When James Bond drove a Range Rover, and wowed Manhattan
Before it starts you only knew two things. One, it was the new Range Rover Sport, the most capable SUV Land Rover has ever made. Two, there would be a prominent British actor seranading it.
At first, you only see him from behind as a giant crane slowly lowers a container with Land Rover boldly embossed on it. Slowly the camera pans into the container completely as it touches the ground with a thump.
In it, is a gleaming red, a little pinkish at that, Range Rover, resplendent in glossy paint. The camera then pans out for a full view. It is a dock in US all right.
The next moment, he is inside twisting the key as multifarious lights roll up on the instrument panel. The first glimpse is of the eyes in the rear view mirror, a sure shot giveaway. It is indeed Bond.
Over the next three and a half minutes, the car twists and turns at the docks, blazes past Brooklyn bridge with a crimson Manhattan skyline looming large in front, enters the maze of cross sections, gets stuck in traffic and then wades through a blocked flooded tunnel on its way past Penn station in front of Madison Square Garden, the venue for so many similar grand spectacles in the past, to appear before us through a black curtain. Right in front.
A recorded film juxtaposed beautifully with the real Daniel Craig driving on cordoned streets in the heart of Manhattan, arguably the busiest street in the world.
When it all ended, he never stayed with the car for more than 2 minutes. But for a change, James Bond world’s most famous if not prolific private detective was not driving his favourite Aston Martin. However, he did drive something almost equally special.
I have never been a fan of the Bond movies. If truth be told, I have never even seen one at full stretch. A bit of Goldeneye here, a Casino Royale there and a Tomorrow Never Dies somewhere in between.
The idea of a superhuman sleuth destined to survive all sorts of cunning schemes and deceptions and capable of riding everything from a yatch to a supersonic jet, beats me. I would rather a Superman or Spiderman instead.
The James Bond show at Manhattan however underlined what an impact a celluloid superstar can have on the fortunes of a car. Even, on a car as capable as a Range Rover Sport. I had to admit, Bond is something special. And if he is driving a car, it will be anything but ordinary.
Never mind that the Aston Martins he actually drives on the big screen, do not find too many takers these days.