Do you remember the 1971 television series The Persuaders? It stars a young Roger Moore and Tony Curtis, who team up to solve criminal cases which have outwitted the usual justice system. It ran for 24 episodes over a single season, and 22 of those episodes featured the Bahama yellow Aston Martin DBS you see in the pictures above.
That is the same car from the TV show, and was bought by its current owner at auction for a record-breaking £533,000. But here's the thing – even though there are plenty of V8 markings on the car there's no such engine under the bonnet. It's actually a six-cylinder, because at the time production of the V8-powered DBS hadn't started. The car was provided by Aston Martin, and it's said that many of the cast and crew went on believing the Aston was a V8 until the series ended.
That registration number, too, has a story. It belonged to Billy Smart, of Billy Smart's Circus, who gave his permission for the registration number to appear in the series. It just so happened that his initials were the same as Roger Moore's character, Lord Brett Sinclair.
The Aston Martin was one of a number of cars on display at London's Hurlingham Club yesterday evening. The gathering was a preview event for the forthcoming Salute to Style, which takes place next month.
Also on show was a 1958 Ferrari Fantuzzi Spyder, one of the first Ferrari models to feature all-round disc brakes. It was only on display for a short time before the British weather made sure it was quickly covered up, but its owner did tell me the car's V6 engine – taken from a Dino competition car and developing about 220bhp – still drives well.
Next to it was a car which most long-term Autocar readers should recognise. It is the Lightning GT, which was first shown to the public in 2008. Power in the standard car comes from twin electric motors, which allow the car to accelerate to 60mph in five seconds and on to a top speed of 130mph, but this model has instead a Shelby Mustang V8 engine under the bonnet.
The final car in the outside line-up was very rare indeed, with just 300 examples known to exist. It's a Panther J72. Originally intended to compete with the best that the 1970s' luxury car industry could offer, it is powered by a 4.2-litre straight six engine borrowed from Jaguar, and produces about 200bhp.
Finally, and safe inside from the rain, was a stunning Bizzarini GT Strada 5300. Powered by a small-block Chevrolet Corvette Stingray engine, which originally produced 365bhp, this model has been de-tuned to around 300bhp to make it easier to move to show halls.