When I first discovered the world of Formula 1, its composition was quite different from that of today. One of the significant losses for present day F1 is the extinction of the 'Gentleman Driver'--the sportsman who partook out of pure enthusiasm and who was, more often than not, wealthy to some degree. It could be argued that all drivers of the era were pure sportsmen as the pay they received for risking their lives was nominal. Ferrari went so far as requiring his drivers--John Surtees, for example--to purchase a Ferrari road car for PR purposes. In addition to gentleman drivers, there was one notable 'Gentleman Owner' in Formula 1. His name was Rob Walker, heir to Johnnie Walker Scotch. When I became aware of him, he was campaigning a Cooper-Maserati driven by the Swiss driver Jo 'Seppi' Siffert. He had previously fielded a car for Stirling Moss.
In 1966, I attended the Mexican Grand Prix in Mexico City. John Surtees, having left Ferrari, was now driving the vastly inferior Cooper-Maserati as were Jo Bonnier, Jo Siffert and Jochen Rindt. Jack Brabham and Denny Hulme were driving Brabham-Repcos and Jim Clark, Pedro Rodriguez and Pete Arundell were each in a Lotus-BRM. Graham Hill, Innes Ireland and Jackie Stewart were in BRMs. Dan Gurney was in his Eagle-Climax and Bob Bondurant drove an Eagle-Weslake. Richie Ginther and Ronnie Bucknum had Hondas. Bruce McLaren had his McLaren-Ford. Get the feeling?
Improbably, Surtees won with the Cooper-Maserati. Siffert retired with suspension failure. It was an exciting race and Surtees' win was especially gratifying after he received rather shabby treatment from Ferrari personnel at Le Mans subsequent to recovering from a bad accident and, consequently, left the team. After the race, I flew down to Acapulco for a few days. At the airport, I was standing in a rather long line for the ticket counter and found that the man in front of me was a familiar figure.
"Pardon me, but you are Rob Walker, are you not?" I asked.
He looked surprised and replied, "I am, but how in the world would you know that?" He didn't expect to be recognized in Mexico by a teen-aged Californian, I suppose. I explained that I was an ardent follower of Formula 1, which launched us into a post mortem of the race. I mentioned that his Cooper-Maserati had an unusual nose cone with a larger opening than the normal one and asked if it was to counter high track temperatures. He was impressed that I had noticed and confirmed my assumption. Our conversation continued until we reached the counter and we bid each other farewell.
I wonder if I would ever have such a conversation with any of the current team owners.
How to Shoot a Feature Film in 15 Days (And Survive to See Profits)
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Examples of Responsive Reactions
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Action/ReAction at Stella Adler
Point of Departure
A Series of ONE...
Stephen and Dragonuk
Stephen Mitchell webinar for Stage 32
Ferrari GTO 3987 at speed by Yan denes
Ray D. Shosay's Journal
Dispatches from a (junior) suite in Paris
Ray D. Shosay's Journal (excerpt)
"Saturday, January 27, 2007
They say you can fool some of the people all of the time. Accordingly, I think we should concentrate on this group initially. We can move on to the people you can only fool some of the time at a later date if we deem it necessary. I hope to hear back from my agent about this as soon as he's out of rehab, as I don't think my messages have been getting through."
Ignorance is Bliss by Stephen Mitchell
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Exerpt from Ignorance is Bliss
"Out of the corner of his eye, Martin saw Martha shift in her seat. She leaned forward, as though something was about to be decided. This caused her breasts to push up against the neckline of her dress in a way that couldn't be fully appreciated out of the corner of one’s eye. So, Martin turned his head to look directly into the abyss of her cleavage. He was vaguely aware that Murray was talking again."
Carrera Panamericana (1950-54)
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Ferrari GTO 3987
Elysée Wednesday: Drive!
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“You ought to meet Steve. The two of you have the same kind of Ferrari.”
Ferrari Berlinetta Lusso
One evening, I was enjoying a John le Carré novel and a glass of Bordeaux...
L'art de l'automobile
My first Lusso prior to restoration
It was only after Sinatra was gone...
Once upon a time...
Meeting Enzo Ferrari
I came across this on a late night stroll in Paris near the Louvre.
I bought Bentleys in England and Ferraris & Maseratis in Italy to re-sell in Los Angeles as a teenager. I met Enzo Ferrari, Juan Fangio and Steve McQueen. I 'grew up' on the set of Mission: Impossible and other episodic TV series of the era. For a few years, I owned a Ferrari GTO that is owned by Ralph Lauren today and valued at approximately $52M. I began my film career by writing, producing and directing Montmartre in Paris in French. I founded and ran a repertory company for film & TV for 20 years in Los Angeles. I created a TV series which had fans that included Marlon Brando. I authored the first new acting technique--Action/ReAction--that was not based on Stanislavski's Method. I am currently writing my third novel and shooting my spy thriller Exigence. If you can't make movies, live your life as though you were in one...