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From Marisa Miller and Harleys, to James Bond and Astons


October 10, 2008/5.08

Marisa Miller on Harley-Davidson V-Rod
Aston Martin DB9 lift kitTwo motoring-related snippets this time—and I’ll keep it short given that this isn’t why some of you come to Lucire.
   The first item relates to our most popular item this week: Harley–Davidson has released images of the photo shoot that model Marisa Miller appears in for its V-Rod Muscle model.
   A video on the making of the campaign appears on YouTube, but it expresses the usual Hog values of the brand rather than the urbane, sophisticated image that the company claims it is pursuing with this new model.
   Meanwhile, I was happy to see the option of a lift kit for the Aston Martin DB9 in my newsletter from Independent Prestige, the brand’s dealer in Auckland, New Zealand.
   Driving a DB9 (see Lucire 25) is not easy when the car is an everyday vehicle as it has trouble negotiating some driveways and even hotel car parks. It is too low and you risk bumper damage.
   The kit, according to Independent Prestige, gives an extra 20 mm, which should be sufficent to lift a DB9 and prevent this damage. And the $2,500 bill including installation and GST seems a small price to pay to cease experiencing heartache each time you hear the spoiler scrape on a car costing over a quarter of a million New Zealand dollars.
   I can only imagine James Bond’s Aston Martin DBS being far, far worse on this front.
   I also want to pay tribute to Mike Clark, who has stepped aside as Independent Prestige’s general manager.
   I have known Mike for four years and I was surprised to learn he had turned 70 and was taking more of a back seat role in the car retail business.
   Anyone who has met Mike will know that he not only does not look 70, he acts about 25.
   He began in sales in the 1950s but really concentrated on cars from the 1960s on.
   I remarked that I never knew his true age because we never discussed his earliest sales and what cars he began selling. Today, we had a good chat about old Mustangs and Camaros—the ’69 Mustang being his favourite among Ford’s pony cars.
   I had to go with the ’68s because of Bullitt, but I have a soft spot for the ?rst Bunkie Knudsen Mustangs.
   I was very flattered when he said I was the most knowledgeable of any motoring journalist he had met. I imagine this is only because no one expects a fashion magazine publisher to be able to cite cubic capacity figures for a 1970s Mercedes-Benz and I have surprised Mike from time to time.
   I have yet to meet Mike’s successor at Independent Prestige but I hope to in due course.

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