I mentioned recently that futile pushing movement a driver makes in their seat as they try to coax an underpowered car to gain, or even maintain, speed. What they really need is a magic switch.
When I was a kid, many Jaguars had a small switch, set high up on the dashboard, between the steering wheel and the driver’s door. Depending on the model, this might either be labelled ‘Overdrive’ (in my memory a transparent toggle) or an ‘Intermediate Speed Hold’ (a black toggle). As a child I didn’t differentiate, or even question what the difference was, it just seemed like a magic go-faster button that the drivers could flick at will. Continue reading “BOOOOOST!”
Hot on the heels of yesterday´s article on the top three clock-radios for drivers and petrolheads, we present the sundial of the day. “I am not expecting you to talk, Mr Bond…”
Ever since a sundial appeared in the film “Moonraker” this design has had an iconic place in the hearts of Bond fans and driving enthusiasts alike. Forget Tag Heuer and Breitling: this brass sundial with a concrete base says all you need to know about telling the time and driving excitement. The elaborate mechanism features a pointed triangular element that casts a shadow to indicate the approximate time. It is accurate to within a few hours for most of the year. But you had better save up: it costs £259 though it is certainly bound to be collectible due to its Bond associations.
My credentials to write about the cars of Ian Fleming are mixed. In my favour, I had read the entire canon of 14 James Bond books by the time I was 14 and I am, more or less, the same age as the very first Bond book. Against that I’ve never read them since, and that was a long time ago, though it’s a sad reflection on the state of my mind how much I still remember. Ian Fleming was an accomplished writer of children’s stories. Some people forget that he wrote Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang, but his best kid’s stories were the ones featuring Commander James Bond of the Secret Intelligence Service. At 14, I was so seduced that I anticipated a life of breakfasting on scrambled eggs, ham and plenty of strong, black coffee following on with a day’s light indulgence in cold-blooded violence, rounding off with lobster thermidor, a ‘49 Montrachet chilled to 37 degrees, fresh alpine strawberries and, later on …….
As I got older, the compromises that this lifestyle would involve caused me to choose another career and I fell out of touch with the literary Bond. Of course, I’ve seen a lot of Bond films a lot of times – they’re all rubbish and I imagine I’ll see them all again. Continue reading “Theme : Books – The Cars of Ian Fleming”