyers sticker-shock with reserves sometimes reportedly falling near the £90,000 mark.

The sale to Christie's on December 14th 2004 week represents a coup for the restaurant chain, as they were able to acquire the vehicle for a relatively low price and will be returning it to their Las Vegas location.

The James Bond International Fan Club had discovered the remains of the rotting and rusting Moonbuggy many years ago in a farmers field in Kent in the early 1990s and undertook a substantial restoration of the vehicle in 1993. The refurbished vehicle was unveiled at a Fan Club convention at Pinewood Studios on December 12th 1993 before embarking on its journey to Las Vegas.