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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

    The Man Who Supercharged Bond: The Extraordinary Story of Charles Amherst Villiers

    The Man Who Supercharged Bond: The Extraordinary Story of Charles Amherst Villiers

    In honor of the 50th anniversary of the first James Bond movie, Momentum would like to remind you of AIAA’s ties to the original stories. Charles Amherst Villiers, who was the president of the American Rocket Society (one of AIAA predecessor societies) in 1948, was a British automotive and aerospace engineer, and portrait painter, who designed a land speed record-breaking car and developed the supercharged “Blower Bentley.” The Blower Bentley used an Amherst Villiers supercharger bolted to the front of a Bentley 4½ Litre to boost its power. Amherst, as he was usually known, was a friend of Ian Fleming’s, and was mentioned in Casino Royale: “Bond's car was his only personal hobby. One of the last of the 4½-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, and it was capable of touring at ninety with thirty miles an hour in reserve.”

    For more information: The Man Who Supercharged Bond: The extraordinary story of Charles Amherst Villiers by Paul Kenny.  (amazon.com)

     

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