Last Thursday night I attended the inaugral evening of the Larz Anderson Motor-Mouth Series. The Larz Anderson Museum of Transportation in Brookline, Massachusetts is the very active center of the car culture in the New England area. The property has been dedicated to cars for a very long time. It is said that Larz Anderson was the first car collector in North America. There are always some very interesting cars on display. Right now they have a Bentley Flying Spur, a Jaguar XK120, a custom Rolls Royce Shooting Brake, a 1946 Volkswagen, a MGA, an HRG, an Allard J2X, a Triumph TR3A, an Arnolt-MG, a Rover “Cyclops”, a Vincent Black Shadow, and very impressive Jaguar sedan. As you might have noticedor guessed, they were doing a display featuring products built in Britain, although I’m not sure how the VW sedan fits in.
The Motor-Mouth series is planned to be a series of evening “get-togethers” of people who have interest in cars listening to other similar people telling car related stories. This first evening was hosted by George Kennedy, who is an automotive writer and automotive video producer. George’s work can be found in the Boston Globe, Hemmings Classic Wheels, Mesh Magazine, Autoblog.com, and many other outlets.
The first speaker of the night was Craig Fitzgerald, an automotive journalist, featured in Hemmings and the Boston Globe. Craig revealed several interesting stories about the perils of going on some photo shoots for Hemmings. To protect the guilty, the details of some of these stories are best left within the walls of the Larz Anderson Museum.
The next speaker was Rick Roso who is in charge of Public Relations and Marketing for Lime Rock Park. Rick explained how he got into the racing business and the wonderful people that he has met over the years. It was an interesting story of how he started working as an unpaid writer, just to get his foot in the door and how he was able to take advantage of opportunities that came along to further his career. Rick’s inspiring message was that if you want get involved in the car industry, then just do it. Start actively doing something and make opportunities happen.
The next speaker was Bob Lapane who currently works for Paul Russell Restorations, the Boston area car restoration shop that works on cars that frequently are featured at Pebble Beach. In Bob’s earlier days he was involved in racing a Corvette. He told several stories about those days and his friendship with actor/racer Paul Newman, who at the time was just starting his racing career. I believe that Bob said that Newman was racing a Triumph at that time. Apparently Newman often went around the track area with his helmet on so people would not recognize him. He often found refuge from the public by having a beer and a sandwich in Bob’s mobile home at the race track.
The final speakers were two fellows who have known each other for so long, that they were finishing each other’s sentences. The two were Joe Puleo, author of “Getting Home Alive!” and Paul Zangari co-host of Cumulus’ Providence station WPRV Drive-Thru Radio. They told a hilarious story of towing a huge late-1920s Rolls Royce with an old four-cylinder Volvo. Not the ideal tow vehicle.
I thoroughly enjoyed the evening, as I met an old friend there and later I was surprised to meet another colleague from the office in Boston. I understand that the Larz Anderson Museum is planning on more evenings like this where interesting car people will be invited to share their stories with the evidence.