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ROME

Folks often ask me, “What’s your favorite city to visit in Europe?” Since spring is here and Paris can be quite lovely this time of year, especially in May, they are usually surprised when I choose another major popular tourist destination. London? Well, I love the capital city and could walk around it for days, but I’d wait until July/August to have the best chance of good weather. September can be even better if you want to avoid the crowds. Continue reading “”

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THE ROLLING STONES & BRIAN JONES

On this day nearly 50 years ago, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards met Brian Jones for the first time. Jones was calling himself Elmo Lewis and playing slide guitar with Paul Jones (later of Manfred Mann) at the Ealing Jazz Club in London. Jones’ band was called “The Roosters.” After Brain left the group to form “The Rolliin’ Stones” with Mick and Keith, Eric Clapton took over his position as guitarist. Continue reading “”

TARGA FLORIO 1973

So were the early 1970’s really cooler than today?
Watch this vintage video, then you decide.

Targa Florio is a Documentary TV Movie on the 1973 race made in Italy in 2005. Director: Cuiri Amelio Ortiz. Cast: Francesco Arezzo, Antonio Catanzaro, Vic Elford, Mauro Forghieri, Giacinto Gargano, Ciccio Liberto, Sandro Munari, Silvana Paladino, Salvatore Requirez, Pao… Continue reading “”

DRIVING – MORE POWER OVERSTEER

By popular demand… Fellow Excellence writer Chris Harris explains how to achieve a power oversteer drift in a rear-wheel-drive front-engine BMW M5.

With its lighter front end, the rear-engined Porsche 911 will require some weight transfer under braking on entry to initiate the drift (see previous video). You will also need to apply different throttle as more rear traction is available. Otherwise it’s very similar. Enjoy!

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HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY

Even if you aren’t Irish, today is a good day to wear some green, sport a shamrock, and maybe even have a taste of some Guinness or Irish whiskey.

Saint Patrick’s Day is widely celebrated in America by Irish and non-Irish alike. The emerald city of Seattle paints the traffic stripe of their parade route green. Chicago dyes its river green and has done so since 1962. Indianapolis also dyes its main canal green. Savannah puts green dye in its downtown city fountains, as does Columbia, SC. The New York City parade has not only become the largest Saint Patrick’s Day parade in the world – it’s also the oldest civilian parade worldwide. Continue reading “”

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EXCELLENCE RSR

The May 2011 issue of Excellence: The Magazine About Porsche is hitting the newsstands now. It features an article of mine titled “The Forgotten One,” which covers a 911 tribute car built by Sam Gassel.

Congratulations to Sam on his amazing recreation of the #6 Penske Sunoco Porsche Carrera RSR. He is one of those guys who makes my job a dream, and he’s deserving of every accolade for a job well done. I wish everyone could see this car in the flesh. It is mind-boggling good. Thanks also to Excellence for continuing to publish my photos and writings on these homages to historic 911s. Continue reading “”

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SMiLE

Every art form has its holy grail. In popular music, one of those lost masterpieces is The Beach Boys’ unreleased album SMiLE.

To the joy of many fans, Capitol Records just announced it will be releasing a SMiLE sessions box set later this year with the blessing of the remaining Beach Boys. It will include mono and stereo mixes in three versions: a two-CD set, an iTunes LP digital album, and a limited-edition boxed set containing four CDs, two vinyl LPs, two vinyl singles and a 60-page hardbound book. Continue reading “”

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PORSCHE RENNSPORT REUNION IV

Just back from two weeks on the road – photographing, writing, and playing with cars in LA. Thanks to my good friend Curtis Autenrieth for his generous hospitality and camaraderie. It was great to see all my other Porsche buddies as well.

There is an event coming up that any Porsche enthusiast will not want to miss. Continue reading “”

FASTER

George Harrison was born in Liverpool, England on this day in 1943 and passed away nearly ten years ago. His late ’70’s music video titled “Faster” was dedicated to the memory of Formula One racing driver Ronnie Peterson and includes a cameo appearance by British F1 champion Jackie Stewart.

Inspirational and reflective, George had a deep interest in travel, photography, film making, motorsports, and of course music. As The Beatles lead guitarist, his riffs and songwriting are legendary. He owned a vintage Porsche 911, Mini Cooper, Dino 246, Aston Martin DB5 and was one of the first to purchase a McLaren F1 road car. He was also an avid gardener and introduced many to Eastern thought and music. Continue reading “”

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THE EVERGLADES

Recently I posted about Death Valley being a reasonably inexpensive and convenient escape destination for those snowbound in the western U.S. For those of you on the east coast, let me offer up an alternative in the mid-80’s F range.

Southern Florida is home to a World Heritage Site of subtropical wilderness that is accessible by hiking trails, canoe trips or airboat rides. This threatened wetland sanctuary or “river of grass” is a birder’s paradise with over 350 species, including snowy egrets, ospreys, spoonbills, and great blue herons. Continue reading “”

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RUMORS

This month in 1977, Fleetwood Mac released Rumours. The album went on to sell more than 30 million copies and spent 31 weeks at #1 in the US, where it debuted. This collection of catchy pop tunes offered a voyeuristic view into the hedonistic lifestyle and the fractured interpersonal relationships of the group. Affairs and break-ups had affected every member of the band, and communication were severely strained during the album’s recording sessions. At the time, Fleetwood Mac’s line-up consisted of guitarist and vocalist Lindsey Buckingham, drummer Mick Fleetwood, keyboardist and vocalist Christine McVie, bassist John McVie, and vocalist Stevie Nicks. I saw them play their last show on the world tour supporting this record and you could cut the tension with a knife. Continue reading “”

NüRBURGRING NORDSCHLEIFE

Here’s the best instructional video I’ve seen on how to drive the Nürburgring’s north loop or Nordschleife. Watch how Porsche works driver Sascha Maassen gives a guided tour for one lap around this legendary track.

Chasing a gaggle of a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Cars in his own matching race car, Sascha provides insightful commentary and shows how “The Green Hell” got its name. With 73 corners undulating over nearly 13 miles, it’s easy to see why this is considered the toughest, most dangerous and demanding circuit in the world.

Located between Cologne and Frankfurt, the Nordschleife is accessible to the public as a one-way toll road. There are no intersections and there’s no general speed limit. I drove it in an Audi rental car, and even that was an unforgettable experience.

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