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Like so many of us, I saw Goldfinger for the first time in a big-screen theater back in the early 60s; I distinctly remember jumping out of my seat when James Bond pressed that little red button, mounted on the gear shift lever of his Aston Martin DB5, simultaneously popping the passenger side roof panel off the car and sending one of Goldfinger’s henchmen flying through the now open roof panel, clean out of the car. 

It was the craziest, most exciting, most unimaginable movie stunt my impressionable blue eyes had ever seen.  No matter, the “Bond cars die” was instantly and permanently cast in my young, impressionable brain at that moment. 

After several rescheduling of its in-theater debut, Bond’s latest No Time to Die appears legitimately (assuming everyone stays Covid smart and careful) on track to break cover in theaters in a few months. 

No Time To Die- Trailer

This all recalls to me the brushes with Bond machines I’ve enjoyed over my three decades career as an automotive writer, photographer, and book author.  We all want to be Bond for a Day, but getting to be up close and personal, sometimes on set, with several of his cooler cars, and meeting and interviewing one of the great actors to portray our favorite British super spy, was as close as I’ll ever get.

My first encounter was during the filming of 1999’s The World is not Enough.  A few years earlier, Bond’s first BMW for Goldeneye was a Metallic Blue over beige Z3 – a lovely little sports car for sure, but hardly super enough for 007. 

James Bond, Q, and the BMW Z3

When we saw Pierce Brosnan, Isabelle Scorupco, and Joe Don Baker’s scene with the four-cylinder Z3, we were all disappointed: The little Bimmer was handsome enough but didn’t make motor music any much sportier than your average Corolla or Altima, and although it was purportedly packed with rockets and some of Q’s usual tricks, we never got to see them in action, nor did the car fly through the air or any other such Bondian magic.  The Z3 meekly spun its tires a bit in the soft sand and motored away with little drama.

This is why when the new M5 V-8 powered Z8 was named as Bond’s next ride for Not Enough (two movies on from the Z3), I had to kick my way onto the set to meet the car and hopefully the Bond. 

James Bond in BMW Z8

Many letters and connections-making followed, and then I was on my way to London and later Cuenca (pronounced Coo-wenka), Spain, to catch up with the production. 

In London I visited the sprawling Pinewood Studios campus with a date at the shop, and with the team, that fettles the movie cars. 

There were Z8s, scale models of Z8s, and bits of Z8 all about the shop, and when I rounded a corner to finally see

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By: Matt Stone
Title: Bond Cars Are Forever
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Published Date: Wed, 07 Apr 2021 08:40:29 +0000

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Going Once, Going Twice: The best bikes from the Bonhams February sale

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Ex-Hans-Otto Butenuth BMW RS 500 at the Bonhams February sale
The Bonhams February sale is about to wrap up, so we’re taking a break from our regular scheduled programming to pick our favorite motorcycles from the auction. From an Ariel Square Four and a 1989 Kawasaki ZX-10, to Hans-Otto Butenuth’s BMW 500 Rennsport [above], here are seven classic motorcycles that we’d love to park in the Bike EXIF garage.

1907 Quadrant at the Bonhams February auction
1907 Quadrant In the early 1880s, two blokes by the names of Walter and William Lloyd patented a pedal tricycle steering mechanism, which they (very confusingly) called the ‘Quadrant.’ Anyway, Quadrant went on to make bicycles, tricycles, and motorcycles, and, by 1901, had emerged as one of Britain’s earliest motorcycle manufacturers.

This 453 cc Quadrant was originally built in Coventry and was meticulously restored by a previous owner. It showcases its history through hand-written notes, technical drawings, old registrations, marque-related literature, and an SMCC Pioneer Certificate.

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By: Ben Pilatti
Title: Going Once, Going Twice: The best bikes from the Bonhams February sale
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Published Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2024 17:36:07 +0000

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SPEEDVETTE: Raw Power Comes Alive with GM’s LS3 Engine

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SPEEDVETTE: Raw Power Comes Alive with GM’s LS3 Engine

Celebrating the best of performance and style at the upcoming 2024 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction, where it is selling with No Reserve, is the “Speedvette,” a 1973 Chevrolet Corvette that marries classic aesthetics with modern muscle.

This custom beauty underwent a no-expense-spared rotisserie restoration completed in March 2023, and comes alive under the hood with a robust GM Performance 6.2-liter LS3 engine, generating 525 horsepower. Paired with a 4L70E 4-speed automatic transmission, it is sure to deliver a straightforward American muscle experience.

This Speedvette rolls on Schott Turbine wheels wrapped in Diamond Back Classic red line tires and boasts a Pro-Touring treatment. Its Coffman Corvette custom chassis incorporates C6/C7 components, RideTech coilovers and a power rack & pinion steering system. Stopping power is delivered by C7 calipers gripping slotted rotors, assisted by an E-Stopp electric brake.

The exterior’s subtle modifications include 2-inch rear fender flares and a smoothed decklid with a waterfall effect. The Torch Red exterior and black Haartz Stayfast convertible top add a classic touch. Inside is a handcrafted bespoke cabin with black leather and red stitching.

Register to bid today for the opportunity to take this Speedvette home with you and join us January 20-28 at WestWorld for the 2024 Scottsdale Auction.

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By: Barrett-Jackson
Title: SPEEDVETTE: Raw Power Comes Alive with GM’s LS3 Engine
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Published Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2023 21:10:11 +0000

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Road tested: TFX Suspension Xtreme adjustable rear shocks

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TFX Suspension review
I got lucky when I bought my 2012-model Triumph Bonneville SE last year. A single-owner bike with less than 1,500 miles on the dial, it had spent most of its life trickle-charging in a garage. What’s more, the previous owner had thrown a handful of tasteful factory accessories at it (and a few that were less well-judged).

There was one key ingredient missing though; good suspension. Most modern classics roll out of the factory with suspension components that are adequate at best, but the older air-cooled Bonneville’s setup is downright poor. Small LED turn signals and a fancy sprocket cover might make your bike look prettier, but new shocks—like the fully adjustable TFX Suspension Xtreme units now gracing the tail end of my Triumph—will make it ride better.

TFX Suspension Xtreme rear shocks review

Based in The Netherlands, TFX Suspension is run by a small and passionate team, led by founders Hans-Dieter Fischer and Alex Meijs. The two of them formed TFX fourteen years ago when the suspension company that they were working for folded. Now they produce components on their terms, with the sort of hands-on approach that’s often missing from larger companies.

Their catalog includes various mono- and twin-shock items, suitable for a wide range of on- and off-road applications, plus a handful of front suspension upgrades. (We’ve seen their parts on custom bikes from Bottpower, Powerbrick, CNCPT Moto, and more.) They sent me a set of their Xtreme shocks to test out on my Triumph Bonneville; fully-adjustable units that retail for €1,399 [$1516].

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By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Road tested: TFX Suspension Xtreme adjustable rear shocks
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Published Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2024 18:45:19 +0000

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