The New 800-Horsepower American Roadster


First-ever test drive of Iconic Motors' $600,000 GTR. Plus, 25 top releases from Burgundy, Carroll Shelby's GT500KR Mustang, Parmigiani's Maritime watch collection. Also, water safaris: crusing the Peruvian Amazon in high style.

From This Issue

Contributors: Thrill Machines

As he researched this month’s cover story on the Iconic GTR (“American Ideal,” page 74), automotive writer Ezra Dyer encountered a few bumps in the road. The 800 hp concept car, which recalls classic roadsters of the 1950s and ’60s, had been damaged during transport while making the rounds on the car-show circuit. Subsequently it […]

From the Editors: Remembering Mr. Mondavi

The word icon is often used but seldom is it meaningful. Few people transcend the particulars of their individual identities to embody something much greater than themselves. In the course of my career, I have met my share of prominent and impressive personages. But I have met only one genuine icon. My first meeting with […]

FrontRunners: The Ferrari California

The Ferrari California ( will not debut officially until October, at the Paris Motor Show, but prospective buyers can add their names now to the soon-to-be-overcrowded waiting list for the company’s first-ever convertible hardtop. The four-seat grand touring car—which will be approximately the same size and weight as a Porsche 911—will use a mid-front-mounted, direct-injected […]

FrontRunners: Market Trend

The name of BLT Market ( is less a description of the Manhattan venue than a reference to its obsession with seasonal ingredients. But the restaurant, which opened in the summer of 2007 at the Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park, does have a market component. The wall behind the hostess desk is stocked with Sonoma […]

FrontRunners: Tides Turned

When Islands Records founder Chris Blackwell purchased a 1930s-era Art Deco hotel on Miami’s Collins Avenue in 1997, he had the building reconfigured so that it housed only 45 rooms and suites instead of its original 115. After the hotel changed hands again, in 2004, its new owner, the Kor Hotel Group, began another renovation, […]

Romanesque Revival

Long known as a summer retreat, the South of France has provided an ideal setting for some of Europe’s most prominent individuals to indulge their wildest fantasies. Ernesta Stern, for example, was a rather unusual member of an influential European banking family. In the late 19th century she built this home—with Romanesque, Gothic, and Byzantine […]

One Last Thing…

The Item. This ship chess set is both functional and decorative: The chess pieces, which are about an inch tall and resemble sailors, can be displayed on the deck, and the pieces and the board—all made of ivory from the frozen remains of woolly mammoths—can be stored within the ship’s 2.5-foot-long wooden hull. Its Significance. […]

Journeys: Cruise Control

The turquoise flashes of a blue morpho’s wings appear like a beacon as the butterfly darts and weaves in front of our skiff on the narrow, black-water Yanallpa River in northeastern Peru. Microscopic scales on the top of the insect’s wings, which can span as much as 8 inches, reflect an iridescent blue light, while […]

The Best of Burgundy

Each November, an extraordinary event takes place in the town of Beaune, France. This event—an auction—has deep roots in the region; it benefits the Hospices de Beaune, a charitable foundation established in 1443 by Chancellor Nicolas Rolin of Burgundy to maintain the Hôtel-Dieu, a magnificent 15th-century hospital complete with Gothic spires and a colorfully tiled […]

Bird Nests: Top Choppers

There are many excellent helicopters that operate successfully from the decks of yachts. Yet there are a select few models that experts recommend over all others, in part because the companies that make them have long histories of working with ship builders in both commercial and military environments, and because the models are easy to […]

Bird Nests

Like most aviation consultants, James Wakeford tells lots of stories about things that have gone wrong. He recalls a certain yacht crew that never properly flushed the onboard helicopter’s engines of corrosive salt water during three months at sea, something they should have been doing daily: “We had to tell the captain that they had […]

Home: Going to the Mattresses

Two years ago, Hästens, the Swedish bedding company known for blue-checkered mattresses filled with horsehair, successfully introduced Vividus, the world’s first $50,000 mattress. Since then, bed makers have been tossing and turning over ways to justify their own similarly high-priced sleep systems. Two of the most extravagant examples are Magniflex’s $75,000 Platinum mattress, launched this […]

Antiques: Spin Doctor

Jalal Aro places a wax cylinder onto one of the record players in his Paris shop and invites his guest to listen. The music, a violin solo, sounds clear—surprisingly so, considering that the cylinder was made in 1912 and that the player is a circa-1918 model designed by Thomas Edison. “If the cylinder is perfect […]

Collectibles: Passing the Torch

Craig Perlow, a collector and dealer of Olympic memorabilia, stores his entire collection in his two-bedroom townhouse in Norcross, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta. His sellable inventory is in the basement, while his pins and badges are in boxes and jewelry cases. Important documents, including a handwritten letter from Pierre de Coubertin, the principal founder […]

Sport: High-Wire Action

Our group of a dozen hikers huddles in a circle, shoulders hunched, hands clutching our backpack straps. Loose pebbles scatter on the ground around our feet, and Gore-Tex jackets flatten as the blades of our helicopter accelerate. At our guide Bernard’s signal, we rush into the chopper, which ascends quickly toward a W-shaped mountain formation […]

Travel: Flight of Fancy

Shortly after takeoff, on a demonstration flight for travel agents and a handful of writers, the passenger cabin filled with a customary sound of first-class travel: the voices of flight attendants proffering hors d’oeuvres and cocktails as they moved through the aisle. This was about the time when normally I would open a book, switch […]

Golf: Kidd’s Club

David McLay Kidd waves his hand toward the beach just beyond the dunes that border the 16th hole at Scotland’s Machrihanish Dunes. “When I was a child we would come down here in the summer, and I would run on that beach and hide in those dunes,” says Kidd, a golf course architect whose portfolio […]

Wardrobe: Three Easy Pieces

When d’Avenza relaunched its illustrious label this year after more than a decade’s absence from U.S. stores, the upscale Italian suitmaker did so with just three jacket styles: the British Warm, the Forte, and the Easy Chic. Given that d’Avenza was among the most successful Italian clothiers in the 1960s and ’70s, the company chose […]

Spirits: Back in Black

In the game of high-priced whiskies, as in that of high-stakes poker, four of a kind always beats three. Bowmore trumps an earlier winning hand with this summer’s introduction of the long-anticipated Black Bowmore 42-year-old single-malt Scotch whisky, from a rare batch that also yielded the trio that sold for $18,000 at the first spirits […]

Boating: Mahogany Dreams

At the Crosby Yacht Yard on Cape Cod, Mass., berthed not far from John F. Kennedy’s wooden sloop, Victura, lies a Windsor Craft 36, an expertly crafted mahogany yacht with a classic Down East hull shape. The joinery throughout the boat is virtually flawless, with curves that arc through the cabin and gaps between the […]

Autos: Royal Treatment

Forty years ago, former racecar driver Carroll Shelby caught wind that General Motors was just weeks away from unveiling a King of the Road edition of the Chevrolet Corvette. “The brochures were already printed,” recalls Shelby, whose Cobra competed with the Corvette both on the track and in dealer showrooms. “I immediately called my attorney […]

FrontRunners: Golden Opportunities

Manhattan jeweler Stephen Russell (212.570.6900,, known for its exceptional period pieces, has moved a few doors down Madison Avenue into a boutique at the corner of 76th Street. The new venue, which includes a private salon on the lower level, gives company owners Stephen Feuerman and Russell Zelenetz more than twice the space they […]

FrontRunners: Savoir Fair

From September 11 to 21, dealers in art, antiques, furniture, and jewelry will display their wares in Paris at the XXIV Biennale des Antiquaires (www.bda?, the oldest of the international art and antiques fairs. This 24th edition of the biannual event will draw nearly 100 galleries from 11 countries. The vendors will display some 8,000 […]

FrontRunners: Select Smoke

Rocky Patel’s original Edge cigar series had an appealing simplicity. The cigars were sold in rough-hewn cedar boxes, they had no bands, and they contained earthy Central American tobaccos. The company recently softened the edges of the Rocky Patel Edge by adding a band at the foot and introducing a new Battalion size. Patel warns […]

FrontRunners: From the Robb Cellar

During their search for a property in Bordeaux, California vintner Jess Jackson and his business partner, French vigneron Pierre Seillan, were particularly impressed with Saint-Émilion’s Château Lassègue. The estate’s roughly 83 acres of vineyards boast nine different soil types (one of the region’s most diverse plots) and 30- to 45-year-old vines. Both vintners felt the […]

FrontRunners: Big Swinger

Zenith’s Zero-G Tourbillon ( is a fantastically complex mechanical construction, but whether it is an actual tourbillon is open to debate. Like a tourbillon, the Zero-G nullifies the effect of gravity on its regulating organ. Yet instead of using a revolving-cage design, the watch employs a system of gimbals that swings the oscillating balance wheel […]

FrontRunners: Fully Focused

The new Hasselblad H3DII-39MS ( is about as far as you can get from a point-and-shoot camera. The digital single-lens-reflex camera (about $44,000) features a 39-megapixel image resolution—more than twice that of most high-end digital models. The H3DII-39MS also minimizes blur through four-shot sequencing, a process that involves capturing four successive shots and then merging […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Mineral Riches

“You never know what’s inside a geode until you crack it open,” says jewelry designer Kimberly McDonald (; available at Bergdorf Goodman, 212.?753.7300). “Each rock is so distinctive; some sparkle, some bubble, and some appear like a rainbow of colors.” Any visitor to a natural-history museum will recognize these rough rocks—black, gray, green, reddish-clay, and […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Snake Charmer

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 The Shelby Cobra is one of the most copied cars of all time; each year, enthusiasts produce Cobra knockoffs in quantities greater than the 998 original autos that American racer Carroll Shelby built between 1962 and 1967. Ironically, the Cobra itself was a virtual replica of Ferrari’s 166 MM Barchetta. The […]

FrontRunners: The Write Track

Writing instruments might be able to combat swords, but this one embraces the trident. The pen, created by Omas for Maserati and aptly named the Omas for Maserati (, is made of sterling silver and decorated with references to the automaker. The production volume of the pen also relates to Maserati: Omas has made 1,200 […]

American Ideal

The American automotive landscape is littered with the broken dreams of aspiring carmakers. As the joke goes, the best way to make a small fortune in the car industry is to start with a large one. Even among those entrepreneurs who survive step one—building a prototype that stimulates consumer interest—few ever make a successful transition […]

Watches: Maritime Marriage

Within minutes of meeting at the Cannes International Boat Show in September 2006, executives from Swiss watch manufacturer Parmigiani Fleurier and Italian yacht builder Pershing felt an affinity that quickly bloomed into a partnership. Dressed in shorts and a T-shirt, Pershing’s president, Tilli Antonelli, surprised Jean-Marc Jacot, Parmigiani’s CEO, with his casual demeanor. “He was […]