The Province

Q Car a faithful tribute to Bond’s Aston

- Brendan McAleer

There were many memorable things about Frank Baker’s Attic restaurant in West Vancouver: the huge size of the place, the all-you-can-eat smorgasbor­d, Frank himself in that white suit of his, always carrying a trumpet.

Mostly though, if you were a kid passing by, there was the car.

It’s probably the most recognizab­le movie machine ever made, James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5. Sean Connery starred in Goldfinger, but as far as Aston Martin was concerned, it was the DB5 that became the real hero.

Once struggling, the plucky little British sports-car company found itself suddenly possessed of the Midas touch. Bond and Aston Martin found themselves twined together for all eternity; Pierce Brosnan might have driven a BMW or two, but we all cheered when Daniel Craig climbed back into that silver DB5 for a spin around the block.

For car builder, motorcycle racer, and customizer Olivier Spilborghs, the DB5 would be more than just a childhood hero. Growing up in West Van, seeing Frank’s Aston Martin would plant a seed in his brain, one that would eventually grow into something he calls the Q Car, a faithful tribute to the original gadget filled Bond cars of the movies.

He’ll be showing off the completed machine, the culminatio­n of a twoand-a-half year project at this year’s Vancouver Internatio­nal Auto Show — and there’s a chance for you to win your own Bond Aston.

Spilborghs started out like a lot of young gearheads, hopping up a humble VW Beetle. He soon branched into car shows, building everything from replica Countachs to customized hotrods. Along the way he picked up a curious side business, assembling scale model Aston Martin DB5s, Bond-car replicas of that car he’d seen in his youth.

Frank’s DB5 was a real Bond car, one of the machines built and fitted with gadgets for publicity purposes. The 1/8th scale kits Spilborghs assembled were incredibly detailed models, right down to working accelerato­r pedals. Available only through an 86-week subscripti­on process, plenty of Bond enthusiast­s found the kits too onerous and fiddly, and Spilborghs’ mechanical aptitude for full scale cars translated well to miniature Bond assembly.

Now, he’s built a full-sized Q-car, working from the ground up. The drivetrain is from a Jaguar E-type, its straight-six very close to the original DB5 in both looks and performanc­e. All the gadgetry is replicated, from flipping licence plate to ejector seat, and the composite body looks identical to a real Bond car.

With DB5s fetching multiple millions, even a regular 1960s Aston Martin isn’t something you’re likely to see in the sheet metal.

Currently, there’s just one known to be in B.C., and it doesn’t come out very often (you may have seen it on an episode of Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee).

Visit the show to see Spilborghs’ labour of love and you’ll have the chance to win a version you can take home in your pocket. Spilborghs is giving away seven toy Bond cars.

There are two ways to enter. Take a picture of the Q Car and share it on Ins tag ram with the hash tag# theq-car2016v an auto show. Or, show up with your own vintage picture of the Frank Baker’s Attic DB5, and you’ll also have a chance to win.

 ?? — PNG FILES ?? Restaurate­ur Frank Baker, left, with the Aston Martin he bought from Mr. and Mrs. Sandy Luscombe-Whyte in 1969.
— PNG FILES Restaurate­ur Frank Baker, left, with the Aston Martin he bought from Mr. and Mrs. Sandy Luscombe-Whyte in 1969.
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada