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  1. MAN Truck & Bus Press Release / May 26, 2017 The highest quality in assembly expertise proven time and again // Anniversary vehicle customer: traditional brewery Stiegl On 9 May 2017, MAN celebrated a proud anniversary at its site in Steyr: since the first TGL/TGM-series pre-production vehicles rolled off the line in late 2004 and series production got fully under way for all series models in 2006, exactly 200,000 vehicles have been produced. "We are particularly proud that our customers have placed their trust in the superior quality of our products, and especially the TGL/TGM series, for over a decade. For us, this enormous number, which we are celebrating reaching today, is not only the proof, but above all the motivation for our work," explains Thomas Müller (Dipl.Chem.Ing.), Production Manager at MAN Truck & Bus Austria, Steyr plant. The customer and future operator of this anniversary vehicle is the Austrian traditional brewery company, Stiegl. Dr. Mario Partl, Head of Truck Sales and Internal Service Operations at the MAN Sales Company in Austria, handed over the symbolic ignition key to Thomas Gerbl (MBA), Managing Director of Stiegl, and highlighted the value of the longstanding partnership between MAN and Stiegl. Thomas Gerbl (MBA) stressed that the superior quality and reliability of MAN's products was a significant criterion and key element of the partner-ship. "Above all, our two companies are characterised by the link they cre-ate between awareness of tradition and future-oriented sustainability." Mr Gerbl expressed his sincere thanks again to the production team assembled before him and then welcomed them to the ceremony with a round of drinks from the Stiegl brewery - alcohol-free of course! Stiegl is also a partner of the consortium CNL (council for sustainable logis-tics), which, in autumn, will receive nine TGM trucks with electric drive, pro-duced by MAN at its plant in Steyr, for field trials. Production of the lightweight and medium-sized trucks continues to be the core activity at the Steyr site, although, since mid-2015, expansion has been taking place to incorporate new competencies, in the fields of special vehicle construction, plastic part paintwork and electromobility. .
  2. Iveco Trucks Press Release / May 28, 2017 An adrenaline-fuelled weekend full of challenge for IVECO: it’s another win for the Bullen of IVECO Magirus with Jochen Hahn at the Italian Truck Race. Centre stage in the IVECO paddock were the Stralis Emotional Trucks: the brand new Hahn Racing Emotional Truck, the Team Schwabentruck Emotional Truck, and the Team PETRONAS De Rooy IVECO Emotional Truck, which celebrates the successes of De Rooy’s team at the Dakar rally raid. The Bullen of IVECO Magirus – Hahn Racing and Team Schwabentruck – have just completed the Grand Prix of Italy of the 2017 edition of the European Truck Racing Championship in Misano (RN). Defending champion Jochen Hahn brings home another victory in the second race of the first day with his new IVECO Stralis 440 E 56 XP-R race truck mounting an IVECO Cursor 13 engine specially prepared by FPT Industrial. The Italian Truck Race took place over the two days of the weekend with four competitions, two on Saturday and two on Sunday. The first of the four competitions of the Grand Prix in Misano turned out to be particularly difficult for the pilots running on the Misano circuit due to the high temperatures, which put the engines to the test. Gerd Körber, Team Schwabentruck, was not discouraged by starting last on the grid and succeeded in making an impressive recovery, overtaking five competitors and finishing in seventh position. Jochen Hahn drove a steady race, finishing fifth. The second race of the day saw the Hahn’s triumph, and confirmed his competitive spirit on the track. Gerd Körber started in first position and took the lead in the second lap, and soon gave way to the faster Hahn, who was close behind him. Körber’s chosen strategy was to control the competitors who posed the biggest threat to Johen’s lead, allowing him to race ahead to victory. Gerd stayed ahead of the strongest pilots in the category for several laps, slowing their pace, and finished in fifth place. Also Sunday’s first round was very demanding: Gerd Körber started in eighth position on the grid and drove a good race, finishing sixth e demonstrating again his strength in a fierce duel against a competitor. Jochen Hahn ended in eighth position. The IVECO paddock welcomed the visitors of the Truck Driver’s Week End event during the two days of the Misano Truck Race. They were able to test drive the vehicles, speak with specialized personnel and meet the pilots of the Bullen of IVECO Magirus, who were on the stand to meet their fans. In this round too, IVECO showcased its famous Stralis Emotional Trucks – its special tribute to the world of motor sports: the brand new Hahn Racing Emotional Truck in its blue and white colors and the Team Schwabentruck Emotional Truck were on display with the PETRONAS De Rooy IVECO Emotional Truck that celebrates the successes De Rooy’s team at the Dakar rally raid. For IVECO these two days were also a valuable opportunity to be in direct contact with its customers and with all the Stralis drivers who are every day on the road across Europe – and who share a great passion for Truck Racing. The next Grand Prix of the FIA European Truck Racing Championship 2017 will take place at the Nürburgring circuit in Germany on July 1st and 2nd. .
  3. This remote factory is where Trump may finally draw the line on trade The Washington Post / May 29, 2017 HAWESVILLE, Kentucky — When Bill Hughes went to fight in Iraq in 2003, members of his Army unit lined their vehicles with scrap metal, sandbags and bulletproof vests to protect themselves from roadside bombs. By the time his younger brother Ryan Young was in Iraq in 2008, the vehicles were made of a high-purity aluminum alloy that was much more effective at absorbing the blast. “At the beginning of the Iraq War, the Humvees were folding up like pop cans,” Hughes said. “It was a really big deal until they started putting the different metals in.” Today, Hughes and Young work side by side here at the last U.S. smelter that makes the high-purity aluminum used in armored vehicles, sons of a region where jobs in the metal industry, ubiquitous for decades, have become a rapidly disappearing way of life. Hawesville’s Century Aluminum Co. plant constantly teeters on the edge of shutting down, typical in an industry where a glut of cheap metal from China has forced many plants to close. But hope came to Hawesville in April, when President Trump announced that his administration was considering restricting imports of foreign-forged aluminum in the name of national security, arguing that domestic plants needed to be protected to ensure that the country can make its own war machines. “When that come out, there was a buzz in the area. You could just see the excitement on people’s faces,” said Hughes, 34. A decision by the Trump administration to use national security to protect an industry would be among the most dramatic — and risky — moves in the president’s trade agenda, which seeks to limit what he regards as unfair foreign competition. While intervention could be a boon for Hawesville, it could raise prices for other customers and companies — including the federal government, which ultimately buys the armored vehicles and fighter jets made from the aluminum. And amid the debate over how far the government should go to protect certain industries in the era of global competition and technological change, some trade and industry experts are questioning whether the administration is simply using national security as an excuse for economic protectionism. The decision — based on a Commerce Department investigation — will come out in June, Trump said in a tweet Saturday night. “Will take more action if necessary,” he wrote. The debate over aluminum’s future in the United States comes after 20 years of China flooding the global market with the natural resource, depressing prices to a level where few U.S. companies can compete. The United States has gone from having 23 operational aluminum smelters in 1993 to just five today, with only two running at full capacity. Over the last five years, Hawesville’s Century Aluminum has twice issued notices that it would shut down permanently in 60 days, before pulling its business back from the brink. It has laid off more than 300 people in just the last two years and has been scrapping unused machinery for extra cash. Another dip in global prices could shut its doors forever. The more than 200 jobs that remain, while they pay well for the area, are grueling ones, often 16 hours of physical labor in temperatures reaching 140 degrees. If the administration’s investigation finds that the country’s defense capabilities are being compromised by the decline of aluminum plants like the one in Hawesville, the president would have the power to impose tariffs or other restrictions on imports. Because it’s in the name of national security, Trump could circumvent a longer, more complicated process for changing trade policy at the World Trade Organization. The Obama administration filed a complaint about China’s aluminum industry at the WTO in January, but it has yet to deliver a ruling. Instead, the Trump administration has relied on a rarely used trade measure known as a Section 232 probe. The administration has also announced such a probe into steel. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross called the kind of high-purity aluminum produced by the Hawesville smelter “a hugely important thing to defense.” “Our industrial base is our most important, competitive weapon in any kind of global conflict,” Ross said. “I’m not a warmonger, but the best way to be sure you have to fight a war is if everybody knows you are incapable of defending yourself.” Yet any resulting action could have unintended consequences. Past administrations have used Section 232 sparingly, because of the concern that this exception to international trade guidelines might become the new rule. “If we can use national security to block aluminum imports, other countries can and will use it to block agriculture and aviation imports,” said Derek Scissors, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. “Widespread use of 232 by the United States won't just curb imports, it will curb trade.” Others question whether the investigation is really motivated by security concerns, or whether it is a veiled effort to protect U.S. companies from foreign competition. Tom Leary, an analyst at the consulting firm Harbor Aluminum, said the United States has plenty of access to aluminum in Canada, a top ally from which the U.S. government already sources a lot of defense equipment. Chinese producers don’t directly export raw aluminum into the United States, so tariffs may have little effect on the country that many in the aluminum industry say is the real culprit. Chinese aluminum production has hurt U.S. producers by flooding global market and depressing prices everywhere. Chrystia Freeland, the foreign minister of Canada, said she had pressed Trump administration officials about the investigation’s potential effects. “It’s amazing and astonishing and absurd to me that Canada would be considered in that frame given our shared security interests,” she said in an interview. If the Trump administration chooses to restrict aluminum imports, that could keep the doors open for Century, which operates mostly in the United States, but it would raise costs for other businesses — like the industries that mix the metal into alloys, roll it out into long sheets or stamp it into automobiles and window frames. It could also mean higher costs for the ultimate buyer of American-made defense goods: the U.S. government, said Dan Stohr, a spokesman for the Aerospace Industries Association, a trade association for the defense industry. The national security is a wrinkle in a larger debate over manufacturing in America: whether the government should intervene to shelter a place like Hawesville from the winds of global trade. It’s a familiar topic here, where locals have been buffeted by forces beyond their control for decades. The Whirlpool factory moved its jobs to Mexico. A glut of Russian metal put the local steel mill out of business. Competition from China forced furniture factories to close. Trump’s promises to punish companies that moved their operations abroad resonated here, with locals saying they just want a level playing field. Like his brother, Hughes voted for Trump. “I wanted to see some kind of different change. The previous eight years didn’t work out so well for us,” he said. “When you start seeing places close down, you start looking for an answer.” The community still has jobs, but it shows signs of wear. In Cannelton, Ind., across the Ohio River, shop windows are boarded up. At the Century plant, the jobs, already taxing, have become harder with cutbacks. Union members say that four employees now do the work that 10 once did. Overtime is common, with workers tending smoldering vats of molten metal for up to 16 hours a shift. Even though the factory is open to the breeze, the temperatures can climb to 140 degrees in the summer. Workers drink two or three gallons of water a day, and at the end of their shift they can wring the sweat from their clothes. Despite the grueling work, locals say these are good jobs that are worth protecting. Hughes and Young rely on them to raise four kids each. The average job at the Hawesville plant pays $23 an hour — $10 or more an hour than the jobs that their friends who have been laid off from the smelter have found in furniture factories, prisons and lawn care services. The difference, locals say, is affording three-bedroom house vs. being stuck in a trailer. Before coming to Century Aluminum, Hughes and Young used to work across the river in Indiana at an iron foundry and then at an aluminum smelter owned by Alcoa. Young was at the Alcoa plant in January 2016 on the day it announced that it was closing its doors, laying him off and hundreds of others. He counts himself lucky to have found a job at Hawesville — and frets about what its potential closure could mean. “If you take this job away, you're taking one of the best-paying jobs in this area,” Young said. “If we lose the smelting jobs around this area, it's going to destroy this community.” Yet the forces buffeting Hawesville won’t be entirely mitigated even if Trump announces tough action to protect aluminum. Locals say that, in addition to trade deals and the rise of China, part of the reason for job losses is the declining fortunes of coal, which is what brought the aluminum industry to Kentucky in the first place. To produce aluminum, smelters run a powerful electrical current through the raw material, alumina. When it was running at full capacity, the Hawesville plant used nearly 500 megawatts (MW) per hour, comparable to a city the size of Austin or Columbus, Ohio. Because the process is so energy-intensive, smelters tend to crop up in places with energy to spare — like the oil-rich Middle East or the geothermal hot spot of Iceland. But in the United States, changes in the economy have made aluminum smelting less viable. In Washington state, for instance, the smelters that used to operate near the hydroelectric power plants along the Columbia River have been priced out by the power-chugging server farms of tech companies such as Microsoft. As U.S. regulations on carbon-intensive coal electricity have gotten tougher, Hawesville’s rationale for aluminum began to fade. Young hopes smelting jobs survive in the Hawesville area, but he’s preparing in case they don’t. He said he’s going to preach to his kids that education is the only way to succeed. “I don’t want my kids to have to work the schedules I’ve had to work, the long hours I’ve had to work,” he said. “I want them to know that there’s more out there than just backbreaking labor.” .
  4. Did you have your local Mack brand dealer look at the truck and provide you with an in-depth diagnosis? If necessary, they could have their district service representative come in to look at it (I assume Volvo hasn't cancelled that Mack position).
  5. Today's Trucking / May 29, 2017 This six-video series looks closely at Freightliner's New Cascadia. It's not a rework or a remake of the popular Cascadia, but clean-page design that improves much of what made the Cascadia popular. Fuel efficiency is said to be 8 percent better than the current Evolution model and a whopping 13 percent better than the base-model Cascadia. In this video, number four in a six-part series, we dig into the Cascadia's fuel saving potential and explore the technology that makes those savings possible. Click on the link below to watch all six 2018 New Cascadia videos, along with our full line-up of Ultimate Test Drive videos. http://www.todaystrucking.com/video-test-drives .
  6. A savvy plan for the Trump era Automotive News / May 29, 2017 Automation allowed Gentex to close global plants ZEELAND, Mich. — The Trump administration has a vision for U.S. manufacturers: It wants them to rely less on overseas factories and to hire and train more American workers. Easier said than done? Well, Michigan automotive mirror-maker Gentex Inc. offers a glimpse of what the future might look like in the Trump era. The supplier has figured out a way to move production from overseas to the American Midwest — and things are working out just fine. In recent years, Gentex closed its two foreign plants in low-wage Mexico and China and consolidated all production into a single factory complex in western Michigan. The Zeeland plant now produces self-dimming mirrors, garage door openers and everything else in the Gentex product catalog for global markets. This is the sort of business model the new president is pressing manufacturers to adopt. But Gentex designed its plan not for political reasons, but for purely competitive ones as its products become more complex. And for champions of the push to create U.S. automotive jobs, Gentex has sobering news: Making modern car parts in America today is going to take a whole lot of robots. Factory automation is what made it possible for Gentex to move production from overseas to the Midwest. "It's a tricky product," says Steve Downing, Gentex CFO, as he inspects the company's 2-year-old assembly line that makes one of the industry's most advanced rearview mirrors. "Any scratches or smudges, or even the shipping, can damage these mirrors. Cleanliness is key." In one corner of the Zeeland complex, a white-gowned worker loads glass pieces onto an assembly line that produces the "full-display mirror" for Cadillac — a rearview mirror with built-in video displays. Despite her production training, there is a trash can next to her workstation filled with glass shards, lingering evidence of a once-high reject rate that bedeviled Gentex when it launched production here in 2015. Having put all of its eggs into one U.S. basket, Gentex heavily invested in automation to perform as much of the product line's delicate work as possible. "In a perfect world, we would want to automate the whole thing," Downing said. "But the cost is a gamble. The question is, do you have the confidence to put your money where your mouth is? CFOs kill a lot of these deals. I've got to trust that there's a payback." A new landscape Gentex earmarks a significant chunk of its revenue — generally 6 to 8 percent of sales — for its capital budget, which covers the cost of automation. The company designs its own tooling and produces its own chemicals and coatings on-site. To date, Gentex has not eliminated any of the 4,000 Zeeland workers it has had since emerging from the 2008 recession. More products are being made now in Zeeland, including garage door openers, backup cameras and sensors for self-dimming headlights. As the company adds automation, workers are reassigned to other tasks. But the landscape of the factory is clearly changing. A typical production line is staffed by just five or six workers who feed mirror components from racks, monitor equipment and conduct backup visual inspections. Only a decade ago, 20 to 30 gowned workers would assemble mirrors along a long production line in a clean room, according to Downing. Finicky It's a finicky process to assemble the glass, frame, coatings, chemicals and light sensors that comprise these mirrors, which cost five to 10 times more than a conventional auto-dimming mirror. That's why Gentex consolidated production in one location. Defects in the highly engineered mirrors are costly, so it made sense to put the work under the watchful eyes of several hundred Michigan engineers. The company's Michigan wages average $14.50 an hour, which it supplements with a quarterly profit-sharing bonus of 13 to 18 percent of wages. By contrast, suppliers in Mexico typically pay just $2.61 an hour, according to a Center for Automotive Research report published last year. But Gentex shut down production of its HomeLink garage door openers in Mexico after it purchased that operation from Johnson Controls Inc. in 2013. The Mexican plant had aging equipment, and Gentex concluded it would be impossible to boost output without hiring more workers. Instead, the company installed new production equipment in Zeeland. Now, 40 U.S. workers are needed on a line that once required 100. The business unit is 20 percent more productive, Downing says. The Gentex factory in China also fell victim to a cost-benefit analysis. At the insistence of several customers — including SAIC Motor and Beijing Automotive — Gentex set up a plant in Shanghai to handle final assembly of self-dimming mirrors. Gentex shipped glass and circuit boards to China, where workers would unpack the components, assemble them and repack them for shipment to customers. But that, too, was inefficient. Gentex argued it could ship the finished products cheaply from Zeeland, but China's state-owned automakers insisted on local production. During the global recession, Gentex finally got permission to shut down its Shanghai factory. "Desperation is a beautiful thing," Downing quipped. "It allowed us to force our Chinese customers to tell us the truth. We asked them: 'Do you care more about localization or low prices?'" Gentex was able to negotiate discounts of 30 to 40 percent on goods shipped from the U.S. to China, since shipping companies were eager to fill half-empty cargo containers. That made it profitable to ship mirrors from Zeeland, even though they were subject to China's import tariff. Job killers Gentex has an advantage over other suppliers that might feel the pressure to repatriate manufacturing work, according to Jay Baron, president of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich. Highly engineered products and new technologies come with a higher price tag to customers and yield bigger margins. But for more mundane parts with high labor content, locales such as Mexico and China will retain a competitive advantage, Baron says. "Things like cut-and-sew seat covers and wire harnesses are relatively low-tech," Baron said. "Those products don't change a lot, and they are labor intensive." Baron and others believe such labor-intensive products will simply never return to U.S. factories. Moreover, analysts believe U.S. auto-sector employment will continue to decline as factories become more efficient. According to a 2015 study by Michael Hicks, economics professor at BallStateUniversity in Muncie, Ind., automation is by far the leading cause of manufacturing job losses. Manufacturers of vehicles and transportation equipment increased their productivity per worker by 64 percent during the study's 10-year period, Hicks found. But the sector saw the elimination of 716,500 jobs during the period — and productivity gains directly accounted for nearly 86 percent of the losses. "Employment in manufacturing has stagnated for some time, primarily due to growth in productivity," the report concluded. More business Despite its devotion to automation, Gentex has not laid off U.S. workers because sales have kept growing. Last year, Gentex revenues totaled $1.68 billion, up from $1.01 billion in 2012. The full-display mirror adopted by Cadillac is in test production for four other customers. But it is far from certain how that will translate into more jobs. Recent advances in robotics are making automation more common among suppliers, a development that will likely make the companies need fewer workers — even as the Trump administration campaigns for manufacturing jobs growth. Robot-makers such as Fanuc and ABB Robotics are introducing "collaborative" robots that can operate side by side with human workers on an assembly line, rather than being segregated in more expensive automation areas, in safety cages or behind plexiglass shields. Gentex itself is testing ABB's collaborative robot — dubbed YuMi — in its Zeeland plant. If other companies emulate Gentex's "build-it-here" strategy, there may be more robots to come — but not necessarily more American jobs. .
  7. For some time now, all the Mack dealers have had in their possession a teaser video showing the new Mack model. They cut off the roof to make it stand up, more competitive for long haul. You can ask your local salesman to show it to you. It looks as if the same stylist responsible for the US market CAT vocational trucks was hired by Volvo to create the styling cues for the new model.
  8. I’m repeatedly on record as despising the post-Ted Turner CNN. But that said, this news report actually makes sense. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ CNN / May 26, 2017 Then-FBI Director James Comey knew that a critical piece of information relating to the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email was fake -- created by Russian intelligence -- but he feared that if it became public it would undermine the probe and the Justice Department itself, according to multiple officials with knowledge of the process. As a result, Comey acted unilaterally last summer to publicly declare the investigation over -- without consulting then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch -- while at the same time stating that Clinton had been "extremely careless" in her handling of classified information. His press conference caused a firestorm of controversy and drew criticism from both Democrats and Republicans. Comey's actions based on what he knew was Russian disinformation offer a stark example of the way Russian interference impacted the decisions of the highest-level US officials during the 2016 campaign. The Washington Post reported Wednesday that this Russian intelligence was unreliable. US officials now say Comey and FBI officials actually knew early on that this intelligence was indeed false. In fact, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe went to Capitol Hill Thursday to push back on the notion that the FBI was duped, according to a source familiar with a meeting McCabe had with members of the Senate intelligence committee. The Russian intelligence at issue purported to show that then-Attorney General Lynch had been compromised in the Clinton investigation. The intelligence described emails between then-Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and a political operative suggesting that Lynch would make the FBI investigation of Clinton go away. In classified sessions with members of Congress several months ago, Comey described those emails in the Russian claim and expressed his concern that this Russian information could "drop" and that would undermine the Clinton investigation and the Justice Department in general, according to one government official. Still, Comey did not let on to lawmakers that there were doubts about the veracity of the intelligence, according to sources familiar with the briefings. It is unclear why Comey was not more forthcoming in a classified setting. Sources close to Comey say he felt that it didn't matter if the information was accurate, because his big fear was that if the Russians released the information publicly, there would be no way for law enforcement and intelligence officials to discredit it without burning intelligence sources and methods. There were other factors behind Comey's decision, sources say. In at least one classified session, Comey cited that intelligence as the primary reason he took the unusual step of publicly announcing the end of the Clinton email probe. In that briefing, Comey did not even mention the other reason he gave in public testimony for acting independently of the Justice Department -- that Lynch was compromised because Bill Clinton boarded her plane and spoke to her during the investigation, these sources say.
  9. By Sir Roger Moore For The Daily Mail The first rule when I took over as James Bond was: no Martinis, either shaken or stirred. Producer Cubby Broccoli had just handed me a contract to play 007 and I was ecstatic about it. It was 1972, I was 44 years old and although I had enjoyed huge TV success with The Saint, I was not a cinema star. This role had been a long time coming. Although I hadn’t known it at the time, I had apparently been on the shortlist for Bond a decade earlier for the first film, Dr No. The part went to some Scottish guy called Sean. Then, when Sean was getting fed up in the mid-Sixties, my name came up again. This time, an Australian underwear model called George [Lazenby] got the nod. So when Bond was up for grabs once more, I was determined not to rock the boat. Director Guy Hamilton banned that trademark Martini line because he was anxious that I shouldn’t have any lines that were associated with Sean. ‘Of course,’ I said smoothly. A little later my phone rang, with a message for me from Broccoli’s co-producer, Harry Saltzman: ‘Cubby thinks you need to lose a little weight.’ Well, I’d been filming the TV series The Persuaders with Tony Curtis, whose love of the good life had rubbed off on me. ‘OK,’ I said, and started a strict diet. The phone rang again: ‘Cubby thinks you’re a little out of shape.’ So I started a tough fitness regimen. Again the phone rang, and this time it was Cubby: ‘Harry thinks your hair is a little too long.’ ‘Why didn’t you just cast a thin, fit, bald fellow in the first place and avoid putting me through this hell?’ I replied. Filming on Live And Let Die began that October in New York before moving to New Orleans, where I was to suffer my first — but by no means last — injury as Bond, in the big jet-boat chase. The thing about jet boats is, although they are lovely to drive, to turn them you have to pile on the speed. I did quite a few run-throughs to practise my technique and while banking on one such run, I realised that there wasn’t much fuel left in the tank — as the engine cut out. I had no steering! I therefore continued in a straight line... directly into a wooden boathouse. On impact, I flew out of the boat and into a wall, cracking my front teeth and twisting my knee badly. I needed a walking cane for days afterwards, but fortunately most of the schedule involved me sitting down in the boat. There I was, a fearless 007, hobbling on a cane to my boat and then pretending to be indestructible for the cameras. Who says I can’t act? Our last sequence in New Orleans was the airfield one, where Bond gives an unorthodox flying lesson to Mrs Bell. On my last scene, I suddenly felt a terrible pain in my groin. I asked to be excused and went to lie down in my trailer for a while. A short time later, assistant director Derek Cracknell came calling, took one look at his heroic star with knees under his chin — I was in such pain — and sent me to hospital, where they decided it was a kidney stone problem. All sorts of painkilling drugs were administered. I was doped to the eyeballs when an officious little chap walked in with a clipboard. ‘Name?’ he asked. ‘Roger Moore,’ I moaned. ‘Who do you work for?’ ‘Eon Productions,’ I said. ‘What’s their address?’ ‘I don’t know,’ I said, wondering what the hell this had to do with my recovery. ‘You don’t know who you work for?’ he snapped incredulously. ‘Where do you live?’ ‘Sherwood House, Tilehouse Lane, Denham,’ I replied. ‘What number?’ ‘I don’t have a number, my house has a name.’ He was really beginning to annoy me, delirious or not. ‘OK, then,’ he added smartly, ‘how does the mailman find you without a number?’ ‘Because I’m f***ing famous!’ I shouted, in the hope of silencing him once and for all. ‘Oh. Oh!’ he said sheepishly, sliding sideways out of my room, never to be seen again. That evening they discharged me and I went back to my hotel with my various painkillers and other medications. One in particular — a methylene-based drug — had the side-effect of turning my urine bright blue, you’ll no doubt be thrilled to hear. Well, I really was quite zonked out and in unfamiliar surroundings, so when I got up for a pee at two in the morning, I opened what I thought was the bathroom door and relieved myself. I later discovered it had, in fact, been the wardrobe door I’d opened, as all my lovely clothes had turned various shades of patchy blue. Back at Pinewood Studios we completed work on the many interior sets, including that of James Bond’s flat, where I spent a very happy morning in bed with the exquisite Madeline Smith, who played Italian agent Miss Caruso. This scene featured my favourite Bond gadget of all, the magnetic watch, which I used to unzip Maddy’s dress. I must admit that not all the gadgets in Bond films actually work. To achieve the impression that this one did, special-effects supremo Derek Meddings fixed a metal wire inside Maddy’s dress and to the back of her zip. He then placed his hand up her dress and gently pulled as I ran my watch down her back saying ‘sheer magnetism’. I believe Maddy dispensed with the services of special effects men in subsequent romantic interludes. The film was to premiere on July 6, 1973. It was when I was on the way to the premiere press conference that I felt my first nerves. It finally dawned on me that my first James Bond adventure was going to be put to the ultimate test: the viewing public. But I was fairly philosophical. I imagine it’s like having a baby — there’s nothing you can do to stop it, the baby is going to come out no matter what. ‘Ah, well,’ I thought. ‘I can always go back to modelling sweaters.’ The film, which was budgeted at $7 million, took $126 million (£98 million) at the worldwide box office. Not a bad return, is it? I think everyone was pleased. Keen to capitalise on our success, Cubby and Harry fast-tracked the next Bond film, The Man With The Golden Gun, into pre-production. Filming started in Hong Kong in the summer of 1974, and that’s when I met my two lovely Swedish leading ladies, Maud Adams and Britt Ekland. We stayed at the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong. It was there that I first met Hervé Villechaize, the inimitable 3ft 11in villain Nick Nack. Hervé loved the ladies and would often go to the city’s strip clubs, picking out the girls he wanted with a torch: ‘You, you and you... no, not you... yes, you,’ before taking them back to his hotel room. One night he tried it on with Maud, who played the villainous Scaramanga’s mistress. Hervé walked over to her in the hotel lobby, his head only reaching the bottom of her skirt, and announced: ‘Tonight, Maud, I am going to enter your room, climb under your sheets and make wild, passionate love to you.’ ‘Yes,’ said Maud, without missing a beat, ‘and if I find out that you have, I’ll be very angry.’ After Hong Kong the film moved location to Bangkok, where we filmed another boat chase, this time on the khlongs, the waterways threading around the city. The word went round that, if we fell in, under no circumstances should we let any of the filthy water pass our lips. I did fall in though — twice, in fact. The first time was deliberate but the second time I took a bend on the river — near an undertaker’s — just a bit too tight and lost my balance. I stayed under to avoid the propeller but made the mistake of opening my eyes — and discovered what the undertaker did with some of the poorer people’s bodies. When I look back on the sequence now, I cringe when I think of pushing the little boy who climbed into Bond’s boat trying to sell a wooden elephant, into the khlong. The final scene I filmed, by the way, appeared early on in the movie, where I meet a belly dancer in an attempt to retrieve a golden bullet. I was wearing a rather nice silk suit and looking forward to snaffling it for myself at the end of the day. As we filmed, I couldn’t understand why our producer, Cubby, had dragged a stepladder on stage. He was perched at the top, looking down on us, just out of shot. But when the director shouted, ‘That’s a wrap!’ I found out. A huge bucket of paste came down on top of me and all over my lovely new suit. Cubby looked down at what he’d achieved, howling with laughter. On every Bond film I was in we made a tape of the funniest moments and the next Bond film I made, The Spy Who Loved Me, was no exception. One moment, however, was not so funny for me at the time. It was my final scene with our wonderful villain Curt Jurgens. Sitting at his dining table, he beckoned Bond to sit at the other end while reaching for his gun, which was attached to the underside. I was supposed to stand behind a chair which, in turn, was to blow up when he fired. ‘Wouldn’t it add more suspense if I sat in the chair?’ I suggested to the director, Lewis Gilbert. ‘Yes, dear, that sounds like an idea,’ he said. So I did. Unfortunately for me, our special-effects man was a bit too quick on the button and my backside was only an inch off the chair when he blew it up. My rear end caught fire and it was pretty painful, as was my language. I had to change the dressing twice a day for weeks. It was in The Spy Who Loved Me that Jaws made his first appearance. On location in Egypt, at the Temple of Karnak, there was a wonderful fight scene between Bond and the 7ft 2in giant of a henchman, resplendent with steel teeth and played by Richard Kiel. Despite being so tall, Richard was terrified of heights. When Lewis told him he would have to cross some scaffolding high above the Temples, he went pale. ‘I don’t even like being this tall,’ he said. In Cairo I had another fight scene on the roof of a museum. Milton Reid was cast as the henchman who takes on 007. On the day of the fight, our stunt arranger Bob Simmons explained to Milton that he had to fall off the roof, with me snapping him away after he held on to my tie to prevent his fall. ‘You’re going to have to fall off this roof, Milton,’ Bob said. Milton — a burly and rather menacing-looking chap — took a peek over the edge. ‘Oh! But it’s six storeys, Bob! I can’t do that.’ ‘No, we’ll pile up boxes to the fourth storey, Milton. You just fall two,’ added Bob, now determined to wind him up. ‘Can’t I fall just one storey?’ ‘No, no, we need a long scream.’ ‘Well,’ reasoned Milton. ‘Can’t I do a short fall and long scream?’ Poor Milton, they did wind him up so much. With villains defeated, Bond getting his girl and the adventure over, we called a wrap. The film was certainly lighter than my previous two Bond efforts but it suited my style and persona.It was certainly my favourite of the Bonds I made. My contention about my ‘light’ portrayal of Bond is this: how can he be a spy, yet walk into any bar in the world and have the bartender recognise him and serve him his favourite drink? Come on, it’s all a big joke. Jaws returned in Moonraker. Some scenes were shot in Venice, but before the authorities would allow us to stage gunfights on the canals and drive a speedboat-cum-hovercraft across St Mark’s Square (those startled tourists are real, by the way, not extras), I had to agree to attend a ‘Save Venice’ charity function at a huge house just off the Grand Canal. Ken Adam, the production designer, offered to come with me. We eventually found the bar and soon realised we were the youngest people there. We had just taken a sip of our drinks when a white-haired old lady, in a very strangulated upper-class English country voice, asked: ‘What are you doing here in Venice?’ ‘We’re making a film,’ I said. ‘Oh, a fillum, eh? What sort of fillum?’ ‘It’s James Bond, 007.’ ‘Ohhh! And what do you do?’ she asked. Ken was now snorting with laughter behind her back. I could have killed him. ‘Well, I sort of try to play James Bond,’ was my considered reply. She paused, moved back, looked me up and down, then announced: ‘You’ll be very good. I know Ian Fleming, you know.’ I wonder if she realised he’d been dead 15 years? I was plagued again by kidney stones during the making of Moonraker. It was tough on my co-star Lois Chiles, who played Dr Holly Goodhead and had her schedule badly messed about by my frequence absences for hospital treatment. Finally, after I’d treated myself with painkillers, booze and muscle relaxants, then gone to a party (none of which was a good idea), my kidney stone worked its way out. Our publicist issued an outrageous press statement: ‘The good news is that Roger Moore has passed his kidney stone. The bad news is that Lois Chiles has swallowed it.’ My last Bond film was A View To A Kill, in which my co-star was the eccentric singer Grace Jones. I liked her boyfriend Dolph Lundgren, but I’m afraid my diplomatic charm was stretched to the limit by Miss Jones. Every day in her dressing room she played very loud rock music that made the walls shake. An afternoon nap was out of the question. I did ask her several times to turn it down, to no avail. One day I snapped. I marched into her room, yanked the plug out, then flung a chair at the wall. The dent is still there. Still, we had yet to do a love scene together. I slipped between the sheets. She slid in beside me, bringing with her an enormous black sex toy. Very funny. I daresay I should have used a stunt double, but who would have volunteered? The truth is that, of all the ladies in my seven Bond films, the only one I think of with regret is the wonderful Lois Maxwell — and that’s because she never received the promotion she deserved. Lois and I had worked on The Saint and The Persuaders, but the public always thought of her as Miss Moneypenny, the unflappable MI6 secretary. After Bernard Lee, who played secret service chief ‘M’, died in 1981, Lois suggested to Cubby that she was his natural heir. Moneypenny would simply become ‘M’. Cubby gave her a patronising smile and assured her a woman could never run MI6. Apparently Dame Judi Dench, who was ‘M’ to my successors Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig, didn’t get that memo. What a shame for Lois... the ultimate Bond Girl. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- The name's... Paul McCartney Music plays a huge part in the Bond legend — from the opening ‘gun-barrel’ sequence’, featuring Monty Norman’s classic theme, to the instantly recognisable incidental music and the chart-busting songs. One of the biggest was Paul McCartney’s Live And Let Die, which nearly didn’t happen... because producer Harry Saltzman apparently had no idea who the Beatles were. It was Joan Collins’s then husband, Ron Kass, who first suggested it. He was a music business lawyer who had represented the Fab Four’s record label, Apple. At his urging, Paul agreed to write and perform the theme song, which turned out to be an absolute belter. When he heard it, though, Harry wasn’t too sure. He turned to music producer George Martin and said: ‘So, who are we gonna get to sing it?’ George pointed out, as politely as he could, that they already had Macca and they weren’t going to find anyone bigger.
  10. Billy, Wisconsin engines have been rare birds in my life. I saw more Clinton engines on Yazoo push mowers.