What’s that? or, Car envy

One of my neighbors was selling a Mitsubishi 3000 recently. I thought, “How nice, he’s outgrown fast cars.” Not so fast. Lisa pointed out a new car in his driveway when we were out on a walk, saying, “I think he got a classic Porsche.”

A closer look told me it was no Porsche (though the hatchback/fastback made it look a little like a 911 from the rear), but what it was was a little more obscure. Definitely a British sports car: right-hand drive, and the original British plate was still on the vehicle under its Mass. plate. But what model? Then I saw him start to back it out of the driveway, and it hit me. I told my wife, “I think that’s an Aston Martin—the James Bond car.”

I got a closer look as we went by. Sunroof with a cloth top, the famous winged Aston Martin logo on the back, gunmetal gray paint. I memorized the lines as best I could and went home to look it up. I was unfortunately unable to do the check that day, as that’s when the stomach flu that grounded me for much of the weekend into yesterday kicked in. But I looked it up today, and my neighbor is driving an Aston Martin DB Mark III. It is the James Bond car, but not the one that appears in the film. When Ian Fleming wrote the novel Goldfinger, he had Bond driving a DB Mark III, but this was upgraded to Aston Martin’s latest DB 5 when the film of Goldfinger was made.

As a longtime British car fan (I grew up with my dad’s project car, a 1967 MGB that he rebuilt or fixed from the chassis up, and drove my own 1977 MGB, his second project car, until an unfortunate carburetor fire), I am extremely jealous. Oh, to be in a small, potentially unsafe vehicle again, low to the ground, loud, and responsive…