Daily Archives: 08-03-08

An Aside (XIV)

Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be…

When I was 8 (in 1966) my parents held quite a large birthday party for me. When I say ‘large’ I mean I had half-a-dozen or so school chums come to the house and we all over-indulged in jelly, cake and orange squash.

At the end of the night I somehow ended up with a pair of doubled-up birthday presents.

The hot toy in 1965/66 was Corgi’s model of James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5, featured in the film “Thunderball“. This car captured many kid’s imaginations because it was tricked out with, amongst other things, radiator cannons, tire slashers, oil slick squirters, a bullet-proof shield and… perhaps best of all… an ejector seat where 007 could send his passenger/assailant flying into the air via a flip-up roof.

I think it appealed to grown men too?… it being a model of one of THE sexiest and most beautiful cars ever designed!

Corgi’s little model was very much ‘on the money’ in looks, adding many of the special spy features just for good luck.

It feels amazing that at the age of 8 years old I somehow had to two of them!

I know that, for the longest time, I played with one and kept the other one in the box. It would have looked like this….

Now, I have ZERO idea – naturally – what happened to that second Aston Martin. Maybe I succumbed to playing with it, duelling two DB5’s against one another, flying it down the stairs, or maybe I just gave it away to another kid? (I did have the habit of giving toys away, much to my parents chagrin)

It somewhat pains me to report that IF I had managed to hold onto that second model, in perfect condition, until now I could easily sell it for up to £500 or $1000! Therefore, permit me if you will, a little silent whimper under my breath.

Searching for something completely unrelated on eBay a few weeks ago – in fact I can’t even remember what the search term was – a new Corgi version of that original DB5 model, at what seemed like a great price, caught my eye and, once again, my imagination. I felt a very rare wave of ‘needy nostalgia’ waft over me, and before I really knew it I was snapping this auction up using the “Buy It Now” feature and immediately Paypalling my cash over to the seller!!

It turned up a week later….

Just like the old days, I ripped it out of its box….

… and just like the old days I had to try out all the special features like the bullet-proof shield, the extending fenders (bumpers) and the ejector seat

For a short while I was mentally transported back to 1965, playing with car on the dining table of my parents first house on Market Street. I remembered my late Mum shouting at me to “get those toys off the table because dinner will be ready in a minute” and I remembered times of pitting MY DB5 against friends’ DB5s in boyhood races down garden paths and across bedroom floors. I remembered marking the bottom of my DB5 so it wouldn’t get mistaken for my friend’s, and – like almost EVERY kid who played with this toy in the 60’s – I even remembered the heartbreak I felt when I lost the little model villain following a particularly unfortunate ejection sequence. In my case, the l’il dude went through the fire screen and suffered a particularly ‘melty demise’ in our front room fireplace. I probably cried. I remembered that the toy never felt the same afterwards. (Maybe that’s when I opened the second box?).

They were all the briefest of memories that flashed across my withering brain, but they all made me grin like the proverbial Cheshire cat. Let’s face it – as you readers are maybe already muttering to yourselves – TRO can do with ANY memories he can muster really!

This 50-year-old then stopped playing with the car and carefully placed it in prime viewing position on the radiator cover here in my office.

It really IS one of THE sexiest and most beautifully-designed cars ever! If my wife reads this, can I have a real one for my birthday please! What if I promise never to use the ejector seat option on you?


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Filed under an aside, nostalgic ramblings