Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Oh James, Isn't that your Evora?

How to cash in upon one of Roger Moore's best films, eh?

Ah, naturally, after I'd finished putting to bed A-L-L eight featured London Motor Museum Cars, which was Bloody Hell, thanxs to Blogger.com being its usual Persnickety P.O.S! But I digress...

Thus once again, during another "Sleepless in Seattle" night, I found myself perusing the Car and Driver magazine section via my NFB Newsline for The Blind telephone service, and SHUHZAMM! BIFF! BASH! OOPS! Wrong Crime Fighter Batman!

As I just let the Cat outta Duh Bag on what Car's up next; Hya!

AUTOS: London Motor Museum - Octopussy'

One of the stunning white Lotus Esprit's that James Bond used in The Spy Who Loved Me movie. (The Tomaso Collection)
The vehicle pictured above may/may not still be on display. As these pictures were taken during last Summer; August, 2016...

The Name is Esprit, Lotus Esprit! How can I-T be forty years already; Aye Karumba! And how many times have I watched this epic James Bond film on thy Telie' over those years?

As The Spy Who Loved Me starring Rodger Moore debuted in the summer of 1977, as let that sink in a moment; Pun intended! As this is probably one of my most favourite Bond films, as I even recall having bought a Corgi Toys? Black Bell Heli', complete with shooting red/orange  plastic missiles as a 'Wee lad!

And while Moore might have been the star, how can we forget Barbara Bach; MEOW! As I still chuckle over that typical Bond witticism about Shared Bodily Warmth...

Yet for Mwah, one of the movie's leading stars is the eye catching white Lotus Esprit which bond uses to first escape a rocket wielding motorcycle Sidecar, other cars and ultimately that black Bell Jet Ranger helicopter with its female pilot.

As perhaps it's just Mwah, but the Lotus Esprit was a stunning car with it's evocative "Wedge Shape" of the era. As the original Esprit S1, or Series 1 was designed by noted Italian automotive stylist Giorgetto Giugiaro.

These first generation were produced between 1976-78, replacing the previous Lotus Europa, and featured a 2.0-litre Inline four cylinder longitutally mounted mid-ships engine mated to a 5-speed manual transmission transaxle.

And while Lotus claims of 0-60mph in 6.2-seconds and a top speed of 138mph were a bit optimistic, especially Stateside, due to power being downgraded to 142bph due to Federal Emissions standards.

Nevertheless, this is probably my favourite Lotus, thanks largely to its racy' wedge shape styling, excellent handling characteristics - along with it's clever movie placement. As I also found the bronze Esprit 007 uses at the Ski Chalet in the movie quite alluring... Whilst I've no idea what colour the third Esprit destroyed by the bad guy was.

Alas, I can only surmise, that it's some clever way 'O keeping the James Bond image on our collective radars with the periodic sale of some of his classic rides used to get rid of the Villains over the decades. Having first become aware of one of these Esprit's going under the hammer some eight-plus years ago.

And like A-L-L movies, naturally multiple cars are needed for the film's completion, although it seems typical that exact numbers are never confirmed. Yet allegedly the second most popular 007 vehicle after that gorgeous Aston Martin DB5, sat unknown in a storage container before being discovered accidentally!

As the unique white Lotus Esprit was sold for varying prices according to Zed Internetz', perhaps the difference being auction fees? Or Greenbacks vs. Pounds? And although perhaps disappointing by not reaching the million dollar estimate, nonetheless, it's a pretty good return upon the $100 investment! The price paid to buy the abandoned container on Long Island, NY.

Whilst Bond flicks' always have a flair for good 'Ol Bloody British humour, as I especially enjoy the scene where Roger Moore drives onto the beach, and rolls down the electric window to deposit an errant Herring to the astounded beach-goers; Momma Mia!

(Photo Courtesy of Clarity Pictures)

Monday, February 27, 2017

AUTOS: London Motor Museum - KITT'

OOOOOOHHHHH David Hasselhoff! And his Black Beauty Knight Rider Sidekick! Michael, who are you calling a Sidekick? You're right KITT' (The Tomaso Collection)

The vehicle pictured above may/may not still be on display. As these pictures were taken during last Summer; August, 2016...

Wasn't Knight Rider the TV Show that made David Hasselhof famous? Before he left KITT 2000 in the Malibu parking lot to don  swim trunks for his "Day Job" on the beach...

Ah, here we G-O again REVHEADZ', another trek down memory lane, especially since I had ZERO clue that a second Knight Rider television series had come 'N apparently gone some eight years ago! During the 2008-09 fall season.

As surely Y'all know 'bout Der Hoff', nee TV Hunk David Michael Hasselhoff, Ja Volt! Who although began his Hollywood Star rise as "Dr. Snappy-Pantz' Foster" on The Young and Restless, came to national prominence as Crime Fighter Michael Knight in Knight Rider from 1982-86 - before dashing off for Life Guarding duties in Baywatch, which propelled the stardom of Pamela Anderson; but I digress...

As this story's 'bout the car, affectionately known simply as KITT', or formally as Knight Rider Industries Two Thousand, based upon an '82 third generation Pontiac Firebird Trans Am with Artificial Intelligence enabling KITT to basically drive itself and almost impervious to destruction.

Yet somehow, when I hear the name Trans Am, and exclude the once stellar SCCA Pro Racing series, especially the "Factory Wars" era of the 1990's. Inevitably, I always immediately think of another famous Trans Am driven by Burt Reynolds in Smokey and The Bandit, which is another story topic entirely...

Entertainingly, the last I've seen of The Hoff' was during a past episode of Fast 'N Loud, where they magically tracked down Hasselhoff in his Dressing Room for a concert in Sweden, or was it Switzerland, Ja-Ja? As they were trying to meet him for Somme-thun-ruther'

Oh yeah, that's right, they built a Knight Rider KITT 2000
1982-ish Pontiac Trans Am replica, along with getting David Hasselhoff to attend a birthday party during a two hour season finale episode complete with really Cheesy KITT voiceovers, and think they even got pulled over by ChiP's Hunkster erik Estrada on their way to the party...

As I've also watched the Fast 'N Loud crew build a 1977-ish Bandit mobile with the comedic affects of tracking down Mr. Reynolds for his autograph.

As the episode was replete with a Keystone Coppers' chase scene with past Gas Monkey Garage employee, and now star of Misfit Garage Tom Smith's entertaining 'N fairly well done Buford T. Justice impersonation. Although Nobody can out due the late, great Jackie Gleason!

As interestingly, and fairly typical in the Movie Cars realm, there's now apparently more KITT 2000's on static museum duty, prowlin' the roads and in private collections than supposedly survived the TV Show's production of 22/23, for which supposedly only five survived. So who knows what KITT 2000's are real, eh?

Meanwhile, Y'all cannot fault the base platform selection for KITT's successor, aka KITT 3000, a 2008 ford Shelby GT-500KR...

(Photo Courtesy of Clarity Pictures)