Bavarian Motor Works

The James Bond franchise was not in a good place in the early 1990s after a couple of forgettable movies with Timothy Dalton in the starring role. After a six year drought, Bond returned to the silver screen in 1995’s Goldeneye, this time with ageless wonder Pierce Brosnan in the starring role. I was a middleschooler at the time and a big, big fan of the franchise. Cable stations ran Bond marathons during the summer months, and I spent my vacation watching the classics: Dr. No, Goldfinger, From Russia With Love, Moon Raker, the Man with the Golden Gun, etc, etc.

007 always had great cars, and Goldeneye created a serendipitous product placement opportunity for BMW, who had been developing a new roadster, the BMW Z3. The car does not play a significant role in the film — it’s shown only briefly for Q to explain to Bond that the little convertible can shoot rockets from its headlights — but the association with the movie pushed sales of the new roadster into the stratosphere. True Bond fans could even order a special 007 version of the BMW Z3 from the Nieman Marcus catalogue. Niemans was only planning on selling 25 of the special edition Z3s, but they were overwhelmed with demand and ended up requesting four times that amount from BMW.

I was too young to drive and certainly didn’t have the money for that kind of car, but I obsessed over Bond’s new ride. I settled on a comprimise and bought this leather BMW hat while on vacation in Door County, WI. I was very proud of the hat, but it didn’t make the impression that I had hoped it would on friends and family. It’s still a running joke in my family, and I still have a weird affection for it. The hat no longer fits but it still hangs next to several others in my closet.



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