Initials. Funny things. Being a child in the 1980’s, three initials were an arcade gamers’ challenge at the end of playing the game. If you had managed to get a top score, you would undoubtedly want to use your own initials. There was kudos if you could be top of the high scores across multiple games in the arcade especially if it was on the shoot-em-ups and racing games.
I managed it once. I held top spot on a vector graphics game of Star Wars. Sitting inside the game with its lights and design reminiscent of actually being inside an X-wing fighter, I knew where the attacks would be coming from, where I needed to swoop to and most importantly, at what point I had to release my Death Star destroying payload. Level up after level up, I played and played and spent a small fortune to get my name to the top of the tree. The feeling of checking back at the end of the day and seeing I was still there was adrenaline inducing.
But, it was short lived. Bigger and better games would arrive and I wasn’t so hot.
Outrun, an amazing Ferrari based arcade game arrived on the scene but the queues to get a go were long. Too long. I was impatient so if I couldn’t play on that I’d go to some of the older games where I could still reach the top step. But then it happened. Another reason to get scores. Initials could make rude words. In the right order, they could create a rude message. It was a task but if you used the initials of the kid who was always at the top, it became a way of making it all about them too.
Oh the childish fun playing Pac-Man and Bombjack just so you could create a small-initialed story about that kid, his mother and father and the things they did. It would always involve BUM, JIZ and his MUM but as a ten year old, it was hilarious.
Fast forward to my mid-twenties and now I’m grown up. TLA’s (three letter acronyms) are now the norm. Initials are something I do to a proposal document to confirm a change or to a mistake I’ve written on a cheque. They have become consigned to my past and the arcade is now a dim and distant memory. Computer games are now so complicated you need someone to explain them and they make a lot of noise. All the old ‘classics’ have long since gone and now mega-shooting games; zombies, guns, goggles and appendages adorn an arcade so I avoid them. They look far too complicated.
But, during yet another boring presentation where someone has not monitored the creators’ use of Clipart, I look through their provided notes and begin to play the TLA story game to myself. Since being ten years old, my word knowledge of both clean and swear words has increased considerably so very soon, I’m penning a massive amount about this presenter.
I must have looked incredibly attentive and enthralled during the presentation seeing as afterwards, he approached me to discuss his product/service further. My mouth flapped about like a beached mackerel while my entire mind was flashing across my eyes: TWT. (OK, it wasn’t an acronym so much as just missing a vowel.)
And so, here I am entering my forties and I still have a general distaste for professional acronyms. However, initials, for me, are making a comeback.
To many who may have had the misfortune of working in and around the IT industry, DB was always used for database. But when used around cars, it conjures up images of an Aston Martin. Probably the most famous for many will be the DB5, having not only being one of the most beautiful Bond cars it is also simply one of the most beautiful cars ever created.
But as the number will signify, there were variants before that. With David Brown at the helm, Aston produced cars carrying the DB moniker. In the 1950’s, motor racing was believed to be the route to promotion and development of engineering and so, in 1951/52, this led to them creating the DB3.
While it had a decent season in 1952, it needed to be lighter and have a power increase and this led them to create the DB3S. The DB3S has been a recent visitor to my life. It may not be an original car but first off, look at it. Just look at it!
I walked up to it and around it. Twice. Like many cars of that era, it has a quiet and calm presence that just makes you want to keep looking. Having that Aston Martin face though means that it holds your eyes just a little longer than most of the others.
This creation is the work of WAM Replicas. William Anthony Monk, or Bill as he is known, spent many years owning, restoring and racing this era’s cars, especially the DB3S. Having learnt his trade on various Aston’s, he lusted after the DB3S, eventually owning, racing and destroying chassis number 120. The rebuilding of it subsequently served him well and he continued to own the car for eleven years before selling it to buy the ex-Le Mans DB3S, chassis number 10.
As was the way, the car arrived in bits that he duly rebuilt until complete when he then raced the car for the next five years. Eventually selling the car, and having amassed a great deal of original spare parts over the years, led to Bill creating the first WAM replica. However, original spares depleted, Bill decided to create a more affordable DB3S replica and so, this has resulted in what you see here. His own ladder-frame chassis, a BMW straight 6 engine and transmission draped with a fibreglass body.
OK, I’ll admit, from the front it is more guppy fish than classic Aston thanks to that scoop but it still hits some great visual notes. I particularly like the rear three-quarter lines but best of all is when you take it out and drive it. There’s no fancy baffles up the pipes here. The noise is genuine as is the spit of flame from the overrun which accompanies downshifts. I heartily recommend that take place in a tunnel. At night. Fuck iTunes!
Fortunately we had this car for a whole day so we took it to Silverstone to attend the VSCC Pomeroy trophy. Considering the original cars scattered around the paddock, this replica joined in well and complemented the scene very well indeed.
Considering the snobbery around replicas and with many a corner of the internet littered with carbage such as MR2 based Ferrari 355’s through to gull-winged fake gaudy Rolls Phantoms, you can be forgiven for feeling that having one of these that has been put together with thought, care and attention can be an appealing option. After all, an original DB3S will cost you a right old knob and a cock whereas this gives you an everyday usable car that looks stylish, delivers driving pleasure and doesn’t make you the laughing stock of twatter. Result.
So, as we return to the office with the pipes cooling, rainbow colours boiling the light drizzle that is starting to fall, the caked mud splattering that delightful paintwork and chill blanes starting to burn our faces, it’s a fair thing to state that WAM did a GRT JOB.