There is plenty of destruction in “Iron Man 2” — buildings, cars, racetracks — but perhaps the cruelest thing destroyed in the movie was a Rolls-Royce Phantom. Unlike the replica race cars and track destroyed in the movie, the Rolls-Royce Phantom was real, and not the only one destroyed during the filming of “Iron Man 2.”
Both Rolls-Royce and John Armstrong, who worked on “Iron Man 2’s” stunts and special effects, confirmed two nearly identical Rolls-Royce Phantoms were destroyed during the filming. Incredibly, the more impressive part of that is the “nearly identical Rolls-Royce Phantoms.” Rolls-Royce hand builds all of its cars and says it has likely never built two identical cars before, but did for “Iron Man 2.”
“Yes, we did make two Phantoms for the film, though, I am not sure if we can say 100-percent we have never built two identical cars before,” Karen Vondermülen of Rolls-Royce North America told The New York Times in an email. Eagle eyed movie goers will notice however, that one of the Phantoms features a rear-seat coolbox and the other does not.
In order to destroy the car for the movie, they were actually built and destroyed twice. The cars came fully assembled from the factory, and were then cut up how the movie wanted. The body panels and roof were sheared off and then reattached using pyrotechnic wire and glue. To make the cars look like truly assembled Rollers, the panels were smoothed out using Bondo and Mylar. The full effect of the cars being destroyed was then captured while the cameras were rolling.
The sequence of the Rolls-Royce being destroyed is meant to take place at the historic Monaco Grand Prix circuit, and interestingly, the filmmakers had permission to destroy the car on site. Despite permission from the government of Monaco, Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone overruled the decision and did not allow the car to be destroyed on site. One Rolls-Royce was still flown to the actual Monaco Grand Prix and filmed traversing the real circuit. The actual destroying took place at a partial re-creation of the circuit in Southern California.
Source: New York Times Wheels Blog