Autos | A Continuous Lean.

At Auction | The First All-American F1 Cars

Sep 10th, 2015 | Categories: Auctions, Autos, Jared Paul Stern | by Jared Paul Stern

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Heir to both a Danish nobleman’s title and the vast Woolworth fortune by birth, Lance Reventlow had Cary Grant for a stepfather, a Bond Girl for a wife and James Dean for a best friend. The only child of heiress Barbara Hutton and her second husband, Count Kurt von Haugwitz-Hardenberg-Reventlow, he became a successful racing driver, race car constructor and entrepreneur before dying in a tragic airplane accident at the age of 36. Another of his stepfathers, Russian Prince Igor Troubetzkoy, had exposed him to the world of grand prix racing at a young age. Troubetzkoy, the first grand prix driver to compete in a Ferrari, won the 1948 Targa Florio at the wheel of a Ferrari 166 S. Reventlow was later determined equal the feat in an American car.

In the 1950s Reventlow set up Reventlow Automobiles Inc. (RAI) in Venice, California, to construct Chevrolet-powered race cars called Scarabs to go racing “for America” in grand prix competition. Chuck Daigh drove a Scarab to victory in the 1958 Riverside International Grand Prix in California, trouncing the likes of Ferrari and Maserati. Daigh and Reventlow himself drove two Formula 1 Scarab single-seaters in the 1960 F1 season, making their debut at the Monaco GP, though success proved more elusive. Nonetheless the dashing racers won fame as the world’s first all-American team of F1 cars, while Reventlow, who had just married Jill St. John – later to star as Tiffany Case in Diamonds Are Forever – captured the attention of the celebrity press.



Well Played | The AW15 Cadillac Collection

Sep 9th, 2015 | Categories: Autos, Menswear, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

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The Cadillac Collection has a nice ring to it.

The soon-to-be-SoHo-based automaker (and standard-bearer for American Luxury) has emerged recently as a key supporter of American menswear. This new role is a refreshing development for designers, media, and now with this AW15 menswear collection — it’s turning out to be a great thing for all of us. Considering Cadillac’s sponsorship of the CFDA’s New York Fashion Week Men’s and the indie New York Men’s Day, the automaker has jumped into style space with both feet and it seems the world is a better place for it.

Launching later today in partnership with Gilt, Cadillac called in Nick Wooster and a cast of nine talented designers who make awesome clothes and rolled out what many would consider the ultimate fall wardrobe. And it comes with Wooster’s expert curation and what basically amounts to a fall style guide that lays out the best way to wear all these great fall clothes. This is win, win, win.



No caption necessary for Mr. Nick Wooster.

Up to Speed | Porsche 911 Targa 4S

Aug 23rd, 2015 | Categories: Autos, Jared Paul Stern | by Jared Paul Stern


Porsche is often jokingly said to have the laziest designers in the business because the 911 has changed so little in 50 years. While that’s obviously an exaggeration the world’s most iconic sports car has remained remarkably true to its original lines. The Targa version, first offered for sale in 1967 as a sort of stop-gap while Porsche figured out how to make a workable cabriolet, has always been one of the most alluring 911 variants. An integral stainless steel roll-bar designed to address safety concerns gave birth to its famed B-pillar hoop bearing the Targa logo. Named after Italy’s Targa Florio race, where Porsche had scored seven victories since 1956 over the likes of Ferrari and Maserati, it was originally equipped with a removable roof panel and a removable plastic rear window, with a fixed glass version offered starting in 1968.

Following various updates in the ‘70s and ‘80s, in 1990 Porsche brought out a Targa version of the then-new 964, now considered the last of the “classic” Targas. In 1993 the design changed from a removable roof panel to a sliding glass one, which while not ugly definitely did not have the same aesthetic appeal, not least because it did away with the iconic B-pillar. Glass roofed Targas remained available until 2008 when Porsche updated the 997, and then last year the company unveiled the new 911 Targa with a radical redesign harking back to the original with the B-pillar hoop re-instated along with a fabric covered roof panel. The car employs a rather complex mechanism to remove the front roof section and stow it behind the rear seats, but overall it’s a styling triumph, a potent blend of modern and retro.



The $9 Million Monsters of Monterey.

Aug 9th, 2015 | Categories: Auctions, Autos, Jared Paul Stern | by Jared Paul Stern


While lots of people come to gawk at the insanely gorgeous cars on the lawn at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance every August, there are also plenty of men with very deep pockets who come to do some serious shopping. There are a few blue-chip auctions during Monterey Car Week, of which the headliner is the three-day event produced by RM Sotheby’s. This year they’re also staging an auction-within-an-auction, with one of the world’s best car collections, called the Pinnacle Portfolio, going up for sale. RM is billing it as “the most significant and valuable private automobile collection ever presented at a single-day auction,” including everything from early model Ferrari race cars to the final production Enzo, gifted to the late Pope John Paul II.

In addition to the 25 Pinnacle cars, which include both classic and modern machines, are some of the most expensive and desirable cars in the world are set to cross the auction block. Top of the class is a 1953 Jaguar C-Type Works race car (top photo), which finished fourth overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1953, and is the second of only three “Works Lightweight” cars ever built by Jaguar in thin-gauge aluminum. It’s expected to bring in $9 million or more, making it one of the world’s most expensive Jaguars. It’s easily the most beautiful car in the sale in our opinion, though the competition is fierce – the 1950 Ferrari 275S/340 America Barchetta by Scaglietti (below) isn’t exactly an eyesore either. It could fetch $8 million-plus, in case you were wondering.


1950 Ferrari 275S/340 America by Scaglietti / Darin Schnabel ©2015 Courtesy of RM Sothebys.

Revisiting the Austin Speed Shop.

Aug 6th, 2015 | Categories: Americana, Austin, Autos | by Michael Williams

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While in Texas for the Cadillac ATS-V adventures I took some time to cruise over to see my old friends at the Austin Speed Shop. Always welcoming and unpretentious —even when I show up unannounced— the guys at the Speed Shop are always open to showing me around and letting me checking things out. It’s a testament to their collective chill. It sort of reminds me of when I am traveling and I find a cool store that could be interesting to highlight on the site. At lot of times people who don’t know me will tell me “no pictures”. Though interestingly, 99% of the guys with the coolest, best merchandised places will always say yes and give me unlimited access to take as many photos as I would like. I think this goes back to confidence in what they do. Like the Speed Shop, they know what they do is unique enough that a few pictures won’t instantly become a facsimile in some other place.

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A Short History of the Shooting Brake.

Aug 4th, 2015 | Categories: Autos, Jared Paul Stern | by Jared Paul Stern


The story goes that one day in the early 1960s, David Brown, chairman of Aston Martin, “entered a board meeting at which some of his engineers were in attendance, plunked his hunting dog down on the table and said, ‘Build me something for him to sit in.’” Brown, who made a fortune building tractors during World War II, had become the quintessential English gentleman, racing horses, playing polo and shooting grouse, and wanted a vehicle he could use on his estate for country pursuits. In 1947 he’d seen a classified advertisement in The Times of London offering a “High Class Motor Business” for sale, and subsequently acquired Aston Martin for £20,500. He then had the company’s now legendary series of ‘DB’ cars, beginning with the DB2 in 1950, named after him using his initials.

Wants & Desires | 1987 BMW 325

Jul 28th, 2015 | Categories: Autos, Wants & Desires | by Michael Williams

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Here’s a page out of BaT.

Driving on I-95 this past weekend near Larchmont, NY I spotted a super clean late 80s BMW 325 convertible moving north with traffic. The car was shiny and clean with the top down cruising along on a relaxing Saturday jaunt. It made me think. “I should get online and find a clean old 325 convertible from the late 80s too.” It would be a fun little car to drive to the beach or for the summer. It’s not so precious that I would be afraid to take it out or really drive it and enjoy it. It won’t cost that much either! Seems like a no brainer. I would just need to convince my wife that we need a second old BMW. Could make sense considering the first old BMW lives in California and we live in NYC (though I drive it when I am out there frequently). It certainly makes sense to me anyway; to her, might not be so simple.