Dunham Coach - 1970s - Boontown, New Jersey


Dunham Coach, Boontown, NJ (USA)  I love a good controversy; here's one that will keep enthusiasts on the edge of their seat.  It relates to the Pimpmobile that was featured in the classic James Bond movie, Live or Let Die, starring Roger Moore [I'm a Sean Connery fan myself!]. Since I don't have access to the "real facts", I have to place my trust in those who claim to have them. In this case we have three enthusiasts each with his own opinion. I will not take sides; I shall give each of them the opportunity to air their views and then leave it up to Database users to decide who they think has is closest to the truth.

1.  Rick Anderson from Boston, MA, was first to supply information about the Bond car. He wrote: I have found your site fascinating, fun and I marvel at the work that's been put into it! I do, however, have some corrections to inject, if I may. In the Movie section Live or Let Die, the white pimpmobile  isn't a chopped or modified El Dorado. It's actually a Corvette with a fiberglass molding of an El Dorado attached. The builder is Les Dunham of Dunham Coach 234 Division St., Boonton, N.J. (973-299-1900). The Corvorado and the other exotic cars in the film were supplied by him (including the Fleetwood currently [2003] owned by a gentleman in Texas). The reason I know these facts is that my uncle still owns a '67 Eldorado customized by Dunham. Les owned also a newer edition Corvorado. The car in the Superfly movie was also a Dunham work and the original owner, "KC", is featured in the film wearing a red hat in a bar scene. He too, is from here in Boston.  The car was later repainted to it's original color (white) after the movie was finished. Dispelling the rumor of it's existing anywhere else in the world, the good word on the street is that it was destroyed in Delaware, years ago. Dunham has supplied cars for several movies including Superman, Fort Apache, The Bronx (with Paul Newman) and others. Finally, in your Dream Cars section, the Black Eldorado pictured in the junkyard  [below] says Dunham Coach, NOT  El Deora, on the outside rear-view mirror]. BTW, the term El Caballero is the title we, on the East Coast, use for customized Eldorados; we use also De ["Del" ?] Caballero for the De Villes and Fleetwoods.   It's obvious a lot of effort has gone into creating this database. And to that, I have supplied you with the correct information and sources to further verify it [Signed: Rick Anderson / On-Air personality, WILD-AM 90, Warren St., Boston, MA 02119]. Mr. Anderson supplied kindly these front and rear images of a genuine customized Eldorado (NOT a Corvorado); this is NOT the Bond movie car:

2.  In September 2003, in the CLC forum, a Canadian enthusiast from Ontario (John Giles) contended that Mr. Anderson's claims were inaccurate. Mr. Giles claims to have THE movie Cadillac, on which Sir Roger Moore is said to have signed the dash "Congratulations Dunham Coach, well done, respectfully, Roger Moore". It is a rare, 2-door, 3-window custom coach coupe with a split rear window. He wants to dispel the rumor that the car, featured in the Bond movie, Live or Let Die, is a Corvette with a fiberglass Eldorado body. Mr. Giles indicated that his car had been registered previously to the Oh Cult Voodoo shop and sat in the garage beside the shop with the license tag 347 NDG [the movie still supplied by viewer #3, below,  shows a Corvorado with that license tag]. He said it was a 1969 Eldorado customized by Dunham for the movie at a cost of some $30,000. The VIN is H9289308, which makes it a 1969 Eldorado, NOT a Corvorado. The original owner of Mr. Giles' car was Floyd Arnold Gogo; he was the first registered owner in Canada. Mr. Giles and his father acquired the car from the second owner who had it stored for many years in a barn, in Ontario, Canada. He says the Bond Pimpmobile was NOT destroyed in Delaware, as Mr. Anderson seems to believe, but is currently (2003) located in Canada. More recently, Mr. Giles' offered his car for sale on this Internet auction site, with a long, confusing description: 


Update: The following message was received from Mr. Giles on March 8, 2004. It is somewhat confusing and I give it to you in extenso although only the last sentence (which I have highlighted) is relevant to the debate. It seems that Mr. Giles' car was just one of a number of GM cars modified by Dunham Coach for the movies. The way I read it is that Mr. Giles is now retracting his statement that his '69 Eldorado car was the "Pimpmobile" used in the Bond movie.  Here is the message [my additions/comments are in square brackets]: 1969 General Motors Institute marks its 50th anniversary THIS HANDCRAFTED LUXURY MOTOR CAR A Unique Rare Conversion Custom Built 2 door 3 window Soft Top EL Dorado Coup.  Modified {FROM NEW} IN NEW YORK [New Jersey?] 4 A Bond Movie. AUTOGRAFED by Actor [Roger Moore] This was 1st time that the Chevrolet Motor Division provided vehicles in a Bond film L.A.L.D. This is The Orignal One From G.M. @@ made @@ The Custom Builder still HAS his COPY of a fiberglass Replica 1ONLY Corvorado NOW RED and WHITE- customized even more HE PUT IN Barrett-JacksoN auction nov 2003 in florida PIC IN LINK . BOTH These CARS had Modifications added 4 SAID movie back then . MILEs Orginal on COMPLETE CAR NEVER WINTER DRIVEN . Eldorado body for 1969 was transferred from the Fleetwood plant in Detroit to the Fisher Body plant in Euclid Ohio.The Proto Type pimpmobile for the Superflys BONUS Adding A VIRGIN Never Been Dicked With A 1998 4 Wheel Drive New Holland Compact Tractor 3 cyl disel with frontend loader-center mower-scaper blade and rear bush hog in deal 2 MY FATHER MAY U REST IN PEACE MURDERD JAN 2004 The Dbate this car was built 2 use in movie the C Builder of this steel car and the fiberglass Replica copy used the number 2 car in the movie shots GO 2 ABOVE WEBSITE 4 MORE changing INFO ON CAR AND SOME B.S. FROM OTHERS claims of unknown demise REASONE THERE CAN ONLY BE 1 RIGHT MR C BUILDER hoped crusher got this number 1. This car was from movie set i retract statement not in movie shots.

3.  In February 2004, I got this additional information from an enthusiast who has got close ties to Les Dunham and who has asked to remain anonymous. He wrote:  I have some information regarding Dunham Coach and the Cadillac Corvorado used in the movie Live and Let Die that should cause you to remove the last addendum to your Les Dunham description, which is incorrect [sorry, but I can't do that; I must first give everyone a fair hearing].  First, Mr. Rick Anderson of Boston is absolutely correct in all of his assertions about the building of the car in question, though I cannot yet confirm its demise. The white Dunham Corvorado [Corvette + Eldorado]  utilized in the film Live and Let Die was crafted from a Corvette with 1972 Eldorado body panels;   the entire passenger compartment, doors, side glass, roof, etc., from the cowl back, are Corvette.  The car had 2 doors, 2 seats, a red interior and a T-Top. In the movie the vehicle is driven by Earl Jolly Brown ("Whisper") not Cadillac.  No other white Eldorado or Corvorado was used in the movie. I have studied in detail all the material and assertions from Mr. Giles, and his car is NOT a Corvorado -- it is a custom padded-roof Eldorado.  It was NOT used in the movie. Whether or not Roger Moore actually signed the dash on the Giles car is open to debate [with all due respect, I doubt that Mr. Moore could tell the difference between a Cadillac and a Corvette disguised as a Cadillac].  As a further means of disproving Mr. Giles’ specious claims, I'm attaching a picture of 1973 Corvorado #1Z37J3S422365; that one would have been built within 6 cars of the Live and Let Die Corvorado. Since your site is the absolute authority in Cadillacs generally [we try our best and appreciate any input we can get from such enthusiasts as you], I wanted to set the record straight and ensure that the information remains of unquestioned quality. I respect your wish to allow all users of the Database to freely express their opinion; however, I strongly oppose Mr. Giles' claims [I can only assume that his purpose is to boost artificially the value of his car, contending that it played a role in a James Bond movie]. So far as I can see, yours is the authoritative site on Cadillac; I hope you will continue to try to publish only the "facts" [signed:   "Relan"].

Late extra: This statement from Les Dunham himself was passed on to me by Cadillac enthusiast Robert Nussbaum: Yann, I just hung up the phone with Les Dunham.  Here’s the deal.  He retained ownership of the Live and Let Die car for several years after the movie. It was indeed a Dunham Coach Corvorado [Corvette with Eldorado body panels].  It was also in the movie Superfly.  The car was modified several times for different movies.   Subsequently, Les sold the car to a friend in New Jersey who still retains ownership of the vehicle ( I, myself have seen this car).  Les says, the distinguishing factor of this Corvorado compared to others he’d built is that, unlike the others, this particular vehicle had an entire steel front end and steel skirts; only the hood was fiberglass.  As for the Roger Moore signature…..Les says the only thing Roger Moore signed was a 20 dollar bill that belonged to a friend of his and subsequently it was stolen from his friends residence.  Hope this helps.  Maybe you are tired of all this but……I got it from Les himself.

The photos below are NOT of the Bond car either, but a similar car converted also by Les Dunham; this car has been saved from the crusher by an enthusiast from Cincinnati, OH, who has begun the massive task of bringing the car back to its original splendor. I have asked him to keep us appraised of progress.


For more information please read:

Beverly Rae Kimes - The Classic Car

Beverly Rae Kimes - The Classic Era

Beverly Rae Kimes - Packard: A History of the Motorcar and Company

Beverly Rae Kimes & Henry Austin Clark Jr. - Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942

Richard Burns Carson - The Olympian Cars

Raymond A. Katzell - The Splendid Stutz

Marc Ralston - Pierce Arrow

Brooks T. Brierley - There Is No Mistaking a Pierce Arrow

Brooks T. Brierley - Auburn, Reo, Franklin and Pierce-Arrow Versus Cadillac, Chrysler, Lincoln and Packard

Brooks T. Brierley - Magic Motors 1930

Nick Georgano - The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile: Coachbuilding

John Gunnell - Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1946-1975

James M. Flammang & Ron Kowalke - Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1976-1999

Daniel D. Hutchins - Wheels Across America: Carriage Art & Craftsmanship

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Dictionary of World Coachbuilders and Car Stylists

Michael Lamm and Dave Holls - A Century of Automotive Style: 100 Years of American Car Design

Thomas E. Bonsall - The Lincoln Motorcar: Sixty Years of Excellence

Fred Roe - Duesenberg: The Pursuit of Perfection

Arthur W. Soutter - The American Rolls-Royce

John Webb De Campi - Rolls-Royce in America

Hugo Pfau - The Custom Body Era

Hugo Pfau - The Coachbult Packard

Griffith Borgeson - Cord: His Empire His Motor Cars

Don Butler - Auburn Cord Duesenberg

George H. Dammann - 90 Years of Ford

George H. Dammann & James K. Wagner - The Cars of Lincoln-Mercury

Thomas A. MacPherson - The Dodge Story

F. Donald Butler - Plymouth-Desoto Story

Fred Crismon - International Trucks

George H. Dammann - Seventy Years of Chrysler

Walter M.P. McCall - 80 Years of Cadillac LaSalle

Maurice D. Hendry - Cadillac, Standard of the World: The complete seventy-year history

George H. Dammann & James A. Wren - Packard

Dennis Casteele - The Cars of Oldsmobile

Terry B. Dunham & Lawrence R. Gustin - Buick: A Complete History

George H. Dammann - Seventy Years of Buick

George H. Dammann - 75 Years of Chevrolet

John Gunnell - Seventy-Five Years of Pontiac-Oakland


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