Of all the cars I've owned over the years, the most exciting ones came
with a compelling soundtrack in the form of engine noise which, like the
musical score of a great film, served as an emotional tour guide for
the experience. The absolute best was the Ferrari GTO followed by the
Berlinetta Lusso of the same brand. The Ferrari Pininfarina coupe was
also very nice but seemed subdued in comparison and was more of a
gentleman's GT than the racer-GT that I preferred. Riding in my friend
Scott McClure's Dino confirmed that the importance of the soundtrack was
still revered in that model range and driving a certain Ferrari F355
Spider with aftermarket exhaust was like listening to the Mario Lanza of
Dinos. Having established that Ferraris were my favorite in terms of
aural delight, I must say that the Series 1 Maserati Quattroporte
offered quite a lot of pleasing sensations.
Quattroporte was a sedan as the name implies, it was quick and
responsive and came equipped with a DOHC 4-liter (252 cubic inch) V8
engine aspirated by four Weber carburetors. It was designed for racing
and that heritage made itself known in the Quattroporte. This Maserati
made all the right sounds--you could actually hear the engine
breathing--unlike my Maserati Mistrals which had fuel injection and were more
akin to the rather conservative Pininfarina coupe, in my view. I was
living in a house above Coldwater Canyon at the time and can still hear
the sound of that throaty V8 echoing off the canyon walls as I navigated
the curves at politically-incorrect speeds with the windows lowered
making full use of the ZF 5-speed gearbox.
coachwork was distinctive--a legitimate 4-door GT--and the interior was
opulent with leather on every surface. Driving the car was like being in
a Marcello Mastroianni movie. Few people on the road knew what is was
but they certainly knew it was something. It would cruise along at 130
mph with less effort than most cars of the day did at 65 mph. It was
also a rare sight on the road and I was surprised on the three occasions when I came across one in the most unlikely placers; a carport at the Quintas Papagayo
resort just outside of Ensenada, Mexico and another in the parking lot
of the Sea Lion in Malibu (before it became Duke's) for example. On
another occasion, a silver Quattroporte rolled past as I was taking a
delivery of a steel gray (with Bordeaux leather) Series III Jaguar XJ6. The sound of the Maserati engine caused me to wonder if I was buying the right car. Those are the
only times I recall ever seeing a Series 1 Quattroporte on the road. From
1963-66, only 230 Quattroportes left the Maserati factory in Modena,
The Maserati Quattroporte had another distinction--it was
one of the special cars I would get into late at night for the pure
pleasure of going for a ride, which I think is the ultimate test of a
car's attraction, and the sound coming from that legendary engine played a large part. In recognition of the passions stirred by the sound of their engine, Harley-Davidson filed an application to trademark the distinctive sound. It was later withdrawn, but enthusiasts everywhere understood the point being made.
Trademarked or not, the sound of a car's engine is an integral part of its brand.
How to Shoot a Feature Film in 15 Days (And Survive to See Profits)
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Examples of Responsive Reactions
Click photo to see example clips from Stephen's movies
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...