THE OTHER BOND
Dear Classic American,
I read the article on the upcoming sale of the James Bond Cobra Jet Cougar with quite some interest as I also owned one of the three cars used in the film way back in the Seventies along with an old mate of mine, Carl Denhart (who sadly is no longer with us). He was pretty well-known in the American car circles, which in those days was much smaller, and between us and a few other people we mainly bought and sold our cars among ourselves. This was around 1974 or so – I don’t remember exactly – but I do remember lighting up the original Polyglass tyres on a lovely sunny day with the top down outside another mate’s house in Strood, leaving tyre marks for a few feet and being fascinated that it had a cassette player, which was still a relatively new invention to us back then!
The car we owned was used mainly for the still shots, as we understood it from the seller, and was flawless at the time. It was purchased out of the Exchange & Mart from a studio employee who’d bought the car from the company after the film was made.
It had very low miles and only had two names in the log book: the film company and the person who sold it to us. I can’t remember the price but it seemed expensive at the time compared with what the average
Yank sold for back then…
But here’s where things get a little odd, as I also remember sitting in Carl’s living room one night doing a deal with a trader from south London. When we went to exchange log books, he changed his mind because the car was registered as a ’68, although we all knew the car was a ’69 (convertibles were never made in ’67/’68). His point was that he couldn’t sell the car as a ’69, being registered as a ’68, and for that reason he backed out. I’m positive the car was on a ‘G’ plate and I know it was registered as a ’68 and I know it was one of the cars from the film. Sadly I rarely took pictures back then, Carl always did, so I’m sure there is a picture floating around somewhere possibly showing the licence plate. I think Ernie at EJ Motors in Streatham may have owned it at one time – perhaps his sons Terry or Les will remember the car? I will be watching the auction with keen interest. As an aside, back then nobody cared that it was a James Bond film car when we were trying to sell it – how times change!
Raysclassics, Oakland, California
Ray has been dealing in classic American cars and advertising with Classic American for many, many years, so it’s interesting to hear his life in classic American cars actually started out right here in the UK. It would certainly be interesting to hear what happened to the other two Cougars from the film… Anyone know?!