No worries, MONOCHROME is still a magazine about watches and our love of beautiful horology. However, truth be told, watches aren’t our only passion… There are other kinds of wheels, pinions and engines that drive us crazy. Today, we’re introducing a new series on MONOCHROME, something that is still driven by passion, something that is still guided by our love for fine mechanics: “The Petrolhead Corner”. Kicking off this new column, some stories about Aston Martin, the James Bond 007 connection, insanely cool Bond-Spec DB5s and a new Rolls-Royce for Concorso d’Eleganza.
Why “The Petrolhead Corner”?
As you know, the very raison d’être of MONOCHROME is our passion for watches and the watchmaking world. This was why Frank Geelen founded this magazine 12 years ago and the reason why we produce as many stories as possible based on watches. Watches are a passion, watches made us become collectors, watches are the main topic of our days (and sometimes nights). However, there are other mechanical delights that make our hearts skip a beat.
With a fascination for mechanics in general, Frank and I (as well as other members of the MONOCHROME team) also share a second passion: cars. I’d go as far as calling us “Petrolheads”. And so you have the reason behind the creation of this new, weekly column: “The Petrolhead Corner”.
What will you find here? Cars, cars and more cars. Watches will be included from time to time, yet the main focus will be motorsport, sports cars, classic automobiles, racing, car event reports, interviews with inspiring personalities from the world of cars, and anything cool around the web.
Note this in your agendas… Every Saturday will be “The Petrolhead Corner” day on MONOCHROME. Enjoy!
A special Rolls-Royce for Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este
This weekend is the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, one of the most prestigious classic car events of the year, that takes place in Lake Como, Italy (one of our team members is attending, along with A. Lange & Söhne). While the main topic of the show is classic and vintage cars, some manufacturers benefit from the passion for beautiful mechanics there to present new models… Rolls-Royce is one of them.
The brand’s bespoke division just unveiled its latest Collection Car, Wraith Eagle VIII, to mark the 100-year anniversary of the first non-stop transatlantic flight completed by Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Brown in June 1919. Various elements of the Wraith Eagle VIII reference Alcock and Brown’s compelling night-time adventure, including an eye-catching fascia which represents a modern-day abstract interpretation of the view the pair would have enjoyed as their aircraft began its descent towards Ireland. Specific bi-colour interiors and exterior panels complete the package of this holy grail of luxury, together with a V12 engine delivering 623hp.
More details at www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com.
the “Classic Driver Edition” Aston Martin DB11
We’re all familiar with the limited edition watches created by watch magazines such as Hodinkee or Revolution… What you’re about to see is the “next-level”. Imagine a car magazine creating its own vision of an already superb GT car. This is what Classic Driver – one of the most respected car magazines and good friends of ours – has just done by creating the Aston Martin DB11 Classic Driver Edition.
Based on the standard-spec DB11 – AMG-based twin-turbo V8 boasting 496hp, 675 Nm of torque, front engine with RWD architecture and a design to make you swoon – Classic Drivers adds its own touch with a bespoke “Classic Driver Grey” colour inspired by Aston Martin’s famous 1960s shade of Charcoal Grey, specific Q by Aston Martin carbon-fibre body pack finished with a bespoke satin Eifel Green lacquer and exclusive Eifel Green Caithness leather interior. The result: a 20-piece limited edition car with incredible elegance…
How you can turn your classic Aston into a Bond-Spec BD5
If you’ve never dreamed of driving 007’s Aston Martin DB5 and playing with all the gadgets … we won’t believe you! James Bond has driven multiple DB cars over the years, but the Silver Birch DB5 that Sean Connery drove in 1964 in Goldfinger has remained in the spotlight ever since its debut. Since then, the DB5 and the gadgets that the Q branch fitted to the car became legendary.
Last year, Aston Martin announced the production of a 25-car run of DB5 continuation cars that would be fitted with all the gadgets featured in the movies. How cool is that? Chris Corbould, a Bond effects specialist, has been working closely with Aston Martin’s engineers to reproduce and integrate as many gadgets as possible into the cars – think revolving license plates, battering rams at both ends, a smoke screen and oil slick system, or headlight-mounted machine guns (which won’t shoot real bullets, though).
Deliveries of the first Bond DB5s will start next year, with a starting price of $3.5 million – being Bond comes at a certain price!
The “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” DBS Superleggera Edition
Closing this first edition of “The Petrolhead Corner” we continue with the Bond theme, as Aston Martin has recently revealed a special edition version of its flagship DBS Superleggera to celebrate the 50th anniversary of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. In this 1969 movie, the sixth in the series and the only one starring Australian actor George Lazenby, Bond drives a beautiful Olive Green Grand Tourer DBS, a colour that has been resurrected by the Gaydon-based manufacturer and its Q division.
According to Classic Driver, this “James Bond-inspired DBS Superleggera is a real stunner” and we have to agree! For the occasion, AM’s supercar is dressed in the same Olive Green as 007’s version and features unique alloy wheels harking back to the spokes on the original car, a silver strake through the iconic side intake, chrome-tipped exhausts, and a raft of interior touches highlighting Aston’s enduring relationship with the world’s favourite secret agent. Altogether, a superb edition, which retains the same engine and technical architecture – Aston’s own twin-turbo V12 boasting 715hp and abundant use of exotic materials to reduce the weight.