The 1960s New Look

James Kraus

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The New Look: 1960 Chevrolet Impala

In the early decades of motordom, front grills stood tall and proud, reflecting the proportions of early radiators. Headlamps, originally housed in separate housings, began being integrated into the cars design in the late 1930s. Nevertheless, grills and headlamps remained separate elements with the exception of Peugeot, which placed the headlamps near the centre of the car, behind the grill.  Continue reading

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The Cars of James Bond: Aston Martin DBS

by James Kraus

Bond's Aston parked at the Hotel Palácio, Estoril, Portugal

Bond’s Aston parked at the Hotel Palácio, Estoril, Portugal

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service presented quite a challenge to loyal Bond moviegoers. Not only was Sean Connery replaced, so was the legendary Aston Martin of Goldfinger and Thunderball; the M-enhanced DB5 incorporating the “usual refinements” that had become integral to Bond mythology. In its place was a new Aston, the DBS.  Continue reading

A Toast to the 50th Anniversary of 1963

by James Kraus

Salon International de l'Auto, Geneva Switzerland, March 1963

Salon International de l’Auto, Geneva Switzerland, March 1963

1963 saw the Jet Age in full swing as the first Learjet took to the skies and a number of automobiles were launched that would become icons of the 1960s; one of which is still with us today.  Continue reading

The Allure of Period Colours

by James Kraus

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Lord Brett Sinclair’s Bahama Yellow Aston Martin DBS in The Persuaders!, 1971

Ancient wisdom once held that in the vintage car market, red, white and black were the best colours for resale. However, as Bob Dylan once declared; The times they are a-changin’.

Early Porsche 911 collectors for example often seek out and pay a premium for the colours that made those cars unique to their time period: Signal Orange, Viper Green, Aubergine, Tangerine; even the more esoteric shades of Olive and Golden Green. Continue reading

Flights of Fancy: The Space-Focused Nomenclature of the Jet Age

by James Kraus

1956 Aston Martin DB2/4 Supersonic by Ghia

The weapons of World War II gave the public their first-ever glimpse of the power and speed of jet and rocket engines. As hostilities drew to a close, engineers labored over their drawing boards to harness these new power sources for peacetime use. The rocket-powered Bell X-1 aeroplane broke the sound barrier on 14 October 1947, achieving supersonic speed for the first time. BOAC commenced commercial jet travel in May of 1952. In 1958, commercial transatlantic jet service was inaugurated, and construction began on the Pan Am World Airways tower in New York City.

A number of auto manufactures found it desirable to infuse their products with a bit of this Jet Age glamour and Space Age allure. Read the rest of this entry ››

Image from the Past

Sean Connery, smartly attired in a classic Slazenger V-neck sweater, poses with James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5, 1964. It was 45 years ago, in September of '64, that Goldfinger premiered in London at the Odeon Theater in Leicester Square. The New York premiere followed a few months later at the DeMille Theater in December. Although Goldfinger was the third James Bond film, it was the first in which his Aston Martin made an appearance. The Q-Branch-enhanced Silver Birch DB5 remains one of the most enduring automotive icons of the 1960’s. Photo: Everett Collection