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Tim Lappen

I am a third-generation Los Angeleno so I have cars in my blood and on my brain. I grew up going to (and sometimes racing at) San Fernando Valley Raceway and Lyons Drag Strip (Long Beach) as well as Ascot Park (the dirt track in Torrance). I drove anything that I could get the keys to (and some which I figured out how to hot-wire – all with the owners’ permission, of course). When I was at Palisades High School (Pacific Palisades – West Los Angeles), I wrote the “Car of the Week” column (1964-1965). Some weeks I wrote about my friends’ cars but other times I was able to talk local dealers out of giving me a car for a few hours. (Talk about a different time in the world!) And what dealers cooperated? How about a GTO, an Olds 442, a Buick GS and more? I also got to drive (with the rep) a Mustang GT350 at the Shelby headquarters near LA Airport and was able to interview the owners of other unusual cars, like the Chrysler turbine car. I even met and wrote about Craig Breedlove, who had just broken the land-speed record at Bonneville in his “Spirit of America”. Fun times. Flash forward a few (several?) decades and I now work as an attorney with a specialty in representing family offices. Many of my clients (and friends and other contacts) have amazing car collections and I occasionally get to drive some of their cars, especially when I help a client buy something special. For example, in the last few years, I have driven most of the superfast models made by Bugatti (a few times!), Mercedes, Bentley, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, BMW and more. I have participated in track days (I have met many dealers) with Bugatti, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Bentley and Cadillac (I had a CTS-V for almost a week). I will write about those cars in future posts. As a member of the Checkered Flag 200 (the main support group of The Petersen Automotive Museum), I participate in events about a dozen times a year. We organize or attend car shows, rallys, garage tours and more. It’s a great group of people. I also am into motorcycles (I have had a slew of Triumph Bonnevilles and currently have a 1979 T140E, which I’ve owned for over 30 years) and a BMW R11RS sports-touring bike. I am a self-trained mechanic who and I worked as a boat mechanic before going to college. I probably have put between 50,000 and 75,000 miles on motorcycles and intend to ride for many more years.

POSTS BY Tim Lappen

Bugatti Unveils The “Centodieci”

Bugatti Unveils The “Centodieci”

Centodieci, as fans of the romance languages can guess, means 110, which honors the company’s 110th anniversary. The day in August when it was announced, the company said that only ten of these cars would be made, that all ten had been sold, and that one buyer had bought two of them. READ MORE

The Latest Gift To the World From the Magicians of Maranello

The Latest Gift To the World From the Magicians of Maranello

Change seems to come quicker each year. That’s certainly true in the automotive world, where a new model used to stay “current” for several years and then maybe have a facelift or nip-and-tuck to stay au courant. However, many of today’s high-end ateliers have found great success in creating variants on their cars so the days of knowing what make and model of car was simply by a quick glance have faded into the past. READ MORE

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