Fandango’s Friday Flashback • Celebrities Cars

Clint-Eastwood-and-his-Jaguar-XK150

Fandango’s Friday Flashback • Celebrities Cars. I’ve not been a blogger nearly long enough to be able to go a year back. So this re-post of ‘Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge’ on #FFF is from September, 2019.

Re-reading it I was suddenly remembered that this was meant to be work-in-progress, so a first update is now high on my to-do list. Here’s the original post:

Celebrities cars • Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge

Celebrities cars. Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge. This challenge caught my attention immediately. The chance to show some of my collection of photos of 1960s & 1970s celebrities cars. Let me start by saying that I can only dream of having taken these photos. I started collecting them of a global Facebook group called ‘Theo’s classic cars friends’ some time ago, as they just leaped of my Mac (I can recommend this group to every classic car lover) and it just grew.

Every photo of celebrities cars has a story. Wherever possible I included as much of the stories I could find. Obviously, this will be work in progress, so do check in from time to time…

The Moon | Ferrari story as told by James Harold Sapienza

Keith Moon and part of his collection, including a wrecked Ferrari Dino
Source photo: Getty Images

If the ’70s were the decade for sex, drugs, and rock and roll, few people practiced it as religiously as Keith Moon, the drummer for The Who. Widely credited with perfecting rock star cliches like trashing hotel rooms, driving luxury cars into swimming pools, and destroying his drums on stage every night, Moon partied harder than just about anybody. He ended up paying dearly for it too — he died at age 32 in 1977. Here’s Moon in 1972 with daughter Mandy and an array of his cars. There are three Rolls-Royces, a Mercedes-Benz 350SLC, Bucket-T Ford hot rod, a 1930s Chrysler, a hovercraft, and a Ferrari Dino.  He famously gave the keys to the Ferrari to a group of teenagers at his local pub and forgot about it — until he found the car wrecked in a ditch while stumbling home drunk.

Brigitte Bardot. Car unknown to me

Brigitte Bardot

The Hemingway | Chrysler story as told by Marcello Stella

Ernest Hemingway in Italy with his 1959 Lancia Flaminia 2.5
Source photo: Marcello Stella
Hemingway’s 1955 Chrysler New Yorker De Luxe Convertible, or what was left of it before restoration, Havana, Cuba
Source photo: Marcello Stella

Ernest Hemingway spent much of his life in Cuba: starting in 1939, for more than 15 years, albeit with several interruptions. On the island, he wrote The Old Man and the Sea, with which he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 and the Nobel Prize the following year. Also in Cuba, Hemingway started For Whom the Bell Tolls and made famous cocktails like the Mojito and the Daiquiri. The American writer also left one of his cars on the island, a 1955 Chrysler New Yorker De Luxe Convertible: the restoration of the car became the subject of a documentary. It is a car that, thanks to its illustrious owner, has great historical value, but at the time of its discovery, which occurred recently, its conditions were not good. In fact, it had stood still and abandoned for over half a century. But there was no money for the restoration and finding original parts was very difficult. At this point, David Soul came on the scene, known for playing Ken Hutch in the TV series Starsky & Hutch. The actor is a big fan of Hemingway and, thanks to the British passport in his possession, he had traveled to Cuba many times, becoming a friend of the director of the museum dedicated to the writer. Who asked him for help. Thanks to the magazine Practical Classics, Soul came in touch with Andy Bernbaum, supplier of original Chrysler parts, also a big Hemingway fan. Then, with the help of some sponsors, the restoration became really possible.

The Jagger | Morgan story as told by James Harold Sapienza

Mick Jagger in his 1971 Morgan
Mick Jagger in his Morgan, 1971
Source photo: Getty Images

In the early ’70s, Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones were at the top of their powers. On top of jet-setting and selling out arenas around the world, they were recording seminal albums like Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main St. Somewhere between all of that, Mick was able to vacation in the south of France. Here he is behind the wheel of a Morgan, a wood-framed, British-built sports car. Aside from an interruption during World War II, the Morgan has been in constant production since 1936. Amazingly, the modern Morgan isn’t all that different from Mick’s car here.

Janis Joplin and her psychedelic 1964 Porsche 356

‘I met a girl who sang the blues
and I asked her for some happy news
but she just smiled and turned away’
Don McLean, American Pie

Janis Joplin’s 1964 psychedelic Porsche 356
Source photo: Marcello Stella
Again, Janis Joplin and her Porsche 356

The Bowie | Mercedes story as told by Marcello Stella

David Bowie and his 1967 Mercedes 600 Landaulet in Berlin, 1976.
Source photo: Marcello Stella

West Berlin, Cold War Era, 1976. David Bowie lived in a flat close to the Wall, together with Iggy Pop, Brian Eno and Lou Reed. Of that period he remembers being constantly high on drugs. One night he found himself in a hotel garage, his foot jammed on the gas of a black 1967 Mercedes Benz 600 Landaulet, racing around in circles at lunatic speed. Then he decided to let the steering go and end his life crashing at full speed into a garage “wall”. But just as he did so, the Mercedes ran out of petrol and spluttered to a standstill. “Oh God,” he said to himself, “this is the story of my life!” Yet he was wrong. Because instead of running on empty, Bowie wrote a harrowing confessional song called “Always Crashing In The Same Car”. Instead of dying at his peak, he would pick up the shattered pieces of his mind and distill them into the three most cathartic, influential, and magical albums of his career: “Low”, “Heroes” and “Lodger”. And instead of becoming just another ’70s Rock casualty, Bowie would fuse British Punk with Kraut Electronica, black magic with white noise, amphetamine psychosis with spiritual healing. As a by-product of this process, starting from a potential car crash, he would accidentally invent in West Berlin the future of Rock and Roll.

Clint Eastwood and his Jaguar XK150

Clint Eastwood and his Jaguar XK150
Those bloody British…none of my tools fit!
Peter Fonda and a Mercedes 300SEL 6.3, Cannes, 1978
Source photo: Elias Papalexandrou

The Welch | Ferrari story as told by Filipponereoruggero FerranteCarnielli

Raquel Welch and her 1966 Ferrari 275 GTS
Photo source: Filipponereoruggero FerranteCarnielli

According to an article published in 2016 by the Italian newspaper Republica it is the 1966 Ferrari 275 GTS chassis #7359 that belonged to Raquel Welch. She received such a car as a present from the director Leslie H. Martinson (movie Fathom). She drove the Ferrari until 1975, when she sold it to a new buyer.

Lastly, the great man himself, Enzo Ferrari flanked by a 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso and a 330 GT 2+2 ( Chinese eyes).
Source photo: Theo de Jong

NEW BEGINNINGS • 52 Week Smartphone Challenge (week 13)

NEW BEGINNINGS• 52 Week Smartphone Challenge

NEW BEGINNINGS is the prompt for this week’s 52 Week Smartphone Challenge. A challenge by Khürt Williams.
The rules are simple: there’s a ‘theme’ every week and your photo has to be taken with a smartphone. For the fine print see the linked post.
This week’s challenge is ‘Our world is full of circular patterns; as some things end, others begin. Tell us a story of a New Beginning.

NEW BEGINNINGS• 52 Week Smartphone Challenge
NEW BEGINNINGS • Always leave the cage door open…

Always leave the cage door open, so the bird can return

I first heard of an ancient wisdom ‘Always leave the cage door open, so the bird can return’ during my early days in Kyoto, Japan. It does imply an end, a new beginning, and a possible return to the old way if the new beginning doesn’t prove to be fruitful after all.
I was trying to get a steady ‘supply’ of sosaku hanga (modern Japanese woodblock prints) for a gallery I was about to open in Amsterdam. I deliberately didn’t (want to) work with the endless stream of middle men, brokers and galleries in Japan to save both time and money. So here I was, a 21-year old half Dutch, half Chinese, with pockets full of borrowed cash, sitting opposite an elderly lady who was revered in Japan (and the US) as the leading artist in abstract sosaku hanga.

The Japanese Way

A slight complication was that I didn’t speak a word of Japanese. I had to rely on my girlfriend who was half Indian and half Japanese, to interpret for me. The other complication was that she didn’t believe in my plan of cutting out the middle men. At all! ‘Ah Han-chan, this is not the Japanese way nèh’ she would tell me over and over and over again. In fact, the last time she told me this, looking at her feet, was when we were just about to enter the artist’s atelier where I had successfully made an appointment only the week before. (Which led to another debate about respecting the Japanese way.)

My girlfriend had, for the short term successfully, tried to teach me the merit of patience. Which I needed in spades during that first meeting that went on for hours. The first hour or so was spent on exchanging pleasantries and me getting accustomed to the tediously slow pace of the translation.

So, finally after that long first hour or so, to our utter amazement, this lady artist said ‘shall we cut to the chase and discuss what you want exactly?’ Turned out she spoke (some) English, which made the going considerably easier. It took me less than half an hour to give my (well-rehearsed) sales pitch.

Completely in line with the ‘Japanese Way’, we were invited for a stroll around the garden, where nothing of any consequence was discussed. And then, more tea (I was dying for a glass of Vodka, preferably neat, by then).

New beginnings

To cut a long story short, the lady artist had some questions so could we hang around for a couple days and then come back for a follow up meeting.
This went on for another 10 days or so. My patience was wearing ever so thin, as was the remainder of my travel budget.
And then, in what appeared to be the final meeting, she gave me everything I had asked for. No middle men, all dealings directly with her, and a hefty discount on what Japanese and American galleries had to pay. The only thing she did not agree with is that I had first right to the valuable first ten of any numbered new series woodblock prints. (First come, first serve is where we left that.)

And with her onboard, it proved to be relatively easy, albeit just as time consuming, to broker deals with other artists. New beginnings truly. For me, for the lady artist who finally had a foothold in Europe, and for the sosaku hanga as a whole.

I will never forget the moment when she took my hands and answered my question ‘Why me over them?’, knowing full well any artist can only produce so much in any given time frame. Whatever she was selling me was basically taken from somebody else’s allotment. Wasn’t she afraid her regular customers would give her a cold shoulder if my adventure turned south?

And that is when she told this 21 year old this ancient saying, now almost 40 years ago.

Took this photo with my iPhone 6 (back camera 4.15mm f/2.2) and pimped it a little in Adobe Lightroom.

Cuban Courtyard Mural • Monday Mural, 23 March

Courtyard Mural 3 • Monday Mural

This Cuban Courtyard Mural, for Monday Mural, 23 March, is an attempt by the artist to make something out of these otherwise blind walls. It is a tribute o the Cuban poet Bonifacio Byrne, after whom this street was named. Many streets have both a name and a number; most also have two names, one pré- and one post-revolution. This Calle 79 is also called Calle Contreras, though locals still refer to it as Calle Bonifacio Byrne.

Cuban Courtyard Mural• Monday Mural
Cuban Courtyard Mural • Monday Mural
Courtyard Mural 2 • Monday Mural
Courtyard Mural 3 • Monday Mural
Courtyard Mural 5 • Monday Mural
Courtyard Mural 5 • Monday Mural
Courtyard Mural 6 • Monday Mural
Reality around the corner • Monday Mural
Reality around the corner • Monday Mural

Artist unknown to me.

Discovered in Havana, Cuba on July 4, 2016. Entry in Sami’s challenge March 23. For more Monday Mural entrees, click here.

Once We Were Windows • Monday Window, 23 March

Once we were windows • Monday Window

Once We Were Windows is my entry in Ludwig Keck’s challenge Monday Window, 23 March. This sorry sight of windows almost beyond repair is all too common in Cuba.

Once we were windows • Monday Window
Once we were windows • Monday Window
Once we were windows 2 • Monday Window
Once we were windows 2 • Monday Window
Once we were windows 3 • Monday Window
Once we were windows 3 • Monday Window
Once we were windows 4 • Monday Window
Once we were windows 4 • Monday Window

Click below to see what fellow bloggers cooked up for this Monday Window, 23 March .

monday window-badge-2

If you’d like to see more of my Monday Windows, click here.

A River Runs Through It • Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #89

Quay at the River Maas • Lens-Artists#89

Amy’s challenge of ‘A River Runs Through It’ made me think at first of that wonderfully melodramatic Springsteen song ‘The River’. For those who want to relive that wonderfully, cynically romantic mood again, I’ve included a link to my favorite performance of it. Ah, those childhood memories of innocently skinny dipping in the river Eem on a hot summer’s day have long since made space for associations of a river running through a city.

Quay at the River Maas • Lens-Artists#89
Quay at the River Maas • Lens-Artists#89
Lighthouse by the River Maas • Lens-Artists#89
Lighthouse by the River Maas • Lens-Artists#89
Bridge over the River Maas • Lens-Artists#89
Bridge over the River Maas • Lens-Artists#89
Water Taxis in the River Maas • Lens-Artists#89
Water Taxis in the River Maas • Lens-Artists#89

The promised link to that wonderful song then…

For more of my entrees in Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, click here.