Tag Archives: James Bond

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible

Say Yes to Auto World’s latest, a ’57 Chevy from “Dr. No” …

Evil usually is depicted in black, and Dr. No was no exception. The James Bond villain’s car which was intended to carry Bond to his certain death was a black 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible, although with a spiffy red and silver interior.

Spoiler alert: It didn’t happen, Bond prevailed!

Hard as it is to imagine, 60 years have passed since “Dr. No”, the first Bond thriller, hit the movie theaters and Sean Connery would forever be James Bond. Now Auto World marks the anniversary with a handsome 1:18 scale model replicating the first cool car that Bond wheeled in the lengthy cinematic series.

This swanky black ’57 Chevy with its entertainingly decorated box featuring a “Dr. No” movie poster comes just a few months after AW turned out a much perkier Barbie version of the Bel Air convertible. That one was baby blue with pink interior and a twin that was just the opposite, pink with blue interior.

This one may fit less shockingly into your 1950s car collection of which more than a few are likely AW releases from the past as the firm specializes in 1950s-1970s muscle cars along with other vintage automotive icons. The same quality and attention to detail is here and this version, like the Barbie edition, is being marketed under AW’s Silver Screen Machines category.

Here’s what you get.

The Model

               There is plenty of functionality with opening doors, hood and steerable front wheels, while the trunk is sealed. Like other AW models, the undercarriage is nicely detailed (including dual exhausts), so posing it on a mirrored base would make sense.

               As you’d expect with a 1957 car there’s enough chrome to make a medieval knight envious. That starts with the massive front and rear bumpers, plus the head and taillight surrounds, rocker panel trim, the side accent line trim and fins, plus door handles, wiper arms and windshield frame. Even the two hood sights are chromed, as are the vent window frames.

               Hub caps are chrome with chrome center wheel nuts featuring red centers and tiny Chevy bowtie logos. Then there are those giant protruding bumper guards on the front that look like, well, you know. These are black-tipped (that’s tip my friends), as they were on the original ’57 Chevys.

               Both the hood and trunk feature copper-colored chevrons (a long-time Chevy emblem) and the Bel-Air script on the fins’ side trim also is copper. While the top of the fins are chromed, naturally.

The front fenders display three copper bars as trim and just in front of the doors are the patented Chevy crossed-flags logos with the term, Fuel Injection, printed beneath.

               Pop open the hood and there’s the red Chevy engine block with silver air filter and fuel injection system, a black battery and radiator with black horn on the front left. Big hood hinges allow the car’s hood to be easily posed in the raised position.

               The red and silver seats in the interior look nice too, not glossy, but more like a matte vinyl, which matches some 1950s Chevy seating. These include two red buttons on the silver background of each seat back. Likewise the tonneau cover is a matching matte red with silver snap heads neatly arranged around the edges.

               Chevy’s dash top is red with red-ringed instrument panel gauges and a chromed trim across its face and surrounding the radio and its dials. The dash and red steering wheel definitely look like plastic. Too bad they aren’t the same matte finish as the seats. Naturally the wheel’s center horn ring is chrome.          

               The model’s door handles and window cranks are chrome and Bel Air appears in script on the passenger’s side dash facing. Sun visors are a matte silver to match the color of the seat centers.

               Tires are wide white sidewalls and treaded, but not branded. A generic black license plate rides on the trunk face. It reads CC over J 7715. Not sure what that means, but it may be what the movie’s car featured back in 1962. Hard to remember that much detail that far back, even for us Boomers.

               This model is a double win for Bond fans and ’57 Chevy aficionados!

Vital Stats: 1957 Chevy Bel Air Convertible, “Dr. No” version

Maker: Auto World
Scale: 1/18
Stock No.: AWSS134
MSRP: $149.99

Link: Autoworldstore.com

#57 Chevy

#James Bond

#Dr. No

#Auto World

2022 Genesis GV70 3.5T Sport Prestige

A new ute that Bond, James Bond, could love …

If James Bond were to drive a crossover/SUV (and I pray he doesn’t … ever) I’m convinced it would be a Genesis GV70, just for its looks.

This compact luxury SUV’s looks ooze confidence, sexiness and swagger, very Bondish. They seem to say to all other SUV buyers, “You made a mistake.” And they may have.

Genesis is all about luxury, but high-value luxury where you get more than you pay for or expect to pay. Here in the top-level GV70 Sport Prestige, the styling is fresh, the power raw, the cockpit elegant. One might expect the driver to wear a crisp white shirt with monogrammed cufflinks, a cummerbund and tux, and definitely a Rolex watch.

This athletic SUV is based on the spunky Genesis G70 sedan’s stiff platform, a good place to start if one enjoys frisky handling. There are electronically controlled multi-link suspensions front and rear with something Genesis calls Road Preview. It sees what’s coming and in milliseconds adjusts for it. That helps handling as you sweep through aggressive turns, but also creates a firm sports sedan ride. Some might prefer a little more cushion, but oh my, this was a hoot on twisting rural roads.

A silky 8-speed automatic linked with a throbbing twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 harnesses power, but with a smoothness reserved exclusively for the upper classes. Gun this baby for a highway jaunt and the V6 tells you it’s about to kick some bootie while pounding out 375 horsepower. Torque rating? 391 pound-feet, thank you.

Boom, 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds says Car and Driver. Who am I to quibble?

Five drive modes are standard and include Sport and an insane Sport+ that makes the GV70 feel like a twitchy thoroughbred being loaded into a starting gate, all its muscles tensed, ready to spring. Sport was enough to make the Genesis feel like it was ready to slice through the turns at Road America.

View Mark’s video review: Goose approved Genesis GV70 reviewed by Mark Savage – YouTube

I could easily see triple digits in Sport+ in a quick shot down an entry ramp. AWD also is standard with power being rear-wheel biased, but with 50% possibly being shifted to the front in slick conditions.

But this is no pretend powerhouse, those 375 horses make themselves known vocally through two gigantic exhaust outlets molded into the lower rear bumper’s fascia. Cannon ready to fire on the enemy often were of a smaller caliber.

If you’re crazy enough to race your GV70 or take it for spins at the drag strip, launch control is available in Sport and Sport+ mode. Be aware top speed is said to be 150 mph. You think You can beat that?

Yet performance is exactly what the exterior insinuates.

The test SUV’s matte gray (Melbourne Gray) paint scheme, a $1,500 extra, adds a sophisticated image more than a flashy paint job might. This shows subtle elegance goes with the impressive performance. Know that the matte finish shows dirt readily though and one must be careful when washing such a paint scheme. Some commercial car washes won’t do.

Inside, Genesis stylists created a quiet interior with flashy looks. Seats are a mix of leather and suede, the dash a dark brown up top with red stitching and red leather trim on the lower dash and extending into the door panels. Trim is carbon fiber on the console with matte chrome knobs and door releases along with a bevy of dash buttons.

A monster 14.5-inch touchscreen sits mid-dash and the instrument cluster is an impressive 3D display, managed by beaming slightly different digital images to each of the driver’s eyes, creating the illusion of depth. As cool as this looks, I’m old enough to remember analog gauges that were 3D, because they had actual depth. Just sayin’!

Check out the size of that info screen atop the dash … 14.5 inches!

There’s also a sharp heads-up display along with heated and cooled seats up front and heated ones in back. The leather steering wheel also is heated with all those climate controls on a dash touchpad. Normally I’d prefer these controls on the console, but this was easy to see and was quick to function. Sadly the heated seat settings are not remembered once the ignition is turned off.

Genesis seats are well shaped and the driver’s seat highly adjustable, including side bolsters and a massaging feature. Put your hand near the massage button on the bottom cushion’s side and it lights up three settings for pelvic, lumbar and full-body stretching. This is a perfect example of Genesis delivering more than a buyer might expect at the list price. Such a feature is usually a pricey option on German and some Japanese makes.

Snazzy carbon fiber trim on the console here.

As much as I liked the seat’s support I did note the bottom cushion seemed a bit hard after an hour of seat time. Some say the rear seat legroom is a bit tight too for a luxury vehicle. It’s not generous, but four or five average sized adults will easily fit.

On the up side Genesis delivers oodles of cargo space behind that second row seat, a bit of storage under the floor, and a power hatch. Overhead is a panoramic sunroof, which is standard as is a wireless charger. That’s tucked inside a small covered container at the front of the console. It looks a bit like a cupholder, but is easy to use and lets the driver know if a device has been left in the charger once the ignition is turned off.

Two giant exhaust pipes in back and Genesis’ twin horizontal bar lights.

A full load of safety equipment comes on the GV70 including smart cruise control and all the usual automatic warning systems and braking features, plus semiautonomous driving aids.

One item that caused some concern was the rotating dial for shifting gears. It’s right behind a similar, but slightly larger, rotating dial used for info screen and radio station selection. I mistook the radio dial for the shifter several times, until I noticed the shifter has a more textured ring. It’s also lighted at night.

Gas mileage is nothing special, but when performance is a key SUV selling point, fuel economy usually suffers. I managed just 17.5 mpg in a fairly even mix of city and highway driving while the EPA rates the GV70 with the twin-turbo V6 at 19 mpg city and 25 highway.

For better mileage consider the lower level GV70 2.5T models that feature a 2.5-liter single turbo I4 that delivers 300 hp and 22 mpg city and 28 highway.

Those more efficient models also have the benefit of looking just as sexy and bold as this one, but start at just $42,045, including delivery. Again, all models feature AWD.

A base GV70 3.5T lists at $52,600 including delivery or you can move up to the Sport Advanced model at $57,600 or the tested Sport Prestige model that includes both the Advanced and Prestige trim packages. While the Sport lists at $53,645 with delivery, adding those two packages pushes it to $63,545. With its special color this one was $65,045.

Other makes are easily that, if not $10,000 or more higher.

Fancy wheels? Why yes they are!

Genesis also has the warranty advantage on most competitors with a 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and three years or 36,000 miles of free maintenance. Again, more than one might expect, even for a luxury make.

You can check out the attached stat box for all the goodies in those Advanced and Prestige packages, but if you want the full luxury feel, those likely are add-ons you’ll want.

One final note, the 21-inch alloy wheels on this GV70 were spectacular, garnering comments from folks at the gas station (had to stop a couple times) and friends who thought them a terrific final touch.

Even the door panels look both sporty and elegant.

FAST STATS: 2022 Genesis GV70 3.5T Sport

Hits: Stellar looks, excellent power, sporty handling, 5 drive modes, and AWD. Stylish, quiet interior, with heated/cooled seats, heated wheel, panoramic sunroof, wireless charger, full load of safety equipment, massaging driver’s seat, carbon fiber trim, 3D instrument cluster, giant info screen and great warranty.

These are those 3D-style gauges, created via electronics, not actual depth!

Misses: Firm ride, somewhat hard driver’s seat bottom cushion, rear seat short of legroom, round shifter dial same shape as info screen adjustment dial and too close to it.

Made in: Ulsan, So. Korea

Engine: 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6, 375 hp

Transmission: 8-speed automatic

Weight: 4,584 lbs.*

Wheelbase: 113.2 in.

Length: 185.6 in.

Cargo: 28.9.-56.9 cu.ft.

Rear seat view, and separate climate controls.

Tow: 3,500 lbs.

MPG: 19/25

MPG: 17.5 (tested)

Base Price: $53,645 (includes delivery)

Invoice: $50,777

Major Options: Melbourne gray paint, $1,500

Sport Advanced package (Nappa leather seats w/sport pattern quilting, layered edge backlight trim, leatherette upper instrument panel and door panel trim, suede headliner, heated steering wheel, digital key, surround view mirror/blind-spot view monitor, remote smart parking assist, parking distance warning front/rear, parking collision avoidance assist, Lexicon premium audio w/16 speakers), $5,000

Sport Prestige package (21-inch sport alloy wheels, electronic limited slip differential, Nappa leather seats w/suede inserts, carbon fiber trim, 3-zone climate controls, heated second row seats, manual rear side sunshades, 12.3-inch 3D digital cluster, heads up display), $4,900

Test vehicle: $65,045

Sources: Genesis, www.kbb.com

Photos: Mark Savage

*Car and Driver magazine

Die-cast: Johnny Lightning Silver Screen Machines: 007

Johnny Lightning creates fun James Bond mini dioramas …

When we think of certain movies we picture the cars that were stars, such as Steve McQueen’s Mustang in Bullitt, or Sean Connery’s Aston Martin in many James Bond movies.

That’s what we as modelers build, and what us die-cast car collectors like to collect. These are famous wheels, iconic vehicles that remind us of the fun and excitement of the movies they appeared in, and just maybe, of a car we once owned, or at least dreamed we would. Continue reading Die-cast: Johnny Lightning Silver Screen Machines: 007

Die-cast: Autoart’s Aston Martin Vulcan

James Bond would covet this sexy Aston …

Britain’s Aston Martin brand stirs images of James Bond deploying a bulletproof screen behind his DB5, spraying bullets from the machine guns in its running lights, squirting oil on the road to wreck the evildoers following him or ejecting said henchmen through the passenger’s side roof.

It also stirs thoughts of high speed and equally high prices. Well, Autoart’s new Aston Martin Vulcan lives up to those later images, as would any original Aston. This one is 1/18 scale though and oozing with detail that helps justify its $220 price tag. But that’s nothing compared with the 1/1 scale’s $2.3 million suggested retail sticker. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart’s Aston Martin Vulcan

The perfect surprise gift for a car lover

From a giver who has lots of money to burn

How many times have you imagined what it would be like to win the Powerball? I known I have and I buy tickets when the jackpot is really big. I’m talking big six figure big! Of course I’d quit my job, or maybe buy the place. I’d buy some of the cars I’ve always lusted over, buy a home on a lake and another one someplace warm so I wouldn’t have to put up with the cold winters here in Wisconsin. Then it’s time to start giving away some of my new found fortune. Cash is good but I think a thoughtful gift is more fun.

The Submarine Sports Car

I have these two friends that taught me how to fly, Dave and Tim. These guys are over the top fun and love stuff out of the ordinary. Tim likes cars and currently owns a Triumph TR6. They both love the water which is why I would get them this gift.

Photos: Hammacher Schlemmer

I found this on Hammacher Schlemmer who are known for their unusual stuff. If you’re a James Bond fan you will recognize this as Continue reading The perfect surprise gift for a car lover

Die-cast: Autoart’s Toyota 2000GT

Toyota, Yamaha teamed up for racy 2000GT … Autoart's Toyota 2000GT

Since its beginning Toyota has wrestled with the perception that it makes reliable, economical, but boring, cars.

That changed in 1967, as it chose to fight that battle head-on by developing and producing a halo car. Others had done it. Think Chevy’s Corvette, Ford’s GT, Nissan’s Z car, etc. So Toyota broke loose in ’67 with its sporty two-seat fastback, the 2000GT, developed in conjunction with Yamaha. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart’s Toyota 2000GT

Chasing Classic Bond Cars

How can a car guy not like James Bond movies?

James bond cars, famous bond cars, bond car collector pricesThe cars in the movies could almost be listed as co-stars with all the gadgets and those chase scenes. But it didn’t start that way. James Bond’s first car was the modest ’62 Sunbeam Alpine Series II, in lake blue appearing in Dr. No (1962). Still it’s one of my favorites along with the following.

James bond cars, famous bond cars, bond car collector pricesThe Bond franchise began it’s long relationship with Aston Martin with a ’63 Aston Martin DB5 appearing in the movies Goldfinger (1964), and Thunderball (1965).

James bond cars, famous bond cars, bond car collector pricesAfter a couple of years off Aston Martin makes a return starring role with a ’68 DBS introduced a new James Bond, George Lazenby, in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1968).

James bond cars, famous bond cars, bond car collector prices

Continue reading Chasing Classic Bond Cars