He’s the epitome of what every man wants to be — he’s rough and tough, but always a gentleman. He’s elegant, capable and always gets the girl.
Although no one can ever be the real James Bond, they can now drive like him.
Thanks to local businessman Mark Stuzka and four of his friends, 200 lucky men (or women) can be the owners of the Ultimate Spy Car — a replica James Bond car, based on the Aston Martin vehicle used in the movie Die Another Day.
“To me, I think it’s one of the sexiest cars on wheels,” Stuzka said. “But to most guys that I’ve met and sold a car to, it’s that character of a gentleman that everyone wants to identify with.”
Although it may look like just an average luxury car cruising down the highway, press a few buttons on the key fob and watch the car come alive. With one click, two grills on the hood slide out to produce hood cannons. Another click and the front grill opens, revealing five rockets. The license plate revolves as well, adding an element of the classic, old-style Bond. And for the Bond girls out there, open the glove box to find a bottle of Dom Perignon and two champagne glasses.
“It’s funny because when a guy comes in to look at a car, they’re a little bit apprehensive at first,” Stuzka said. “Then their wife or their girlfriend sees the bottle of Dom and it’s a done deal — they want the car. It’s something that you know there’s no one else driving around with a car that can do that.”
The proof is in the looking. Driving the car anywhere in town constitutes constant stares from those nearby.
“You can always go on YouTube after and find out where you’ve been,” Stuzka said with a laugh.
Each of the $170,000 vehicles is numbered from one to 200 and is customized to the owner’s individual preferences.
“Our clientele wanted something where they felt like they’re buying a true piece of art,” Stuzka said.
“The toys is what makes it so fun. The fact that it’s all hidden. The fact that you can drive the car every day and no one knows, and then all of a sudden there’s all of these surprises.”
The 007 dream started about seven years ago, after Stuzka watched a James Bond movie and decided “that’s the car I want.” Self diagnosed with “a car problem,” this was one of many ways he could get his fix.
Pairing up with locals Seann Sinclaire and Allen Sinclaire (the designers and fabricators), Ross Turner (chassis and engine work), and Peter Faliszewski (composite work), the men got started on hand-building the Ultimate Spy Car from the ground up at Exclusive Motor Cars in Cloverdale.
Though they use the aid of many other specialty companies, including Murphy’s Body and Fender in Langley for the custom paint work, most of the craftsmanship is done by the men themselves.
“To make a profit building cars is virtually impossible,” Stuzka said. “If you go out and tell someone you want to build a car, they’ll tell you it’s impossible. It’s not an easy task. To be honest, when I told my dad I was going to do it he told me I was an idiot. So I said ‘OK, I’m going to do this.’ It’s a lot of persistence.”
But all that persistence has paid off. The first car produced in 2009 went straight into a museum in Japan. They have gone viral on the Internet and have been featured on a popular mechanics show in Russia.
“I had my uncle in Czech Republic call me and say ‘why are you on my computer?’
A customer in Arizona couldn’t decide on colour choice so he bought two, one for his home in the United States and the other for his home in Germany. In Austria, one Spy Car has gone to a car collector and another to a man who legally changed his name to James Bond.
The Barrett-Jackson car auction in Las Vegas even pays for their registration to make sure the Ultimate Spy Car is there.
“They can have a $5 million car there, and they’ll never have as many people around those cars as they do our Spy Car,” Stuzka said. “It’s to the point where they’ve had to have security and traffic control just because of the car.
“It’s because it does stuff, it’s animated, it’s alive. Children of all ages enjoy it.”
But this life of luxury cars is miles apart from where Stuzka grew up. Both of his parents are refugees from Czechoslovakia and came to Canada with nothing. They were very poor and suffered through near bankruptcies when Stuzka was very young. Though he admits he was never “an academic kind of guy,” he had an inner desire to make something out of himself. After graduating from high school he took up electrical engineering in university. It wasn’t long after that he jumped head-first into the business world.
“I graduated from university on a Friday and I bought a company going through bankruptcy on Monday. I then turned the company around and made it a multi-million dollar transnational company,” he said.
From there he bought a car dealership, (to support his “car problem”), and branched off into real estate as well.
Stuzka now owns a Lamborghini Murcielago, a Twin-Turbo Lamborghini Gallardo, a Supercharge Acura NSX, a Bentley Continental G2, and three Ultimate Spy Cars.
“I always told my parents that I was going to have one car for every day of the week and they didn’t believe me, so I did it,” Stuzka said.
He’s also had his own trials along the way, enduring a severe car accident that nearly killed him and almost going bankrupt. But it has never stopped him from taking risks and striving to surpass his own goals.
“The best part is creating something that people thought to be impossible, and making it possible.”
For more on the Ultimate Spy Car, visit www.exclusivemotorcars.ca.