Category Archives: Classics

Sports & Apparel: The History Of The “Nike Air Jordan” Basketball Shoes

Christie's Logo‘Michael Jordan’s tremendous impact on basketball and sneakers is universally acknowledged, and it can be easy to think there aren’t any new stories to add to the legend,’ says John McPheters, co-founder and CEO of Stadium Goods. ‘But as we’ve seen with The Last Dance and now with our Original Air auction at Christie’s, there are still lesser-known narratives in the legacy that create great interest.’

‘The shoes span art, pop culture and sports history,’

 

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Michael Jordan ended his first season as a professional basketball player with the Chicago Bulls by being crowned Rookie of the Year. It was the summer of 1985 and Jordan was soon to become one of the most recognised people on the planet.

The New York Times described his debut performance as ‘phenomenal’, and Sports Illustrated declared ‘A Star Is Born’ when he made the front cover.

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History Of Auto Design: The Family Origins Of The “Porsche 911” (Gestalten)

GestaltenWhen Ferdinand Alexander Porsche entered the family business in 1958, he filled an unknown vacuum. An experimental visionary who wanted to challenge tradition, he elevated the design legacy of this famous German brand. From working in the engineering office to craftily creating an icon amongst sportscars, writer Ulf Porschardt reveals how Ferdinand Alexander’s sketches evolved to become a cultural symbol.

Count Goertz designed a prestigious, muscular sports car for the Zuffenhausen-based company that was more reminiscent of a Ferrari or a Maserati…

The Goertzian design was in love with the grand gesture. The same year Roland Barthes declared the car to be the equivalent of the great Gothic cathedrals, and in his popular and shamelessly cited work Mythologies, considered it a major creation of the epoch, passionately conceived by numerous nameless artists. In the style of pop art, Barthes enacted an intellectual and cultural upgrading of the automobile, without the hyper-modern pathos of the futurists.

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Travel & Driving Videos: A “1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta” In Swiss Alps

Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB 1961

One of the most notable GT racers of its time, the 1959 250 GT Berlinetta SWB used a short (2,400 mm (94.5 in)) wheelbase for better handling. Of the 176 examples built, both steel and aluminum bodies were used in various road (“lusso”) and racing trims. Engine output ranged from 240 PS (177 kW; 237 hp) to 280 PS (206 kW; 276 hp). The “lusso” road car version was originally fitted with 185VR15 Pirelli Cinturato (CA67).

Development of the 250 GT SWB Berlinetta was handled by Giotto BizzarriniCarlo Chiti, and young Mauro Forghieri, the same team that later produced the 250 GTODisc brakes were a first on a Ferrari GT, and the combination of low weight, high power, and well-sorted suspension made it competitive. It was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in October and quickly began selling and racing. The SWB Berlinetta won Ferrari the GT class of the 1961 Constructor’s Championship. Also won 1960, 1961 and 1962 Tour de France Automobile before giving ground to the GTO’s.

In 2004, Sports Car International placed the 250 GT SWB seventh on a list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s, and Motor Trend Classic placed it fifth on a list of the ten “Greatest Ferraris of all time”.

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Literary Profiles: The “Sparkling, Perfect” Prose Of P.G. Wodehouse (BBC)

From BBC Culture (June 2, 2020):

P.G._Wodehouse_-_My_Man_Jeeves_-_1st_American_edition_(1920_printing)_-_CropWith every sparkling joke, every well-meaning and innocent character, every farcical tussle with angry swans and pet Pekingese, every utopian description of a stroll around the grounds of a pal’s stately home or a flutter on the choir boys’ hundred yards handicap at a summer village fete, he wanted to whisk us far away from our worries.

If we’re talking about culture that makes people happy, we have to start with the works of PG Wodehouse. There are two reasons why. One reason is that making people happy was Wodehouse’s overriding ambition. The other reason is that he was better at it than any other writer in history.

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P. G. Wodehouse: A Brief History

P.G. WodehouseThe author of almost a hundred books and the creator of Jeeves, Blandings Castle, Psmith, Ukridge, Uncle Fred and Mr Mulliner, P. G. Wodehouse was born in 1881 and educated at Dulwich College. After two years with the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank he became a full-time writer, contributing to a variety of periodicals including Punch and the Globe. He married in 1914.

As well as his novels and short stories, he wrote lyrics for musical comedies with Guy Bolton and Jerome Kern, and at one time had five musicals running simultaneously on Broadway. His time in Hollywood also provided much source material for fiction.

At the age of ninty-three, in the New Year’s Honours List of 1975, he received a long-overdue knighthood, only to die on St Valentine’s Day some forty-five days later.

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Classics Cars: Design House “Zagato” Defined “Italian Style” In 1960’s

Zagato Logo
Zagato is an independent coachbuilding company and total design centre located northwest of Milan in the Terrazzano frazione of Rho, Lombardy, Italy.

1961 Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ Prototipo - Zagato

1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Zagato

The 1960s: Fuoriserie cars

The higher demand for special bodies required a passage from a handcraft to an industrially-based organization. Elio Zagato found a larger location at 30 Via Arese in Terrazzano (northwest of Milan), very close to Arese where Alfa Romeo would have chosen soon to establish its new plants. In 1960 Ugo Zagato was awarded with the Compasso d’Oro design prize for the design of the Fiat Abarth 1000 Zagato. In this period the mission of Zagato was to design special bodies to be assembled in series and fitted with mechanical parts and interiors supplied by major constructors. Under the partnership with Alfa Romeo the Giulia SZ, the TZ, TZ2, 2600 SZ, the 1750 4R and the Junior Zagato were born. In partnership with Lancia, Zagato continued the “Sport” series with the Lancia Appia Sport, the Flaminia Sport and Super Sport, the Flavia Sport and Supersport and the Fulvia Sport and Sport Spider. In addition there were some for special customers: Osca, Lamborghini, Bristol, Rover, Honda and Fiat.

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Fiction: “Hercule Poirot” Created 100 Years Ago In 1920 By Agatha Christie

From Open Magazine (May 29, 2020):

Hercule Poirot
Hercule Poirot

And with The Mysterious Affair at Styles (published a 100 years ago, in 1920) Christie would introduce readers to Monsieur Hercule Poirot, an old Belgian detective who resembled Holmes superficially (‘eccentric detective, stooge assistant’, as the author would admit in her autobiography later) but whose psychological insights and near-mystical idiosyncrasies would make him arguably the most successful and beloved literary sleuth of all time.

IN 1916, THE 26-year-old Agatha Christie finished writing her first detective novel at Dartmoor, a quiet upland in Devon, UK, known for its beautiful granite hilltops. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had published The Hound of the Baskervilles, in 1902, which would become one of the most widely read Sherlock Holmes adventures—and the story was set in this same corner of the world, Dartmoor.

Books like Murder on the Orient Express (1934), The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926)  and Death on the Nile (1937) remain some of the bestselling murder mysteries in the world today, over eight decades after their original publication (Christie’s net sales for all of her books combined are over two billion now).

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Greatest Cars Of All Time: “1961 Jaguar E-Type” (Video)

‘Project ZP’ proved the Jaguar E-type was as fast as it looked.

Although the response to the E-type was frenzied, Jaguar knew that more than a pretty face was required to secure the model’s future. Under the veil of ‘Project ZP’, seven of the earliest E-types were transformed into racers. And this particular car stands today as the best of the bunch…

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Lockdown: The Rolling Stones – “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” (2020)

The Rolling Stones perform “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” during One World: Together At Home on April 18.

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Classics: “1959 BMW 507 Series II” – Amazing Story Behind The “Perfect Car”

From Classic Driver Magazine (April 18, 2020):

1959 BMW 507 Series II Interior“Astonishing” is the word we are looking to describe this BMW 507. A word we use a lot if it comes to selling classic cars, but only a little few deserve this ‘title’ like this 507 does. When an exceptional model, with an unique story, from what the historical documents are well archieved, it just makes us going crazy. Add matching numbers and -colors tot his list and we are losing it totally. That’s no different with this 507.

1959 BMW 507 Series II FrontMax Hoffman convinced BMW that if they built a competitor to the Mercedes-Benz 300SL, he would sell it profitable in the United States. The BMW was intended to fill the gap between the affordable sports cars like the triumph and MG and the exclusive cars like the Mercedes-Benz 300SL and Ferrari 250 GT California. Though, BMW couldn’t achieve their target price, for what the BMW 507 was even more expensive than the 300SL. BMW found itself in a financial difficult situation and almost went bankrupt. At the end of the day, BMW recovered from this “failure” and the 507 even became a true flagship in the whole history of automotive.

Classic Driver MagazineIn the ‘50s BMW disposed over all fundamental ingredients which would make the 507 complete. An all-aluminium 3.2-litre V8 engine was placed in a shortened chassis of the 502. This ingenious masterpiece produced no less than 150hp and sounds like a guitar solo in your ears. To save weigt, the body was made of aluminium, which results in a 1280kg’s for a fully finished 507. Besides the phenomenal results, BMW wanted to offer luxury as well. Both aspects are just spot on.

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Classic Autos: The “1966 Amphicar Amphibious Car”

1966 Amphicar Amphibious Car rear view Classic Driver April 2020The Amphicar Model 770 is an amphibious automobile, launched at the 1961 New York Auto Show, manufactured in West Germany and marketed from 1961 to 1968. Production stopped in 1965.

Designed by Hans Trippel, the amphibious vehicle was manufactured by the Quandt Group at Lübeck and at Berlin-Borsigwalde, with a total of 3,878 manufactured in a single generation.

A descendant of the Volkswagen Schwimmwagen,[4] the Amphicar offered only modest performance compared to most contemporary boats or cars, featured navigation lights and flag as mandated by the US Coast Guard — and after operation in water, required greasing at 13 points, one of which required removal of the rear seat.

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