The Loss of the Lotus Esprit Bond
Roger Moore was not only a great Bond but the best brand ambassador Lotus ever had.
James Bond is one of those folkloric figures that transcends time. To some extent the Bond of your youth is the Bond you will be most fond of. Timothy Dalton was a perfectly fine Bond in my estimation, but perhaps that draws on the fact that I was a fawning action crazed adolescent when his movies were in theaters. Roger Moore certainly had a swagger. In some ways I feel he had a greater air of sophistication than even the great Sean Connery. Daniel Craig has done a bang up job as James Bond but with the passing of Roger Moore this week I have found myself reflecting on his legacy in terms of where his movies sit. Moonraker was a crazy movie by any stretch, all laser beams and space action. To some extent each movie is a product of or a snapshot of the time in which it finds itself. For me the 70's has always been a fairly dim and unremarkable decade and cinema certainly had it's doldrums to be sure. If you have never seen the ghastly (or brilliant depending on how coherent you are while watching) ZARDOZ featuring a post Bond Sean Connery in what is effectively an outfit of stripper boots and underwear, you really should see it just to give perspective on what in the world was going on in cinema at this time. By contrast Roger Moore had amped up the sophistication and made an art of snarky comment delivery.
A thoroughbred actor from the British tradition in every sense of the word. Not only did he elevate the roll but he gave us the Lotus Esprit. He made the car look even more characterful than it already appeared and imbued it with a certain irrevocable upscale Britishness that the brand sorely needed. Many people will immediately think of the white S1 Esprit when they here "Bond and Esprit" in the same sentence. For me it was the stunning bronzed Turbo with the Ski rack from "For Your Eyes Only" that was emblazoned in my mind. For me, it was even cooler than the Astons. I know. That's quite a statement, but for me the Lotus was absolutely it and fit the character perfectly. With the loss of Sir Roger Moore somehow that lovely Esprit seems older, more of the ages. Will the Esprit ever prove to be a design on the level of a DB5 or DB6? I think so. For me it already exists in this space, and this week after reflecting on it that much more I find myself wanting to add one to the collection all that much more.
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