Tag: Special-Interest Autos

Purple Prose: Brooks Stevens

Purple Prose: Brooks Stevens

"Kip" Stevens with his 1951 Excal­ibur J

The blogsite of Hem­mings Motor News sees fit to post my  1982 arti­cle on Brooks Stevens, along with a gra­tu­itous opin­ion: “Per­haps Richard Langworth’s ten­den­cy toward pur­ple prose in this pro­file of Brooks Stevens in Spe­cial Inter­est Autos #71, Octo­ber 1982, is appro­pri­ate, giv­en the pic­ture he paints of the leg­endary design­er.” Aside from the fact that Hem­mings paid only for first rights and is there­fore in copy­right vio­la­tion, it’s nice to be remem­bered.

Reac­tions: A one­time edi­tor of SIA wrote: “I see noth­ing purple—it reads like an essay in The New York­er.” (Ah, if only Hem­mings paid New York­er rates!)  A Packard Club col­league wrote: “Naah, not pur­ple, maybe faint mauve.” A blog read­er wrote: “Ugh, I can’t read it.…

Read More Read More

Sunbeam Harrington Harangue

Sunbeam Harrington Harangue

Sun­beam Har­ring­ton Le Mans: first encounter. It was in 1963 at Beck­rag Motors in Irv­ing­ton, New Jer­sey, where I’d arrived to buy a bolt-on hard­top for my Sun­beam Alpine. The Le Mans was in their show­room, gleam­ing red, entic­ing­ly shaped, with wire wheels, snug Micro­cell buck­et seats and the wal­nut dash­board I’d tried to fake with con­tac-paper on my Alpine. It looked like 100 mph stock-still. The price was $4295, about $3000 more than I could even bor­row. I had to stick with my hard­top Alpine.

The Le Mans was your basic Eng­lish blacksmith’s revenge, cob­bled up from a pro­duc­tion vehi­cle, like the Tri­umph Her­ald-based Bond Equipe, but rather more impres­sive.…

Read More Read More