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Simplicity Led to the Fiat 500’s Unintentional Charm

Simplicity Led to the Fiat 500’s Unintentional Charm

By Ronald Ahrens / 25 Feb 2015
6 Comments

The original Fiat 500, Italy’s first people’s car, was produced from 1936 to 1955. As The New York Times explained, it was “lovingly dubbed by Italians 'Topolino,' or Mickey Mouse, for its toy-store looks and roller-skate wheels.” And yet, as Ronald Ahrens writes, the 500 somehow transcended its quotidian duties, running in track events, hillclimbs, endurance rallies, and would go on to serve as Karl Abarth's platform for fame and riches.

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Helplessly Cool Mastroianni Defined Style

Helplessly Cool Mastroianni Defined Style

By Benjamin Shahrabani / 23 Feb 2015 / 1 Comment Read More

An Italian actor who rose to prominence in the 1960's, Marcello Mastroianni became a star within Italian cinema in the 1950's after a stint in the theater, when he caught the attention of Federico Fellini. Mastroianni acted in some of Fellini's biggest movies, including La Dolce Vita and 8 1/2.

How the General Lee Became a Small Screen Icon

How the General Lee Became a Small Screen Icon

By Ronald Ahrens / 19 Feb 2015 / 5 Comments Read More

Even people who have never seen The Dukes of Hazzard have a good idea what The General Lee can do. Its iconic image is fixed in our minds. Like the Model T in The Absent-Minded Professor and the rebuilt Grand Prix racing car in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, this Dodge Charger can fly.

Paul Newman Was Much More Than a "Racing Enthusiast"

Paul Newman Was Much More Than a

By Benjamin Shahrabani / 18 Feb 2015 / 8 Comments Read More

The late Paul Newman, whose first car was a 1937 Packard that whisked him from Wisconsin to New York for his early career on Broadway's stages, began his love affair with auto racing while training at the Watkins Glen Racing School for the part of Frank Capua in the 1969 film, Winning, where he portrayed a rising star on the race circuit who dreams of winning the Indianapolis 500...

Driving a Bentley R-type is Exaltation

Driving a Bentley R-type is Exaltation

By Ronald Ahrens / 13 Feb 2015 / 4 Comments Read More

My experience behind the large wheel of a standard 1953 R-Type sedan left vivid impressions of the exalted seating position, and from somewhere within me there came the feeling of pity for those unfortunate people down below in their Hondas and Chevys. An R-Type Continental would surely amplify this feeling...

Sophia Loren, Spaghetti, and Gullwings

Sophia Loren, Spaghetti, and Gullwings

By Benjamin Shahrabani / 12 Feb 2015 / 7 Comments Read More

From her jewels to her clothing, Sophia Loren clearly had taste with a capital 'T', and is one of the most beautiful and talented actresses to grace the silver screen. “Everything you see I owe to spaghetti”, Loren once said. That must include her classic cars too, then. Loren had several, but perhaps the car she is best known for owning is a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL...

The Mini was the Giant Killer Born to Burst Some Bubbles

The Mini was the Giant Killer Born to Burst Some Bubbles

By Brian Garrity / 11 Feb 2015 / 7 Comments Read More

British Motor Company (BMC) President Leonard Lord, believed that if the British motoring public truly needed a small, fuel efficient car to endure the nation’s precarious hold on foreign oil, this car should be “a proper small car” and not the “bloody awful bubble cars” that he felt should be driven “off the streets.”

The Watch Makes The Man: James Bond and His Rolex

The Watch Makes The Man: James Bond and His Rolex

By Petrolicious Productions / 9 Feb 2015 / 17 Comments Read More

“Bond surveyed his weapons. They were only his hands and feet, his Gillette razor and his wrist-watch, a heavy Rolex Oyster Perpetual on an expanding metal bracelet. Used properly, these could be turned into most effective knuckledusters.” - Ian Fleming, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, 1963...

Bardot and the Caravelle: Two French Exports

Bardot and the Caravelle: Two French Exports

By Benjamin Shahrabani / 5 Feb 2015 / 3 Comments Read More

Starting her career as a model and later transitioning to actress and singer, Brigitte Bardot became one of the best known sex symbols of the 1950s and '60s. Launched into the public spotlight by And God Created Woman and establishing her "sex kitten" image, she became an overnight sensation...

Jack Nicholson’s Mercedes-Benz 600 Grosser Stands In

Jack Nicholson’s Mercedes-Benz 600 Grosser Stands In

By Petrolicious Productions / 4 Feb 2015 / 2 Comments Read More

It is superlative, a beacon of quality from the automobile’s darkest days, a car for people with money, real money—old money—a car for oligarchs and oil tycoons, for despots and kings. The King of rock and roll, Elvis himself, owned a 600. Whenever automotive journalists discuss the Grosser, its distinguished list of owners is never far behind...

First a bonfire, then the Oscars

First a bonfire, then the Oscars

By Ronald Ahrens / 2 Feb 2015 / 1 Comment Read More

Frank Capra, who made such classics as It’s a Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington—movies known for their warmth and humanity—would go on to enjoy plenty of rides in limousines, but the routine measures and practices of his hardscrabble youth will amaze those who take for granted three-stage seat heaters and a toasty warm steering wheel...