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RIVER DEEP, MOUNTAIN HIGH

I’m driving out of Las Vegas in a white-hot Elise S2 in blistering 110° sunshine, and the radio’s playing homegrown band The Killers’When You Were Young–“we’re burning down that highway skyline…!” Nothing wrong with a good cliché, and that’s what the Mohave mecca is about: gambling and entertainment and home to every fantasy you ever had. Just as you pictured it, only bigger and more in your face: Viva Las Vegas, Swingers and Ocean’s 11, Elvis, Sinatra, Britney; you want it, you got it! The architectural icons crowd in - Luxor’s Pyramid,New York-New York’s Manhattan skyline, Excalibur’s Camelot, the Bellagio’s fountains and Romanesque Caesar’s Palace, muscling for attention along the palm-li

SIX PACK

With 65 units built, the Carrera Six – otherwise known as the 906 - was Porsche’s last street-legal racing car. On events like Tour de France Auto and Targa Florio it doubled as a road car too, so I put one to the test on the Hampshire downs. Barefoot ’60s popster Sandy Shaw would have would have been a shoe-in with the Carrera Six. To access the clutch pedal I’m obliged to emulate her trait by removing my size 10s in order to fit the left one between footwell wall and steering column, to thrust clutch pedal deep into the 906’s nose while probing its gate for dogleg first. Between that and the fact that there’s nowhere for me to put my head, the 906 is a tricky drive; away from its natural r

GIANT KILLER

Hollywood ruled the movies in the 1950s, but European sports cars were coolest - and none more so than Lotus. Emerging as the racer to have, it caught the eye of the era’s hippest star: James Dean. I tracked down his Mark X Lotus - and uncovered a few controversies in the process. ‘Live fast, die young’ was a throwaway line beloved of post-war Hollywood, and both aspects of that offhand slogan came true for charismatic ’50s idol James Dean. The 24-year old Adonis had flirted with chicken-run fatality in Rebel Without a Cause and, bizarrely, was photographed sitting in a coffin not long before his death. In fact Dean coined a more subtle phrase of his own: ‘Dream as if you’ll live forever. Li

BIKES AND BEEMERS: BERGER GRILLED

Much of Gerhard Berger’s competition career was founded on BMW racing cars and engines, but now he’s gone back to his roots, enjoying ride-outs on BMW motorcycles. I chatted with him at the Goodwood Revival. A handful of F1 drivers started out on two wheels - John Surtees, Damon Hill, Jean Alesi - and Gerhard Berger is another. Mid-’80s ETCC star in a BMW 635 with a Spa 24 Hours victory to his credit, his F1 career blossomed from ATS via Arrows to the giddy heights of Ferrari and McLaren, after which he masterminded BMW’s 1999 Le Mans win and the company’s joint venture with Williams into F1. But he could just as easily have gone down the two-wheeled road: ‘I rode bikes and I was always clos
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