Betsy Huntington had lived in places from China to Spain to Mexico, and could boast if she wished of many improbable accomplishments. She once bought an island for a friend before she threw away all her money and put herself through journalism school waiting tables; was a blue water sailor, could also race cars and horses, owned a martini- drinking bobcat, bred margay cats in captivity, and became the art and literary reporter for MIT. But she had a horror of bragging or being seen to put herself forward, and was therefore the antithesis of a name dropper. On the rare occasion she did evoke a name it had weight.
We were driving down Sedillo hill here one day, very fast-- a borrowed car I can't even remember. I was going into the tight switchback turns rather hard, above 80, and she said to heel and toe the pedals just so. I remember being more concerned about staying on the road and said-- snapped-- "Who in hell told you that?"
I should have known better. She grinned as only she could and said "Juan Fangio-- he was the one who taught me how to drive fast cars."
Oh. El Maestro.
Jonathan Hanson just sent me the news that Fangio's everyday car was for sale. At first I couldn't help but wonder if Bets ever drove it, but it was made at least fifteen years after that was a possibility...
I need to blog a few cars in detail, like naturalist John Wilson's pristine TR 3, which I did mention when he brought it from Ohio.
Or a pseudonymous blogger friend's Morris Minor. I had one too-- photo from 1967 en route to Lime Rock.
Wildlife painter Tom Quinn loves fine guns, which everyone knows. But he painted the iconic "GTO and GTO " Car and Driver cover for David Davis in 1964, when he was living in New York exile from his beloved North Coast.
I met Davis the year before he died, at an art show in Santa Fe with Tom and others. I only wish I had known him over the thirty- plus years I had been reading him. He deserves a post of his own, too. Where are the flamboyant editors of yesterday?