It seems that Ian Fleming wasn’t the only British star of the 1950s who appreciated the finer things on offer from the tubby, propeller-driven Boeing 377 Stratocruiser in comparison with faster, more modern jet airliners.
In his biography Challenge Me the Race, the 1958 Formula One world champion was no less fulsome in his praise of the old bird than 007’s creator, saying:
“The fat old Stratocruiser is still my favourite aircraft for long distances. Its spiral staircase and bar on the lower deck give the passengers the opportunity to walk about and chat and get a change of scene which passes the time more agreeably than sitting glued to ones seat for hours on end in the slim modern projectiles.”
Of course, being Hawthorn, the possibility that some of his fellow passengers might be attractive young women would doubtless add more spice to the journey. Meanwhile here’s a BOAC promo film with James Robertson Justice pretending to fly one of these beautifully-appointed leviathans…