We love iconic sports cars, particularly those from the 1960s.
Ferrari recently restored the 1967 275 GTB/4 that had been owned by iconic actor Steve McQueen. Ferrari will restore old models for a price, and the car’s current owner paid over $200,000 for the restoration.
The most iconic James Bond car, the Aston Martin DB5, first appeared back in 1964 in “Goldfinger.” In his look back at the film, Bob Westal discussed the car and all the gadgets.
No small part of the success of “Goldfinger” was the fact that it was the first film to really bring the gadgetry front and center. In this case, all those gadgets were mostly housed in one place — the world’s coolest automobile. So it was that Bond’s old Bentley was replaced with the more up to date Aston Martin DB5, as customized by production designer Ken Adam and efx genius John Stears.
An early example of the practice we now know as “product placement,” the Aston Martin company supplied a single car (another one was later purchased). As legend would have it, the auto was originally only to have a smoke screen device, but crew members began suggesting so many other nifty devices that James Bond becomes visibly irritated as Q informs him that describing them all won’t take more than an hour.
And what devices they were. Director Guy Hamilton had been plagued by parking tickets, so he was attracted to the revolving license plates that had been mentioned in the novel. Hamilton’s stepson suggested the auto-ejector seat that caused Bond to exclaim, “You’re joking!” There was also the bullet-proof windshields, the oil slick release mechanisms, and, of course, the left and right front-wing machine guns. Not technically built into the car as a practical effect, but created largely through the magic of editor Peter Hunt, the car also came equipped with a wheel-based tire-destroying device. That idea was a more or less direct lift from the killer chariots featured in the hit 1959 biblical epic, “Ben-Hur.”
The car was, of course, a huge hit with audiences and played no small part in the enormous commercial success of the James Bond series throughout the 1960s. Corgi’s model of the Q branch Aston Martin DB5 became the most successful toy of 1964 and one of the most iconic merchandizing opportunities of all time. (It was also maybe the first toy to be aimed at children from a movie containing material thought inappropriate for kids.) The Corgi DB5 was a key part of a worldwide merchandising bonanza that would prefigure films like 1977′s “Star Wars,” financed largely on the back of its built-in merchandising possibilities. David Worrell’s out-of-print 1993 book about the DB5 was aptly entitled The Most Famous Car in the World.
Business Insider recently did a post about the history of the Aston Martin DB5 in the Bond films, explaining how it started and then how it’s appeared in other Bond films. “Skyfall” is out in the US next week, and the Daniel Craig version of 007 enjoys the same vehicle in the latest film. Here’s a photo, and you can compare it to the Sean Connery photo above.
What elevates a car from a mere appliance is the connection the owner makes with it. A faithful companion, partner in crime, and object of desire, cars become part of the lives we lead, and the stories we leave behind.
Throughout 100 years, there are plenty of stories involving Chevy’s cars and their owners. Chevy’s online video series “Road We’re On” showcases theses personal stories people have had with their cars, both past and present. Often times these experiences not only involve a single person either, but whole communities.
The first of eight episodes is titled “Welcome to Bridgeview. ” This first series focuses on the effect Chevy has in the small town of Bridgeview, Pennsylvania. Bridgeview is a town seemingly ripped out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Everybody knows each other, and their stories often intersect with one another as well. It is this effect of Chevy’s products on both individual people and communities that has woven Chevy into the very fabric of America.
The episodes can be viewed individually on Youtube and on Chevy’s site rodewereon.
Check out the movie trailer above for “The Rum Diaries,” one of the new film releases for the fall, and you’ll see Johnny Depp driving an amazing red C1 Corvette with the beautiful Amber Heard in the passenger seat. What a combination – a red corvette and a stunning blonde!
This should be a must-see if you’re a fan of Johnny Depp movies. The guy can definitely act. Amber Heard is also a rising star despite the cancellation of her TV show. She has an incredible look and she look natural in the period film.
The film is loosely based on a story by Hunter S. Thompson, and that alone should make it one of the best new movies of the year. Thompson has a knack for off-the-wall stories, and Depp is able to capture Thompson’s alternate reality. It’s the kind of movie that begs to be seen on the big screen at places like the Leicester Square cinema.
We noticed this amazing 1968 Dodge Charger RT at the Councours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach this year. This car is a classic and is definitely on our wish list.
Dodge has come a long way in their attempt to recapture some of the magic from cars like this one. While the new Charger is controversial with the four doors, it still looks like a beast and the new design has been very popular. Meanwhile, the new Challenger really invokes the styles from the past with its retro design. Of course if you buy the newer versions you won’t have to spend a lot of time restoring older models, though for many people that’s the whole point. That said, keep in mind the other expenses like pretty high car insurance rates due to modified car insurance for cars that you’ve changed up. That said, whether old or new, badass cars like the Challenger will likely require performance car insurance.
Just looking at the photo above, for many people the additional expenses are worth it. There’s something about old classics like this one that you can’t replicate. Sometimes older is better.
It’s been an up and down week for car enthusiasts. On the one hand, a new Porsche 911 and the upcoming debuts of the Frankfurt Auto Show looks to carry fun cars into the future. On the other hand, the death of the RX-8 (and possibly the rotary engine itself) and the rise of a slightly warmed over Camry, point to the fact that it is still a very harsh market for enthusiast cars to survive in.
However, for your afternoon break, enjoy “Depth of Speed’s” JDM Legends Restored. This video shows us that there will always be a place for enthusiast cars in the marketplace because of the emotional bonds people create with them. You won’t see videos like this expounding a person’s love of their Toyota Camry no matter how many roll off the showroom floors.