Lucire: News


November 10, 2015

Aston Martin premières film on its Spectre James Bond car, the DB10, at Blenheim Palace event

Lucire staff/8.44

Max Earey

If you’re going to go to the trouble of creating a bespoke car that’s never going to be sold to the public, but will be seen by most only in a film, then you should find a way to show off that effort to your VIPs.
   Aston Martin did just that in the baroque setting of the Great Court at Blenheim Place for the première of its film, DB10: Built for Bond, on Sunday.
   Guests were given a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of James Bond’s latest car, which is currently appearing in Spectre, the 24th official film in the Eon Productions series about Ian Fleming’s fictional secret agent.
   Examples of the classic DB5, which made its Bond screen début in 1964 in Goldfinger, and the DB10 were on display, flanking the screen, complementing the 50 Aston Martins, old and new, that were present at the Great Court.
   The DB10 is said to preview the next generation of Aston Martins, with its predatory looks and drooping rear, giving the brand’s adherents something to look forward to. Aston Martin has a hefty new-model programme for the second half of the decade, and the DB10 serves as a showcase of its design ideas, while keeping interest healthy in the range, which has a few ageing models.
   The one-hour documentary, created by FIN London, was filmed over 18 months, with 120 hours of material shot in 4K. It features interviews with producer Michael G. Wilson, director Sam Mendes, actor Daniel Craig, special effects’ supervisor Chris Corbould, stunt coordinator Gary Powell and stunt driver Mark Higgins. The 10 cars were built in-house by Aston Martin in six months.
   The reception took place at the Great Hall in Blenheim Palace, and Higgins gave a Q&A, discussing his experience with the DB10s.
   Spectre débuted on October 26 and is the 12th James Bond film to feature the Aston Martin brand.

October 24, 2015

Samantha McClung crowned Miss Universe New Zealand 2015 at Skycity Theatre

Lucire staff/13.29

Alan Raga

Bhikhu Bhula

Alan Raga

Top The newly crowned Miss Universe New Zealand 2015 Samantha McClung. Centre Crowning moment: Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 Rachel Millns crowns her successor. Above Miss Universe New Zealand 2015 Samantha McClung is flanked by runner-up Hannah Henderson (left) and second runner-up Gabrielle Manaloto (right), in gowns by Golden Gowns.

Samantha McClung was crowned Miss Universe New Zealand 2015, before a packed crowd at the Skycity Theatre, and an international audience watching the live stream at
   McClung, 20, lives in Christchurch but spent many years of her childhood in the Marlborough Sounds. She is a qualified make-up artist who has worked in both Australia—McClung lived in Perth for 18 months—and New Zealand.
   McClung was overjoyed by the crowning but admitted it hadn’t fully sunk in.
   The title was decided by both an international judging panel and the voting public, with 50 per cent determined by each group.
   Special guest judges Ben Chan of Bench, one of the Philippines’ premier fashion labels, and MJ Lastimosa, Miss Universe Philippines 2014, flew in to Auckland to spend several days with the 20 finalists, in interviews and watching them perform live on stage. Both had the advantage of having met the finalists as part of their overseas retreat, which this year took place in the Philippines with the generous support of Bench, the Philippine Department of Tourism and the Tourism Promotions’ Board.
   They joined New Zealanders Megan Alatini, Steve Broad and Evana Patterson on the judging panel, whose scores were tallied alongside those of the voting public, who had been sending their votes since August. A sixth judge, Areena Deshpande, was unable to attend after giving birth last week.
   In addition to the crown, McClung drives away with the premier prize of a Honda Jazz RS Sport Limited, which is hers for the duration of her reign, as well as prizes from Bike Barn, New Face Laser and Cosmetic Clinic, Lipidol, Beau Joie champagne, and others.
   Presently McClung is spending the night at the Skycity Grand Hotel as part of her prize.
   She beat surf instructor Hannah Henderson, originally from the Bay of Plenty and now resident in Wellington, and mental-health nurse Gabrielle Manaloto from Auckland, who came second and third.
   McClung will now go on to represent New Zealand at Miss Universe in the United States later this year.

October 10, 2015

Classic and Sports Car—the London Show to celebrate Aston Martin with seven landmark models

Lucire staff/10.28

Aston Martin might not have the freshest range out there as it readies its next generation of supercars, but its marketing machine is at the top of its game this quarter, with a celebration at Classic & Sports Car—the London Show from October 30 to November 1 at Alexandra Palace—days after its bespoke DB10 gets its screen début in the 24th EON James Bond feature, Spectre.
   The show will feature the oldest surviving Aston Martin, the 1921 A3, joined by the DB Mk III, DB5, V8, DB7, V12 Vanquish and DB9 GT in a display sponsored by EFG International. The cars have been supplied by the Aston Martin Heritage Trust, Desmond J. Smail, Aston Service London, Aston Sales Kensington and Aston Martin.
   Complementing the Aston Martins will be 300 of the world’s most prestigious classic cars from collectors and retailers, including a collection of Sir Stirling Moss’s British single-seat racing cars.
   The A3 was the fourth prototype by Aston Martin founders Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin, and the only survivor.
   The DB Mk III, which appeared in the Ian Fleming James Bond novel Goldfinger, is one of 500 built between 1957 and 1959. The DB5, perhaps the most famed Aston Martin of them all thanks to its appearance in the film adaptation of Goldfinger, appears in the show in silver birch, matching the colour of the cars from the Bond films.
   The William Towns-styled V8, derived from the DBS V8, had a very long-running production, from 1972 to 1989. The DB7 marked Aston Martin’s renaissance, with its beautiful Ian Callum styling over a Jaguar XJS base: 7,000 were built between 1994 and 2004.
   The V12 Vanquish, which also made a James Bond appearance (in the film Die Another Day), was a more muscular grand tourer, débuting in 2001 and ran till 2007. The DB9 GT, the ultimate DB9, is the one current Aston Martin on display.
   James Elliott, Classic & Sports Car magazine group editor, said in a release, ‘We’re thrilled that the inaugural Classic & Sports Car—the London Show is able to celebrate Aston Martin’s position as one of the greatest British manufacturers with seven important cars from its glorious production history. From the 1921 A3, kindly loaned to us by Aston Martin Heritage Trust, to the latest DB9 GT, these seven automotive icons are sure to represent a star attraction for visitors to our inaugural Alexandra Palace event.’
   The show will also announce the results of a worldwide poll to find the Best British Car Ever, and feature a Live Stage in partnership with Smooth Radio. Tickets are available via or 44 844 581-1275.

Filed under: Lucire
September 8, 2015

Rolls-Royce launches Dawn convertible, a car for the ‘most exclusive social hotspots’

Lucire staff/17.06

Rolls-Royce has unveiled the Dawn convertible, which the company says is the sexiest car it has built.
   While some Rolls-Royce cognoscenti might be able to think of some classic models that deserve that title, the Dawn is a well balanced, well designed convertible in the modern range.
   Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös​ tells model and TV host Jodie Kidd in the launch video below that the Dawn will appeal to a younger, more social customer than the Phantom Drophead, which it sees as the last word in glamorous, open-top motoring. Like the Phantom, it seats four properly.
   In a release, he said, ‘Our new Rolls-Royce Dawn promises a striking, seductive encounter like no other Rolls-Royce to date, and begins a new age of open-top, super-luxury motoring. Dawn is a beautiful new motor car that offers the most uncompromised open-top motoring experience in the world. It will be the most social of super-luxury drophead motor cars for those who wish to bathe in the sunlight of the world’s most exclusive social hotspots.’
   Rolls-Royce design director Giles Taylor says the chrome line that rises from the A-pillar is meant to convey a sense of protection and a convivial atmosphere for its occupants.
   Rolls-Royce engineering director Philip Köhn insists that it is not simply a convertible version of the Wraith, but a model line in its own right, with its own character, with 80 per cent of the exterior body panels unique to it.
   However, mechanically, it shares a great deal with the Wraith, which itself is a highly engineered sports car, including the twin-turbo 6·6-litre V12. Where the Dawn differs under the skin is with its suspension and active roll bars, while the tyres are also not shared.
   The roof, which Köhn says is the engineering highlight of the Dawn, rises in 22 s and can be operated while the car is travelling up to 50 km/h.
   The new car takes its name from the Silver Dawn, a range which included a very rare convertible that the company made from 1949 to 1955. The earlier convertible served as inspiration.
   Rolls-Royce says the Dawn is the most torsionally rigid four-seater convertible available, and that it is the quietest one ever made.
   Retail price is expected to be over £250,000.

Filed under: design, living, London, Lucire, TV
July 29, 2015

Classic & Sports Car London Show gets an iconic poster by artist Tim Layzell

Lucire staff/13.55

Motoring artist Tim Layzell was commissioned to create an artwork for Classic & Sports Car magazine’s inaugural London Show, featuring a Jaguar E-type, Bentley Speed Six and McLaren F1 at Alexandra Palace.
   The iconic sports cars are among those in a public poll for the magazine, where readers are invited to name the ‘Best British Car Ever’. Other cars in the running include the Mini Cooper S, the Range Rover, and Jaguar XKSS. The winner will be revealed at the Show at Alexandra Palace, from October 30 to November 1.
   The Show will also feature over 300 classic cars from world-famous collectors and retailers.
   ‘It’s a real honour to be asked to produce a one-off piece for this amazing new event,’ said Layzell. ‘With such an incredible line-up of icons on the shortlist for the Best British Car Ever and such a stunning location as Alexandra Palace, this commission has been a motoring artist’s dream. I’m so looking forward to the event; with the experts from Classic & Sports Car behind it, it’s going to be a must-attend show.’
   Layzell’s image will be used on all marketing and promotional material for the event.
   Tickets are available from

June 5, 2015

Aston Martin Works’ customer track day sees One-77, V12 Zagato, DBRS9 at Silverstone

Lucire staff/23.26

On June 3, Aston Martin Works hosted a customer track day at the Silverstone race track, featuring rare, exotic models (even by Aston Martin standards) such as the One-77, V12 Zagato and DBRS9.
   Aston Martin Works is celebrating its 60th year in 2015, and this anniversary event, where some customers brought their own cars, allowed fans to unleash their cars.
   Other models at the event included V8 and V12 Vantages, DB9s, one Virage, and a V12 Vanquish. More than 20 cars were present, with drivers coached by Aston Martin Performance driving instructors.
   Aston Martin Works’ commercial director Paul Spires said, ‘It’s great to see so many of our sports cars being driven so skilfully by such an enthusiastic group of owners.
   ‘When we proposed this idea at the beginning of the year we weren’t sure how many people would want to bring along their cars, but the response today has been superb.’

Filed under: history, living, Lucire
May 12, 2015

David Gandy and Jodie Kidd lead Jaguar’s Mille Miglia line-up; Bentley fields 1930 Blower

Lucire staff/12.09

Top The nine Jaguars taking place in this year’s Mille Miglia. Above Almost Bondian: the 1930 Bentley 4½-litre with a Vanden Plas Open Sports four-seat body and a supercharger by Amherst Villiers competing in the 2015 Mille Miglia.

British car makers are taking this year’s Mille Miglia seriously. Jaguar is taking part with a large heritage line-up, and has enlisted, once again, the help of model and motorhead David Gandy, who competes in an XK120 as he did two years ago along with Jodie Kidd, who must equal Gandy both in the modelling and motorhead stakes. Bentley will field an original 1930 4½-litre Blower, in an attempt to complete what it could not do back then: complete the race.
   Jaguar’s fleet consists of nine, including three C-types, three D-types, an XK120, an XK140, and, the most unusual of this group, a Mark VII—although one had won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1956. One of the C-types is NDU 289, which competed in the original Mille Miglia in 1953, driven that time by Mario Tadini and Franco Cortese. Jaguar engineer Mike Cross drives the car in the 2015 event.
   Other C-types are PUG 676, which was raced by Ian Appleyard, Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons’s son-in-law, this time driven by RAC motoring committee chairman Ben Cussons; and KSF 182, formerly raced by Jimmy Stewart and Jackie Stewart between 1953 and 1955, and owned now by Adam Lindemann, driven this time by five-time Le Mans winner, Derek Bell. The D-types are the ex-Ralph Lauren NCV 260, which had competed in the original Mille Miglias, driven by current owner Simon Kidston; RSF 303, the Ecurie Ecosse car that was second in Le Mans in 1957 and competed in the Mille Miglia in 1957 and 1958, driven by Jaguar design director Ian Callum and enthusiast Clive Beecham; 393 RW, the Reims winner for 1956 and the sixth-place-getter at Le Mans that year, setting the lap record, will be driven by Saturday Kitchen’s James Martin.
   One XK120, nicknamed Betsey, will be driven by Jodie Kidd and David Gandy, as noted: she had driven the car in the 2014 trial. The XK140, TAC 743, was once raced by David Hobbs; it will be driven by Elliot Gleave, a.k.a. Example, and his father Michael. The Mark VII will be driven by Charley Boorman.
   Bentley, meanwhile, will field a 1930 British racing green 4½-litre Blower with a Vanden Plas Open Sports four-seat body and a supercharger by Amherst Villiers—not unlike the one driven by James Bond. The Bentley Boys, the Hon Sir Henry ‘Tim’ Birkin and Bentley chairman Woolf Barnato (right, at Le Mans in 1929), were the first British drivers to compete in the Mille Miglia, using the No. 2 Birkin Blower, a 4½-litre supercharged model. However, they were unable to complete the race.
   Bentley is aiming to do what it could not 85 years ago, using an equivalent model and seeing if its director of royal and VIP relations, Richard Charlesworth can complete the race in the 2015 event. It is the Blower’s fifth entry.
   Between May 14 and 17, 2015, racers will depart from Brescia and drive 1,000 miles, including through Roma, and return to Brescia.

Top The XK120 to be driven by Jodie Kidd and David Gandy. Above The famed 393 RW Jaguar D-type, which set the lap record at Le Mans in 1956.

April 14, 2015

Goodness and Noa Noa welcome the winter blues

Lucire staff/5.56

Nikita Brown Photography

When the scene gets quiet, you can always trust our own fashion and beauty editor, Sopheak Seng, to helm a show to get things buzzing again. In collaboration with Goodness, which was the first out of the gate at a two-label show at Caffè l’Affaré last Thursday, Wellington fashionistas and guests escaped the first wintry blasts for one of the more memorable social events on the calendar.
   Goodness’s Chris Hales, whose boutiques have been selling fashionable and sometimes harder-to-find independent designers for some time, launched her own range to complement the likes of Loobie’s Story, Kowtow, Nyne and Deborah Sweeney some time ago, but this was the first catwalk outing that Lucire witnessed. And she understands her customer well: casual separates, paired in unexpected ways, tapping in to the floral trend that’s been forecast for autumn–winter 2015. Taupe and olive similarly conveyed the winter vibe, right on time for the colder months Down Under.
   The second half of the show, styled by Lucire’s Sopheak Seng, showcased Danish label Noa Noa, with a winter collection ‘inspired by the tapestry of life,’ says Seng. Trawling through the markets in France to the bazaars in Marrakech—not unlike our last few print editions, then—the eclectic collection saw masculine lines meeting feminine fabrications, tied with the first half of the show through floral motifs in forest green, Moroccan blue, and tawny red. Sunglasses were donned by each of the models, resplendent in jackets and coats, looking cool as they wandered down the catwalk, much as the designers would have wandered through those bazaars.
   Live music from Ophelia, the indie folk–dubstep duo of Patrick Shanahan and Alex Louise, served as the unique soundtrack to both shows, cranking up the non-mainstream vibe of the show, while in the café, itself one of the trendy spots of the capital, sponsors served up Triple Rock vodka (the jaffa and liquorice varieties were very memorable), Colombo wines, Moa cider, and l’Affarè coffee itself. Clinique did the make-up, Chop created the hair looks using Kevin Murphy, and Rydges were credited with their support for the band. Shoes were from Shoe Connection. Finally, Gazley’s support was very evident with four stylish Alfa Romeo Giuliettas parked outside and a MiTo on the catwalk, upping the Euro credentials with Italian chic. The blue lights shining on the walls surrounding the catwalk served to remind us that one can, indeed, stay warm with the winter blues!

Nikita Brown Photography


Nikita Brown Photography

The Scene

Nikita Brown Photography

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