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It is with the greatest delight that we present the Bentley Special Series edition of Devil May Care. The ultimate in luxury editions — this beautifully crafted book represents a unique alliance between two of the world’s most iconic brands: James Bond and Bentley Motors.
Cars and James Bond have always had a special association — our favourite spy is suitably famed for his fast cars and even faster driving. Whether it’s in pursuit of an arch-nemesis or a beautiful woman, Bond is always at home behind the wheel of a luxury sports car. Contrary to popular belief however, Bond’s preference has historically been firmly with Bentley Motors.
In the course of the fourteen original Bond novels, Fleming wrote of Bond owning three Bentleys — the last of which was a Bentley R-type, which Bond lovingly referred to as ‘the locomotive’. These were Bond’s personal cars — the cars that Fleming thought most epitomized the discernment and style of his hero. In Devil May Care, written by Sebastian Faulks to celebrate the centenary of Ian Fleming’s birth, it is fitting that Bond is found once again in the driving seat of his favorite motor — the Bentley.
To mark this momentous occasion, the publishers approached the famous Crewe firm to produce a Bentley edition of the book. This beautifully crafted luxury edition is the result. Bringing together the design and materials that epitomise the quality and craftsmanship of Bentley Motors, this is the perfect celebration of the centenary of Ian Fleming’s birth. Only 300 copies of the Special Series edition will be produced worldwide, with only 100 available in the US, costing $1500 each.
A HISTORY OF BOND AND BENTLEY
In Casino Royale — we first hear of Bond’s fascination with Bentleys — he drives:
‘One of the last of the 4 ?-litre Bentleys with the supercharger by Amherst Villiers, he had bought it almost new in 1933 and had kept it in careful storage through the war. It was still serviced every year and, in London, a former Bentley mechanic, who worked in a garage near Bond’s Chelsea flat, tended it with jealous care. Bond drove it hard and well and with an almost sensual pleasure. It was a battleship-grey convertible coupé, which really did convert, and it was capable of touring at ninety with thirty miles an hour in reserve.’
Bond writes off his first Bentley in Moonraker — after which he takes delivery of a
‘The 1953 Mark VI, had an open touring body. It was battleship grey like the old 4 ? litre that had gone to its grave in a Maidstone garage, and the dark blue leather upholstery gave a luxurious hiss as he climbed awkwardly in beside the test driver.’
The Mark VI however is quickly surpassed by Bond’s third and final Bentley — the Continental, which Fleming describes as “the most selfish car in England.” This is the car that Bond drives in Thunderball and subsequently in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
‘It was a MK (V) I Continental Bentley that some rich idiot had married to a telegraph pole on the Great West Road. Bond had bought the bits for £1,500 and Rolls had straightened the bend in the chassis and fitted new clockwork - the Mark VI engine with 9.5 compression.’
This is the car that most seems to have captured Fleming’s imagination — he researched the specification carefully, going into meticulous detail as to the car’s modifications. Writing to his friend Whitney Straight he states:
‘In connection with James Bond's new car, I would like it to be a cross between a Continental Bentley and a Ford Thunderbird - i.e. a smallish cockpit with a long bonnet line and a large boot behind.’
He is thought to have based the car on a custom modified Bentley Continental designed by French coachbuilder Henri Chapron (http://www.continental.org.uk/index.htm?http://www.continental.org.uk/bond.htm). Fleming goes on to describe the novel in greater detail in the novels:
‘Bond had gone to Mulliners with £3,000 which was half his total capital, and they had sawn off the old cramped sports saloon body and had fitted a trim, rather square convertible two-seater affair, power-operated, with only two large armed bucket seats in black leather. The rest of the blunt end was all knife-edged rather ugly, trunk...’
Bond clearly shares Fleming’s passion for this particular car, so much so that he names it ‘the locomotive’... It’s his personal car (the Aston Martin was the ‘pool car’ of the service) and as such his real automotive passion stays with the Bentley.
‘The car was painted in rough, not gloss, battleship grey and the upholstery was black morocco... She went like a bird and a bomb and Bond loved her more than all the women at present in his life rolled, if that were feasible, together.’
And so — in Devil May Care Sebastian Faulks once more treats us to Bond happily behind the wheel of ‘the locomotive’ — you’ll have to wait until May 28th to read more.
THE DESIGN STORY
The publishers approached Bentley soon after they signed Sebastian Faulks to write the new James Bond novel. We had, from the very beginning, wanted to produce a special edition — and Bentley was the first and immediate choice. And so they went to Crewe, to Bentley HQ, to meet their design team.
Dirk van Braekel is Chief Designer at Bentley. He studied at the Royal College of Art, one of the first schools to specialize in car design. He then joined Volkswagen unit Audi in 1984, and was drafted in to head up Bentley’s design team when the VW group acquired the company in 1998. There, he created the groundbreaking design for the Bentley Continental GT, launched in 2004 and one of the most successful sports coupes of our times.
Under Dirk’s guidance, the Bentley Design team have produced the phenomenal design for the Special Series edition.
“What struck me with the Bond story is that throughout the novels there has always been the connection to Bentley which unfortunately has never really surfaced in the films, so unless you are an absolute Bond fan, hardly anybody knows this. Now we were offered an opportunity to get that link a bit more in the open.”
Fresh recruit to the team, Kate Whatmore, was instrumental in conceiving the wonderful combination of design elements which reflect the craftsmanship of Bentley and the Bentley of Bond’s era.
“As well as the time in which the story is set, the treatment for the design that Kate came up with captures in a subtle way the values that Bentley brand stands for: the leatherwork and bright metal parts; even the layout and the typefaces find their inspiration from the older car handbooks together with some references to what confidential and personal documents looked like in those days.”
The end result speaks for itself.
THE SPECIAL SERIES EDITION
The Special Series edition takes it’s inspiration from the original hard-cover cloth casing used by Jonathan Cape publishers when they first published Fleming’s books back in the 1950s and 60s. This is combined with the slick and stylish designs of the 1950’s and 60’s Bentley owner’s manuals and handbooks. The result is a beautiful and striking edition which immediately captures the suave sophistication of the James Bond novels.
Bound in Bodoniana style cases finished in ‘Burnt Oak’ leather — sourced from the Pasubia tannery, which provides the hides for Bentley. The leather casing is then stitched in the iconic Bentley diamond pattern, as found on the radiator grille and the upholstery of modern Bentleys. The stitching is hand applied by the same craftsmen who produce the Vatican’s leather-bound volumes. The Bentley ‘Flying B’ — the radiator cap of the Bentleys of Bond’s time — adorns the front cover and spine.
The inside of the casing is trimmed in deep red ‘Hotspur’ leather — with the striking fluting used on 50’s and 60’s Bentley interior upholstery. Inside the front cover, each edition is individually identified by its unique edition number on a black lacquer machined steel engine plate (as found on every Bentley engine).
The book is printed by Graphicom in Italy — who have used a Munken Print Cream 150gsm paper stock — the highest grade of paper appropriate for such an edition. The typography reflects exactly the styling of the Bentley owner’s manuals.
Each book block is then die-cut with a car-shaped silhouette. Then the piéce-de-resistance — into this die-cut hole is inserted a cast and polished 1:43 scale model of the modified R-type which Fleming is thought to have had Bond driving — the Locomotive. The model has been crafted by hand by Bentley’s current design team, and reflects all the details Fleming includes in his novels. Compulsion Gallery have produced just 300 of these models — each one is individually numbered to match each Special Series book.
Finally — each book is protected by a custom-made plexiglass slip-case, which itself will be sealed in protective and numbered wrapping to ensure that this exclusive luxury edition reaches you in perfect condition.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
10 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT JAMES BOND & IAN FLEMING
Q: Bond has had many famous incarnations on the big screen but, prior to these, he was first played on the radio by which British actor and game show host?
A: Bob Holness of Blockbusters fame
Q: Which Bond villain shares a birthday with his creator?
A: Ernst Stavro Blofeld. On Her Majesty's Secret Service reveals that Blofeld was born on 28 May 1908. Ian Lancaster Fleming entered the world on the same day at 7 Green Street in London.
Q: Which American President was a big fan of the Fleming novels?
A: President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was known to be a big fan of Fleming and listed From Russia With Love as one of his top 10 favourite books. Bizarrely, both Kennedy and his assassin Lee Harvey Oswald are believed to have been reading Bond novels the night before Kennedy was killed.
Q: Which famed children’s author helped Ian Fleming adapt his children's adventure story Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for the big screen?
A: Roald Dahl
Q: Where did Fleming write all his Bond books?
A: At Goldeneye, his Jamaican home. Although now part of a luxurious holiday resort, the house was very basic in Fleming's time--so much so that his friend and neighbour Noel Coward referred to it as Goldeneye, Nose and Throat!
Q: Although Ursula Andress wears the most famous bikini in cinema history in her iconic performance in Doctor No, in Fleming's novel of the same name the character Honeychile Rider wears even less. What does she wear?
A: She is naked save for a knife-belt.
Q: The first Bond novel, Casino Royale, originally had a different title when it was published in the US. Under what title was it initially published here?
A: The initial title here was You Asked For It.
Q: What is James Bond’s favorite meal?
A: Breakfast. He has a particular penchant for scrambled eggs, and the short story 007 in New York even includes his own recipe for them.
Q: Who is Miss Moneypenny named for?
A: Miss Moneypenny was named after a character in an unpublished novel written by Ian Fleming's brother, the travel writer Peter Fleming.
Sebastian Faulks's seven previous novels include the international bestseller Birdsong (1993), Charlotte Gray (2000), and most recently Engelby (2007). He lives in London, is married and has two sons and a daughter.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Doubleday; Limited edition (June 2, 2008), 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Limited Edition. SIGNED LIMITED LEATHER. Very few copies of this limited edition were signed by the author on a publisher's bookplate attached to the half title page. This Bentley edition is bound in Bodoniana style binding finished in 'Burnt Oak' leather - sourced from Conceria Pasubia SpA tannery in Italy, which provides the hides for Bentley. The leather casing is then stitched in the iconic Bentley diamond pattern, as found on the radiator grille and the upholstery of modern Bentleys. The Bentley 'Flying B' - the radiator cap of the Bentleys of Bond's time - adorns the front cover and spine. The inside of the casing is trimmed in deep red 'Hotspur' leather - with the striking fluting used on 1950s and 1960s Bentley interior upholstery. Inside the front cover, each edition is individually identified by its unique edition number on a black lacquer machined aluminium plate, produced by Rudd Macnamara, who supply the engine plates for Bentley. Each book block is then die-cut with a car-shaped silhouette. Then the pièce-de-résistance - into this die-cut hole is inserted a numbered cast and polished 1:43 scale model of the modified R Type which Bond drove - 'the Locomotive'. 300 copies produced. This copy is Signed by the author on a publisher's bookplate attached to the half title page. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # ABE-1486586804839