Licence To Thrill
Australian House & Garden Magazine|November 2020
For chef and entrepreneur Michelle Walsh, there’s no finer feeling than being behind the wheel of her classic convertible, writes WhichCar presenter and motoring expert, Elise Elliott.
Elise Elliott

Michelle Walsh looks like she could have stepped out of a James Bond film. But she’s less Bond girl, more glamorous MI6 agent, and neither shaken nor deterred by the presence of her pet python, Doug, draped around her neck. She looks similarly prepossessing while stroking her cat, a giant white Maine Coon named Gary. What’s more, her getaway car is a 1962 Sunbeam Alpine Series II — the exact vehicle driven by 007 in Dr No. Even its hue, Lake Blue, is the same.

For Bond buffs, the Sunbeam is significant: it’s used in Sean Connery’s first-ever car chase. The two-seater convertible sports car, with its distinct fins at the rear, remains a style icon.

Michelle, her husband Martin and their two children Montana, 16 and Makenzie, 13, live in a bright beachside home in Sydney’s east. The main bedroom, living room and balcony overlook the spectacular cliffs of Tamarama; the thunder of waves rolls through every room.

For Michelle, an accomplished chef and the owner of luxury-experiences company Luxe Attaché, the heart of her home is the kitchen – or in this case, two small but well-appointed and organised kitchens. On offer? A dry martini with lemon peel, shaken not stirred.

What is it about the Sunbeam that appeals?

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