Could Hamburg’s Atlantic Hotel garage – the one portrayed in the 1997 film, Tomorrow Never Dies – be the most PetrolBloggy car park in the world? It’s an unlikely question, but having watched the James Bond film for what is probably the seventh time in a month, it’s something that got us thinking.
Until now, Tomorrow Never Dies was most notable for the fact that a single typo on a fax* resulted in the change from the original title of Tomorrow Never Lies. That, along with Teri Hatcher’s dress falling off, Desmond Llewelyn in an Avis uniform and that BMW 750iL.
Few cars used in Bond have managed to tick quite as many boxes as the silver 750iL, famously controlled via 007’s Ericcson JB988 mobile phone. It’s amazing how much the phone has dated, whereas the E38 BMW 7 Series just hasn’t. In fact, it gets more appealing with every passing year.
Anyway, back to the question in hand. Is the Atlantic Hotel’s ‘garagen’ (actually Brent Cross shopping centre) the most PetrolBloggy car park in the world?
To answer the question you really need to divert your eyes away from the main action. Yes, Pierce Brosnan controlling a majestic 7 Series using his phone is exciting. As are the explosions, the facial expressions and of course, the famous ending when the BMW Rent-A-Car lands – quite literally – at the Hamburg branch of Avis.
But there’s much, much more to it than that. Have a look at the four-minute chase sequence:
Just how many PetrolBloggy cars did you spot? It’s a veritable wet dream of 1980s and 1990s motors. We counted around 50 interesting cars, of which only 10 percent were killed or hurt in the name of entertainment. For England, James.
Notable cars include, in order of appearance:
Quite where the cars were sourced from is anyone’s guess, but they must have been selected based on their lack of interest beyond the realms of PetrolBlog. That said, what was a Fiat Duna doing in Hamburg? And killing a Renault Fuego? Surely that was the work of Sir Godfrey Tibbett, seeking revenge following his untimely demise in A View to a Kill?
Favourites from the list above? Well the Mk1 Seat Ibiza is quite lovely and – in what is clearly a tribute to the Volkswagen Beetle in Bullitt – appears multiple times, often parked in different locations. The same is true of the exiled Fiat Duna. And naturally it’s good to see a Citroën BX.
Although it’s less pleasurable to see it trashed by one of the Mercedes W126s belonging to Elliot Carver’s henchman.
Amazingly, only nine cars are damaged during the sequence of events, including:
It’s an age old problem for us here at PetrolBlog. More often than not, the car becomes the star, even in the most unlikely situations. There you are, watching a tense and nervous conclusion to some kind of thriller, when the silence in the room is broken by an outburst of “cor, that’s a Saab 90 – when did you last see one of those?”
Or, in the midst of a romantic tear-jerker, as a Mk1 Volkswagen Scirocco glides by, you reach for the iPad and start searching for said car on eBay.
And as these four minutes of classic James Bond action prove – even when the car is the centre of attention – it’s the mere bystanders and extras that can generate more interest.
Or maybe we should just get out more.
*for the benefit of anyone under the age of 30, a fax used to be a method of transmitting messages via paper and a telephone line. Amazing, isn’t it?