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Haute Author

That Old Black Magic: Rolls-Royce Black Badge Wraith
  • NAME Tim Lappen
  • BIO 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.

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