Back in the day, it seemed we were always going somewhere. It could be Matthew Ettinger and I taking our girlfriends to Las Vegas sampling the restaurants, the shows and the health club facilities (neither of us gambled--with anything but our lives, that is) and 'Vegas was still an elegant sort of place to be. Baseball caps were seen only in the downtown area or near the bus station and if you showed up on the Strip wearing flip-flops anywhere other than by the pool you would have been taken away and buried in the desert along with the other miscreants who had committed cardinal sins against the casinos.
Sometimes the excursions were local. Many were the times Matthew and I darted about Los Angles, his son Marcus with him in the Breadvan and his son Mason with me in the GTO. Occasionally, we were joined by John Andrews in his Lamborghini Miura--a beautiful car in orange with, I think, a standard a grey leather interior. I don't know that I would ever order an orange car--it was Frank Sinatra's favorite color, by the way--but the only other color offered initially by Lamborghini for the Miura was a vibrant, pale green. I'll take orange. On one very memorable occasion, John joined Matthew and me for a night ride which featured an episode of Matthew cliff-hanging in the Breadvan after sliding off a mountain road in Ice Canyon and losing power because the battery wasn't bolted down. It had slipped its cables.
There were times when John and I were off to see someone or something at some distant place and we would take the Miura. He would suggest that I drive, which I was always happy to do. It meant that he would have to share the passenger seat with my girlfriend Ruth, a tall, slender, pretty brunette with big brown eyes that could have inspired a Margaret Keane painting. I wonder who was getting the better deal in that arrangement.
The Miura was the first mid-engine car I'd ever driven and the handling dynamics are different than those of a front engine car. It felt very neutral as it tracked through corners. The big surprise for me though was when I first stepped on the accelerator pedal. It didn't budge. I thought maybe I was pushing on a dead pedal--the sort one finds to the left of the clutch pedal as a footrest--but that was ridiculous. I pushed harder and it finally moved and I heard the engine revs increase. I imagined that this is what the pilot of a Vickers VC10 must have experienced pushing rudder pedals attached to sixty yards of cable offering up maximum resistance. It was a stunning change from the GTO in which you only had to wiggle your toe to get a few thousand more RPMs on the tach.
I never knew whether John had effected some modification to the car that made the accelerator pedal a constant adversary or if the cause could be attributed to the flood of '66 in Florence, Italy. It seems that John bought the Miura used and sight unseen from Tom Meade and discovered the fact that it had been submerged at some point only after it landed on the docks in San Pedro. Life is an adventure and when you bought an exotic car in those days, you had doubled-down.
The Miura made a lovely noise and I enjoyed driving it very much. All things considered, I would have preferred a Lusso and the GTO was way out in front as far as I was concerned. However, the Miura was fun and it was different. It was a car that entertained the driver and I would like to drive one again sometime--preferably one that hadn't been in Florence in 1966.
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...