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Texas firm offers discreet bulletproof protection in family cars fit for James Bond

Frank Connor

Virtually indistinguishable from normal vehicles, Texas Armoring Corporation has been building cars fit for the likes of James Bond since the 1970s.

The San Antonio, Texas-based firm manufactures armored passenger vehicles, limousines, cash transportation vehicles and tactical vehicles for military or law enforcement. Clients around the world include business executives, doctors, lawyers and investors, but they also see an opportunity for less-expensive family packages.

FOX Business' Grady Trimble visited a gun range where one of the company’s armored Cadillac Escalades was put to the test. An employee fired three rounds from an AK-47 into the car’s passenger window. While from the outside, the window appeared to be shattered, the glass on the inside felt smooth and unaffected, according to Trimble.

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The Escalade used in the test costs roughly $85,000 to fit with armor, Trimble said, but they've also shielded smaller cars such as the Toyota Camry, which costs about $40,000. The buyer brings in the car he wants armored and from there the company strips it down, then adds ballistic steel and bulletproof glass, he explained.

“Our clients don’t want everybody knowing that they’re traveling in an armored vehicle, so it’s supposed to look unarmored,” Texas Armoring Corporation CEO Trent Kimball said.

In addition to keeping clients safe from small arms fire, cars modified by the Texas firm can be fitted with a night vision system, flashing front strobes, a DVR security camera system and dual ram bumpers. The company's "Nigeria Package" offers "James Bond type accessories" including electric shocking door handles, a smoke screen system and a road tack dispensing system.

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A lot of the cars manufactured by Kimball’s firm are shipped to clients overseas, however, it does have wealthy customers in the U.S. who are in need of the bulletproof protection, he said.

While not being able to identify Texas Armoring Corporation’s clients, Trimble suggested that they are “very high profile.”

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