Exclusive Drive

Overview

Cadillac's thousand horsepower concept comes to life.  Creating a great wine collection part one: methods to the madness. Unique machines.  Exotic classics Bizzarrini, Tatra and Bristol.  Retrograde and regulator watches, tellingperfect time with one hand

From This Issue

FrontRunners: Frame Acclaim

You could find a more valuable picture frame—a rare antique or one fashioned from a precious metal—but none is as versatile as the $2,499 Digi-Frame DF-1710 (www.digi-frame.com). The device can store as many as 10,000 digital images for display on its 17-inch flat panel screen, which features 1,024×768 XGA resolution. New photos or videos can […]

FrontRunners: Digs for the Dog

Snoopy never had it so good. If cartoonist Charles Schulz had consulted Alan Mowrer and Michelle Pollak, the beloved beagle’s backyard digs would have made the rest of the Peanuts gang’s homes look like, well, doghouses. Mowrer, owner of Denver-based La Petite Maison (877.404.1184, http://www.lapetitemaison.com), and Pollak, an interior designer who specializes in small spaces, […]

Furnishings: Still Glowing After All These Years

To design aficionados, one of the more seductive features of the 1996 movie Ransom was not Mel Gibson but the exotic, sleek maple dining table and credenza in his character’s home. The same dining table played a major role in the gangster’s lair in The Mask, the 1994 Jim Carrey film. The furniture that is […]

Appliances: The Definitive Downpour

According to the Kohler Company, 87 percent of Americans spend an average of 80 hours a year in the shower. It seems that our need for speed and relaxation at the same time has pushed the bathtub aside in favor of the high-performance shower. But the hottest shower product of the moment—the giant rainhead—is actually […]

Features: Succulents By The Sea

Sparkling turquoise water, steep cliffs, rosemary swaying in the breeze. If this sounds like a scene from Italy’s Amalfi Coast, it is, just bottled and exported directly to Southern California. Rick Silver had spent nine magical summers vacationing in Positano and on the isle of Capri. When he found the oceanfront property overlooking Crescent Bay […]

Home Entertainment: House Band

The atmosphere is easy, relaxed. A woman’s laugh intermingles with the strains of a lilting, lazy guitar solo and floats over the crowd. The barkeep pauses, nodding appreciatively at the stage before pouring another round. It is a scene that plays every night at clubs throughout the world. However, this particular venue is among the […]

Journeys: Easy Writers

Before Robert Pirsig explored the connection between Zen and motorcycle maintenance, before Peter Fonda hopped on a chopper and headed out on the highway, Henry Miller, the expatriate author of such bawdy and controversial titles as Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn, established a lasting kinship with us motorcycle enthusiasts. Though their explicit sexual […]

FrontRunners: The North of France

Although Iceland is not readily associated with fine French cuisine, in this remote North Atlantic island nation, amid exquisite lava fields and gorgeous snowcapped mountains, gastronomes can find their version of joie de vivre. At the Gallery Restaurant inside Hotel Holt (+354.552.5700, http://www.holt.is), a Relais & Châteaux property, chef Birgir Ólafsson uses the freshest Icelandic […]

FrontRunners: Tea It Up

The Four Seasons Hotel Boston (617.338.4400, http://www.fourseasons.com), long renowned for its traditional afternoon tea, offers no milk, sugar, or lemon with its new Power Tea. Nor does it have scones, jams, or any sweets. In fact, the Power Tea, which is served daily from 3 to 7 pm in the hotel’s Bristol Lounge, does not even […]

From The Robb Cellar

Chateau Montelena, Montelena Estate 1999 The output of Bo Barrett’s century-old winery is built every bit as sturdily as the ivy-cloaked, stone facade of the structure. Chateau Montelena’s long-lived Cabernet Sauvignons do, in fact, echo the spirit of this historic building, past vintages having impressed generations of wine drinkers with their power and longevity—particularly the […]

FrontRunners: Running Hot and Cold

An appliance with a split personality seemed impossible until Whirlpool (800.253.1301, http://www.whirlpool.com) introduced the Polara Refrigerated Range, which cooks—and then refrigerates—your food.   The nearly-$2,000 Polara allows you to prepare a meal in absentia. You can place the food in the range overnight and program it to refrigerate; the range later switches to baking mode […]

FrontRunners: Select Smoke

The legend of Camelot lives on with the Dark Knight, the latest—and strongest—addition to Villazon & Co.’s Excalibur 1066 series. (The numeral refers to the year of the Battle of Hastings.) This formidable (54 x 53/4) cigar, which shares a name with the villain who felled King Arthur, gained its moniker from its extra-dark natural […]

Music: Spectacular Finnish

Kari Nieminen’s first name reflects his Viking ancestry, but the 43-year-old Finn rose to prominence through his mastery of an ax very different from the type his forebears wielded. Nieminen has been building guitars professionally since the age of 17, and his Versoul line of high-end instruments resonates with musicians and design students alike. This […]

Watches: All Wound Up

There is a certain threshold at which an addict can no longer deny or camouflage his compulsion. For watch collectors, that moment of clarity comes when they can almost feel their poor, neglected timepieces shivering in the dresser drawer, and decide the time has come to find them suitable housing: a watch winding box. Now […]

Health & Grooming: Heartfelt Experience

A scrub jay chirps as it soars overhead while I sit comfortably upright, immersed in the ancient practice of mindful meditation. “Notice the bird as it passes by,” offers instructor Linda Cammarata, careful to point out in a soothing voice that meditation is about “falling awake,” not emptying the mind. “It’s about being aware without […]

Dining: Five-Star Meals by Mail

Chef Alain Ducasse, he of the six Michelin stars, defines great cuisine as “60 percent ingredients and 40 percent technique.” Assuming his equation is correct, this means that even the most talented home chefs can never be as good as Ducasse and his ilk—unless they can get their hands on the same ingredients that the […]

Smoke: Sealing the Deal

“There are 374 steps involved in making a humidor,” says John Harding, proprietor and managing director of Manning Humidors in Bagenalstown, Ireland. “What makes us different is that we do each one of those steps very well.” Coming from a company that has been crafting humidors for a scant eight years, Harding’s statement may sound […]

A Thirsty Passion – Building a World-Class Wine Collection: No. 1 In A Three-Part Series

In the course of a recent conversation, one Napa winery owner confessed to me with some relief that he suffered from “an obsessive-compulsive disease that’s finally under control.” I thought at first that his comment would segue into an embarrassing discussion of ablutomania or closet smoking. I was wrong. This recovering neurotic (who, understandably, prefers […]

Golf: Well Manored

According to legend, the Luttrell family managed to retain possession of its vast Irish estates through roughly 350 years of interesting times by adroitly switching its religious affiliation depending on the popular ism of the moment. After a long, successful run of defending Luttrellstown Castle, which sits on 560 picturesque acres along the River Liffey […]

Sport: Vertical Vacation

Four miles and 4,000 vertical feet from the beginning of our journey, we reach the summit of Mount Huron only to discover that we have company. Meandering along the narrow summit crest, among boulder shards split by lightning, is a lone mountain goat, and he is not pleased with the intrusion. He lingers long enough […]

Wardrobe: Custom House

Although Dunhill may have shuttered its U.S. stores (with the exception of the New York flagship), the company has not abandoned retailing altogether; it recently reopened the doors of its oldest standing store at 15 rue de la Paix in Paris’ second arrondissement following an extensive restoration that was completed earlier this year. There, Stephen […]

Jewelry: Rock Steady

When it comes to acquiring large and exceedingly rare diamonds, New York diamond dealer William Goldberg is known for his audacity. Recently, he learned about a 45-carat rough (uncut) pink diamond and flew the next day to Antwerp, Belgium, where he made the purchase for untold millions. Though the stone was marred with blemishes and […]

Time: One Hand Clapping

A wristwatch cannot be considered truly complicated unless it is also complicated to read. Such, it seems, is the thinking of a select group of Swiss watchmakers—including some of the industry’s celebrated geniuses—who specialize in retrograde and regulator timepieces. At first glance, these one-handed watches with the strange dials appear to have been designed purely […]

From The Editor: O Pioneers!

The solemn bands of farmers who in the 1840s first hitched their teams to covered wagons and slowly rolled forth across the unknown horizons beyond Independence, Mo., gave little thought, one suspects, to romantic notions of gold and Manifest Destiny. For all our zeal to cast them as giants on a mythic landscape, the pioneers were […]

Motorcycles: Code Red

The portly harley-davidsons that John D’Orazio had tuned for years were rendered irrelevant in a matter of minutes. In 2001, D’Orazio, an Atlanta lawyer and Harley devotee, attended the Ducati Revs America event in Las Vegas, a celebration of the Italian marque’s motorcycles. There he test-drove the Ducati S4, slashing through a 24-mile circuit in […]

Cadillac’s Supreme Sixteen

Concept cars always generate excitement, and none in this century has excited the public and press more than the Cadillac Sixteen. It is formal and elegant, quietly aggressive and state-of–the-art stylish, as different from a Maybach or Phantom as is a Brioni tuxedo from Savile Row pinstripes. The Sixteen may be the first truly beautiful […]

Auto Exotica

The cars featured on the following pages are among the world’s rarest, each considered a treasure for collectors persistent or fortunate enough to get their hands on one. However, as one of our authors argues, rarity is hardly the sole measure of value. The aesthetic appeal of a car’s design, the technical merits of its […]

Symposium: The Fast and the Spurious

Any moment now, the visiting American will climb into a supercharged 469-hp Mercedes E55 AMG, wheel it out onto the Hockenheim racetrack outside Stuttgart, and let ’er rip! But first, he has one question for his charming hostess from AMG: “Will I need this?” he inquires, indicating his racing helmet, typically de rigueur on American […]

Back Page: A New Day at the Beach

In the opinion of Chief Class Judge Winston Goodfellow, the Best of Show winner at last year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance should have been an unrestored 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Spyder. The automobile garnered top honors in the Prewar Preservation class, earning entry into the Best of Show competition. However, its owner elected […]

FrontRunners: Boat Showstopper

Newport, R.I., a town steeped in U.S. boating lore and Brahmin culture, seems such a fitting venue for legendary American boatmaker Chris-Craft (www.chriscraft.com) to display the refined design of its new Roamer 36. While its cockpit features an innovative raised center console that gives the captain greater maneuverability, the $270,000 express cruiser, like the rest […]

Aircraft: Final Boarding Call

“I’ll miss Concorde,” says Kevin Roberts,  CEO worldwide of ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi. “Speed is everything today, and Concorde gives you an extra day a week. I work in New York for a French company based in Paris with a key agency in London. Concorde was meant for me. It gives me a big-time competitive […]

Wings & Water: Slow Boat to Anywhere

The sight of a commercial fishing vessel usually conjures up images of long hours of arduous labor often conducted in rough weather and always accompanied by the threat of injury. However, Bruce Kessler, a successful television director from Los Angeles, took a different view. For Kessler, the 90-foot tuna boat that steamed past his sportfisher […]