La Vita Riprendo

As many who read this column know, I am a retired opera singer. One of my favorite composers is Giuseppe Verdi — not least because he wrote amazing music for the baritone voice.

Verdi loved Shakespeare, and one of the best baritone roles he created was that of Macbeth.

In Act Two of the opera, there is a scene set at a lavish banquet Macbeth and his lady are giving for the assembled nobles. Missing, of course, is Banquo — Read More

1984 Lamborghini Jalpa 3.5 Targa

  • 3.5-liter V8 engine; 5-speed manual transmission, beneficiary of a professional restoration completed in 2016
  • Odometer displays 80,021 kilometers (about 49,723 miles).
  • Removable targa top, Carello fog lights, and Ruote O.Z. wheels
  • Equipped with Alpine radio with cassette and Alpine car phone; retains $5,000 optional rear wing
  • Accompanied by owner’s manual and binder of documentation
  • One of just 410 produced from 1982 to 1988

Color Madness

I named this column “Unconventional Wisdom” for a specific reason. So often through the years, I have been involved in situations in which statements were made that were considered absolute by the speaker. “They never did that.” Or its inevitable twin, “They always did that.”

The topics that engender these absolutes can wildly vary, but one that comes up time and again is that of color. Since the first impression a motor vehicle makes on us is an aesthetic one — and in some cases Read More

1972 Maserati Ghibli 4.9 SS Spyder

With just 46 examples built, the Ghibli 4.9 SS Spyder is among the most exclusive of all road-going Maseratis and one of the most sought-after high-performance Italian exotics of the early 1970s. These extraordinary automobiles rarely appear for sale, either at auction or privately, as most are fixtures in major collections. This particular example, with its fantastic color scheme, desirable ZF 5-speed gearbox and matching-numbers engine, is the ideal candidate for a concours-quality restoration — one that would return this Read More

Making Connections from a Distance

By all accounts, Dean S. Edmonds Jr. was quite a man. Briefly summarized, he earned his Ph.D. at MIT in 1958 for work on the cesium atomic clock, following his U.S. Army service from 1943 to 1947.

He was a professor of physics at Boston University for 30 years until his retirement in 1991. An avid pilot, he earned his commercial multi-engine and instrument rating and joined a group learning to fly a B-17 when he was 91 years old.

Read More

1991 DeTomaso Pantera 90 Si

In 1990, DeTomaso unveiled the completely re-engineered Pantera 90 Si, which featured updated Marcello Gandini styling. Substantially revised in all respects, the 90 Si benefited from a new tube-frame chassis and reworked suspension, creating a lighter, more-rigid platform.

The updated Pantera also featured a fuel-injected Ford 302 engine, which gave the car a top speed of 150 mph. Nearly all Si models were equipped with the proven ZF transaxle, ventilated Brembo disc brakes, 17-inch alloy wheels, and a well-appointed cabin Read More

Incredible India

I have always connected to the world of cars with a passion and level of enthusiasm that was sometimes embarrassing.

I recall occasions as a child when I felt that no one else was moved as deeply as I was when I saw a car that excited me.

I recently participated as a judge for the 2020 21 Gun Salute Concours in Delhi, India. The brainchild of Madan Mohan, a very successful entrepreneur and passionate vintage-car collector, this was the ninth Read More

1931 Bugatti Type 55 Supersport

This magnificent high-performance, post-vintage thoroughbred two-seater began life as a Works-backed Bugatti entry in the 1932 Le Mans 24-Hour race. It was co-driven there by two of France’s most capable and charismatic drivers, the aristocratic Sarthois (from Le Mans) Count Guy Bouriat-Quintart and the renowned Monegasque future French Champion, Louis Chiron.

While this 2.3-liter supercharged straight-8 Bugatti originated with a spartan lightweight racing body tailored to that year’s Le Mans 24-Hour regulations, following its post-race sale to Parisian magazine publisher Read More

1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America

Like the majority of the left-hand B24S Spider Americas, chassis B24S1156 was originally delivered to the United States. The most significant portion of the desirable Spider America’s history began in the mid-1980s, when it was acquired and reimported to Italy by Silvana Cima, a well-known Italian Lancia collector. In order to return the car to active use, Mr. Cima commissioned a complete mechanical and cosmetic restoration from Milan-based KCA Restorations, for many years one of the world’s leading Lancia restorers.

Read More

Mission Almost Impossible — But Delightful

It is always interesting to judge a concours — and sometimes new challenges arise.

Most judging assignments are made based on the expertise and interests of the judge, but sometimes it’s necessary to stretch your limits. This is not a bad thing, as anyone who doesn’t want to learn more must truly be tired of life.

Discovering something new sends me off on a journey of research and exploration to find out more, which inevitably leads to unexpected fonts of Read More