Thoughts in a V8
fulﬁls a childhood fantasy, but where were Pussy Galore and
the ejector seat?
photographed by the author
From issue 16 of
had spied the Korean in the bowler climb into the Rolls-Royce. He
knew from Col Smithers that the car was stuffed full of jewellery,
its haul going toward one of Goldfingers smelting operations,
where they would go to fund smersh, or, perhaps even worse, a terrorist
But the Korean turned into the Royal St Marks
golf club at Sandwich.
Bond knew that he needed something that at least
looked in keeping with the Rolls-Royce in the members car
park. He had, after all, a standing invitation to play there, having
been acquainted with Alfred Blacking, the pro at St Marks.
Returning to Q Branch, he spied a Bentley Continental
Flying Spur. It was an attractive enough car. The longer wheelbase
and the four doors were well integrated into the styling. The vehicle
did not look too large, but its European roots showedits designer,
Dirk van Bræckel, had crafted shapes for other brands for
the Volkswagen combine. Bond thought more favourably of the silver
Aston Martin V8 Vantage parked in the corner.
Major Boothroyd, the head of Q Branch, came up
to Bond and began one of his lectures.
Right, pay attention, 007, he began.
Bond absorbed the Majors briefing with the
usual attention, recalling that he would have to pick up his golf
clubs on the way out of London, while his eyes were fixated on the
cars stunning shape.
Henrik Fisker, the Dane who had taken over from
his friend Ian Callum, had taken the existing theme and made it
more masculine. The resulting shape was more rocket-like, with thicker
A- and C-pillars. The Aston looked more robust as a result, though
Bond casually thought that the pillars would cause some problems
with visibility. The roof was a single piece, so there would be
no ejector seat.
Q went through Aston Martins ratchet-principle
handbrake with Bond again, though he felt familiar enough with the
system. Sitting behind the wheel, Bond noted that the interior had
elements of the art-déco among its anthracite features, with
polished alloy that gave the dials a luminescence that had been
lacking on cars of late.
There was a six-speed manual gearbox with a proper
shift. Bond had tired of the paddles that had become all too familiar
at Porsche and Ferrari, though when he tested a 911 Carrera as a
favour to a British sergeant in Germany, he felt the sequential
shift had some merit.
In fact, it was the 911, and no other British
rival, that came to mind as he drove the Aston out of MI6s
headquarters. As he left, a woman in a parked Toyota took a photograph
of the caror was it himself?with a digital camera. It
did not look like a SMERSH issue,
though Bond could not be sure. Instead, he noted the cars
number plate, and filed it in his mind using a mixture of mnemonics
and a colour coding technique he had mentally developed.
Bond took the car through the toughest roads he
could find leading back to Sandwich, and could not help but admit
to himself that the 911 was superior in many respects: grip, handling,
direction, steering wheel weight, and transmission. Standard equipment,
for NZ$245,000, did not compare well
to the Porschefor instance, the ventilation system was better
in the German carthough its speed was nearly on a par. But
the V8s practicalitythe first Aston Martin with an opening
tailgate since the firm made some limited-edition Virage Shooting
Brakes in the 1990swas unquestionable.
Bond could not help but find himself more drawn
to the Aston. It was not a matter of national pride, but the sheer
beauty of the car. Every exterior line screamed of sensuality but
each did so through proportion. There was a gentlemanly subtlety
to the car, which was firmly lacking with earlier British cars such
as the Jaguar E-type. And, as he pulled up to St Marks, he
got a better class of admirer than when he had piloted the Porsche
He parked the V8 next to Goldfingers Rolls-Royce.
He knew what was in the boot, but needed more if he was to find
out if the jeweller was indeed the treasurer of SMERSH.
Bond removed his golf clubs from the back of the Aston and went
to find Blacking. Later, he thought, the homing device in the Aston
would have to do its work.
He turned back to glance at the car one more time.
And found himself doing so once more before he entered the club.
The Aston Martin was the right choice, he remarked, a car for all
seasons and situations.
This parody is written with apologies to the late
Ian Fleming and Glidrose Productions Ltd., who hold the literary
copyright to the James Bond character. Authors notes:
substitute Jack Yan for James Bond, Independent Prestiges
Greg Brinck for Major Boothroyd, and Titirangi for Sandwich to get
a more factual representation of this story.
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Bond absorbed Major Boothroyds brieﬁng
with the usual attention, recalling that he would have to pick up
his golf clubs on the way out of London, while his eyes were ﬁxated
on the cars stunning shape