Car of the Year 2003

Overview

Robb Report Car of the Year 2003. Rolls Royce Exclusive: A first look at the next generation sedan.   Adventure: Chasing the America's Cup. Motorcycles: Celebrating Harley's 100th.  Home Tour: Cars and Cigars in Beverly Hills.

From This Issue

Home Electronics: It Takes Two

Outside the audio industry, the name Niro Nakamichi may not be recognized, but within the business, he is held in the highest esteem. For nearly three decades his family’s company has been producing high-end electronics, including the first true hi-fi cassette deck in 1972. So when a relatively new company announced that it had created […]

Furnishings: We’ll Sleep on It

If you wake up feeling tired and irritable, you are not alone. A National Sleep Foundation survey found that some 47 million Americans are not getting their necessary eight hours of sleep. You need the comfort and support of the perfect handcrafted mattress, but steer clear of anything labeled “firm.” Research shows that a firm, […]

FrontRunners: Decadence with a Wink

BONBONS! They are back and more delectable than ever. With help from Chicago’s distinguished chocolatier Vosges Haut-Chocolat, Swanson Vineyards (707.967.3500, http://www.swansonvineyards.com) of Napa Valley has created a dark chocolate morsel to pair impeccably with its highly acclaimed 1999 Alexis, a Cabernet Sauvignon–based blend. The result is an ambrosial delight perfectly suited for St. Valentine’s Day. […]

Spirits: Irish Ayes

The world’s oldest licensed distillery is about to introduce to the United States its oldest single malt: Bushmills 21 Year Old. U.S. drinkers already may be familiar with Bushmills 10 Year Old, a combination of single malts aged in bourbon and sherry barrels. Its success led Bushmills to bring out its even more highly acclaimed […]

Art: Side by Side

It is natural to view Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso as artistic rivals. They were contemporaries who possessed rare and formidable artistic talent, yet differed in temperament, nationality, age, background, and creative approach. Matisse was French, 12 years Picasso’s senior, born to a father who sold grain, studied law before ultimately committing himself to painting, […]

Jewelry: Tokens of Love

Nothing makes a jewel more enticing than a compelling romantic history, says renowned Los Angeles vintage jewelry dealer Neil Lane. “Jewelry is typically given as a token of love,” he says, “and people love jewels with a romantic provenance.” After two decades in the business, Lane has a complete repertoire of entertaining tales of passion […]

Motorcycles: Harley’s 100th Hurrah

During a weekend-long celebration at Atlanta Motor Speedway last summer, Journey, Blues Traveler, and Tim McGraw were the featured musical acts. However, the pop stars were soon relegated to the roles of backup singers for the event’s lead vocalists: thousands of roaring Harley-Davidson V-Twins, crooning in chorus and puffing exhaust into the already steamy air. […]

Features: Rolls Forward

The presence of any Rolls-Royce is its past, for the marque’s provenance is a rich one. It has been in existence for more than a century, its cars owned by members of Wall Street’s old money and Silicon Valley’s new wealth and by England’s Queen Elizabeth, whose garage brims with Rolls-Royce saloons. Until recently, the […]

Robb Report’s Car of the Year 2003

With each season, Robb Report’s Car of the Year contest seems to require more and more tortuous explanation. These literary exertions result in part from our own efforts to refine the process of selecting the year’s best luxury and sports cars. Traditionally, our own staff (Robert Ross, Paul Dean, Christian Gulliksen, and myself) has peopled […]

Prelude to the Pinnacle

Brad Webb, a 29-year-old New Zealander, is perched on the bow of USA-76, barking into his headset. “Ten meters!” Webb shouts to helmsman Peter Holmberg. “Five, four, three . . .” As bowman, Webb serves as the eyes of the Oracle BMW boat, which is competing today against Alinghi, a Swiss syndicate that is closing […]

Style: Fashionably Late

A few years ago, as Hermès watchmakers in Switzerland were hard at work developing the innovative Nomade travel timepiece, a call came from Jean-Louis Dumas-Hermès, the company’s chairman and CEO in Paris, who had conjured up a new idea for the watch. “Let’s take this concept of a traveler’s watch even further,” he said, “and […]

Wine: Sonoma’s Un-Bordeaux

Pierre Seillan has spent his life discovering the truth about wine. This quest—begun at his family’s estate in Armagnac—led him eventually to Bordeaux in the southwest, where for two decades he served as technical director and winemaker for various châteaux in the Haut-Médoc, Saint Emilion, and Lalande de Pomerol. That undulating landscape, however, was far […]

Dining: Menu for a Masquerade

Come winter, Venice’s raw winds and damp fog chase away the teeming tourists, transforming the city into a mysterious, labyrinthine wonderland. “I think it’s the best time of year,” says Francesca Bortolotto Possati, chairman and president of the Deco-era Bauer hotel and its neighboring baby sister, Il Palazzo, the traditional-Venetian boutique hotel on the Grand […]

Boating: Stealth Fighter

Skip Braver, president and CEO of Cigarette Racing Team, has accumulated close to 4,000 flight hours, but not one was as significant as the hour he spent in a Boeing 747 simulator three years ago. When he entered the device at one of Northwest Airlines’ training centers in Minneapolis, he was stunned to find no […]

Wardrobe: Once upon an Island

An impeccably preserved men’s evening suit is draped on a dress form in Alberto Grilletti’s cluttered office on the island of Sardinia. The outfit dates to the mid-19th century, roughly the same time Grilletti’s maternal great-great-grandfather, Giovanni Castangia, was laying down roots as Italy’s premier bespoke tailor. More than a relic, the suit is a […]

Journeys: On Top of the World

It was a drizzly morning in Kirkwall, a village in Scotland’s rugged Orkney Islands, but the villagers ignored the damp to gather on the dock and gaze agog at the mysterious craft floating serenely on the horizon. Gleaming white and more than two football fields in length, with private terraces honeycombing its flanks and stern, […]

Back Page: Silver Ghost Stories

We may have been guilty of hyperbole in January 1986, when our cover touted excerpts from the book Rolls-Royce/The Complete Works: The Best 599 Rolls-Royce Stories as the greatest stories ever told, but then, a tendency to overstate is a vice shared by most cover line writers. (Is actor Ben Affleck really the sexiest man […]

FrontRunners: Ice for the Ages

The custom of offering a diamond ring at betrothal dates to 15th-century Europe, and just as the nature of love and marriage has evolved over the centuries, so, too, have diamond jewels. What better time to celebrate the diamond’s historical role in romance than on Valentine’s Day? And what better place than in Las Vegas, […]

FrontRunners: Soul Survivor

Entrepreneur and environmentalist Kelly Lebwith knows that luxurious indulgence and environmental sensitivity can coexist in harmony. Her Souls collection (888.668.3489, http://www.soulsshoes.com) of earth-friendly slippers, matching lap blankets, and travel accessories has made its way aboard some of the world’s most exclusive private jets and into top-tier resorts and spas, including the Lodge at Sea Island […]

FrontRunners: First Class

Discerning visitors to Washington, D.C., especially those with an appreciation for America’s past, can now enjoy staying in the historic building that even Charles Dickens, who loathed the federal city, thought “very beautiful” during his 1842 visit. The Kimpton Group, which has converted many historic structures throughout America into elegant hotels, recently opened the Hotel […]

FrontRunners: TV That Is Worth Viewing

Sim2 begins a new era in television design with the Grand Cinema RTX, a rear-projection trapezoidal DLP monitor that features wide shoulders and a dramatically tapered base. The most attractive televisions cannot compare with the sleek, backward sloping design, and no other TV offers a choice of colors—red, black, or silver—for the rear enclosure. Two […]

Cars, Cigars, and Stars

“They are young and fun,” says interior designer Susan Cohen. “They wanted a house with a sense of history, but nothing conventional or boring.” Thus began the transformation of a sprawling house in Beverly Hills for Mark and Ellen Bidner. It had once belonged to actress Constance Bennett but had since undergone many face-lifts. Fortunately, […]