The photo above is the starting grid of the 1962 1000km de Paris at Montlhéry. It was GTO 3987's first race entered for Ricardo and Pedro Rodriguez by Luigi Chinetti's North American Racing Team. It can be seen on the front row of the grid and it won the race. Also on the grid is the famous Ferrari Breadvan, Count Volpi's Ferrari 'hotrod' that did the GTO one better by being lighter, lower and having the engine further back in the chassis to improve weight distribution. Though it had to make do with the 4-speed gear box of the underlying SWB 2819GT, the aerodynamics were, no doubt, an improvement as the car's frontal aspect had been reduced. It was driven by Ludovico Scarfiotti and Colin Davis (son of the legendary 'Bentley Boy' and Le Mans winner Sammy Davis) and finished third behind the GTO of John Surtees and Mike Parkes.
This is particularly interesting to me as it was not the last time GTO 3987 and the Breadvan spent time in each other's company. For a number of years, my good friend Matthew Ettinger owned the Breadvan and it was during the time I owned 3987. We spent a lot of time speeding along southern California highways together at all hours of the day and night and our adventures with those two cars could (and will) fill a book.
(Stephen Mitchell with Matthew Ettinger taken last week at the Elysée Wednesday gathering.)
When I first owned the GTO, I wasn't conscious of its racing history other than to know that it had raced. Also, I had no awareness of the Breadvan's rich history, of how it came to be and who had created it out of a short wheelbase Ferrari Berlinetta. It was much later that I learned that Giotto Bizzarrini--the father of the GTO, if you will--had transformed it for Giovanni Volpi into a GTO substitute.
If nothing else, auto racing is a consideration of longevity. Ricardo and Pedro Rodriguez and Ludovico Scarfiotti were killed in racing accidents. Mike Parkes was killed in a road accident. Giotto Bizzarrini's relationship with Ferrari--the company and the man--came to an end in November 1961 when he was part of the legendary walkout in support of sales manager Girolamo Gardini. Gardini had been summarily fired by Ferrari along with Scuderia Ferrari manager Romolo Tavoni and chief engineer Carlo Chiti.
The memories of these two cars and the events surrounding them persist and the cars themselves have become mythic--icons of a Golden Age, you might say. That Matthew and I remain friends after the passing of decades is significant and our love of Ferrari automobiles continues unabated. An uncommon longevity.
The video below, shot during the 1000km de Paris at Montlhéry, shows GTO 3987 bearing the number 1 and the Breadvan can be seen on the grid as well.
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...