Back in the day, I acquired a Dino 206 racing car from a bank in Reno, Nevada. It had been repossessed from the previous owner, the bank wanted it off their books and I know an entrance cue as well as the next fellow when I see one. I called the banker, told him I was getting on a plane within the hour and told him to wait for me even if it was after hours. Amazingly, he did.
I was greeted and escorted to the lower level of the underground parking facility where the car had been abandoned from the look of it. Next to the car were crates of spare parts--pieces that couldn't be had for love or money in the normal course of events. I stared at the car with what I hoped looked like profound sorrow and disbelief. I shook my head in a disappointed manner as often as I dared. Then, without comment, I led the banker back upstairs as though leaving behind a particularly distasteful crime scene.
Negotiating the purchase price was a riot of cross-purposes. The bank had long since closed and all the banker wanted to do was be rid of me so he could go home to dinner whereas I made myself comfortable in his office enumerating at length all the reasons why I shouldn't buy the car, which included the following statements:
Too many spare parts--what in the world would I do with them? It doesn't seem to have air conditioning. Do you suppose I could install power windows? If only it weren't red. Do you think it's safe to drive? It's kind of old, don't you think? Could you allow for some bodywork repair? I just know it's going to be too noisy. How am I going to get this mess back to Los Angeles? I suppose you expect me to take those crates, too. Is there a warranty?
I went on and on like this until I figured I had reached his breaking point. Then I said, "I'm going to make you an offer and I can only hope that you'll say no because I really shouldn't be buying this car."
His face fell because he was now fully--if incorrectly--aware that he had absolutely no leverage in this transaction. And he wanted to go home. "So," to quote from Fargo, "there's that and there's that on top of that."
I called out an amount that would have gotten me shot in any other circumstances and he just looked at me as though his career with the bank was coming to a bad end. "I'll have to let you know tomorrow because someone else is flying up to see the car in the morning."
I countered with, "But I'm flying back tonight, so good luck with the other guy." Ten minutes later, I'd arranged for funds to be transferred to the bank and was in a taxi headed back to the airport. I doubt that anyone ever paid less for a competition Dino than I did that day. For a short time at least, Dino 002/0852 was mine.
I do hope the banker got through to the other fellow before he got on a plane to Reno.
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...