Marketer Ed Wallace recalls the promotional partnership between 'Licence To Kill' and Kenworth trucks
For 1989's "Licence To Kill" - celebrating the 25th anniversary of its US release this week - the production team made a number of bold decisions. They took the shoot to Mexico and used the impressive scenery as a backdrop for much of the picture. Notably, the climax of the picture sees 007 on a rampage, destroying as much of Sanchez's expensive payload as possible.
The production team turned to Kenworth to provide the high powered trucks that were modified in order to perform high octane action in the mountainous terrain, as well as perform some clever tricks. The Kenworth marketing people jumped at the opportunity to assist 007 in his endeavour. Ed Wallace oversaw the production from Kenworth's end, and remembers, "I had moved from PACCAR Leasing to the Kenworth Sales and Marketing Manager's position just as the movie was being released and was fortunate enough to attend the Movie Premier in Key West, Florida, meet James Bond and his bevy of beauties and climb around in the cabs of the W-900 Kenworths."
The Bond people employed modified trucks, as Wallace says, "cranking out about 1,000 HP from beefed up Detroit Diesel Engines and one had a unique articulating frame, with a second steering wheel behind the cab, that allowed it to perform wheelies." He speaks highly of legendary vehicular stuntman Remy Julienne: "The French guy was a pretty amazing stunt driver who was able to drive a pretty stock Kenworth up on it's side while dodging all sorts of perils. I think there were a total of 16 Kenworth's used to make the film and, with little more than a few scratches, the Kenworth's were critical in helping Bond conquer evil Sanchez. In the end, Bond displayed a driving prowess that is on a par with his prowess bedding beautiful women."
The trucks used on the shoot were named Pamela One, Pamela Two and Pamela Three, after the character Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell) in the movie. Jokes the marketing man, "I do remember the Bond girls didn't even know my name. They don't call and they haven't written, but I must say that, in person, they were stunning to say the least."
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