Saturday, May 12, 2012

Carroll Shelby, Dead Yesterday

I was walking up Madison Avenue the other day and some watches in a display case caught my eye.  Vintage Rolexes.  Rolices?  Anyway, I wander in and ask a lovely young woman if she has a 1655 Orange-hand.  She looks at me oddly, then asks "The Steve McQueen watch?"

"Yes," I say, and she reaches into a case and pulls one out.

"Blah, blah, blah," I specifically remember saying, followed by "How much is it?"

Note to reader:  I have no intention of buying it, but I used to own one and am always curious about the market I stepped away from in the interest of paying the rent during a particularly low point.

She then calls her boss.  A well-dressed lightweight of a man -- a watch salesman with airs to suggest he's a master of the universe -- appears and suggests that he will sell me the thing for twenty grand.

Note to reader:  This further cements my intentions of not buying it.

I'm looking at the thing and it looks like it's been beaten to shit.  Honestly.  I'm talking I-left-my-hammer-at-home-so-I'll-just-drive-these-nails-with-my-Rolex kind of beat-up.  Plus, the band doesn't look original.  Nor do the hands.  Amazing I actually know this.  I share these observation with him but he doesn't want to talk to me because I look, as I often do, like shit.  So he mumbles something and wanders away.

I spend a moment staring at the watch, then hand it back to the girl.  20K for a beat up one?  My stomach churned a bit.

Anyway, the Explorer II 1655 Orange-hand is widely assumed to be the coolest watch in the history of the world.  At least by some.  There's certainly room for debate.

There is, however, no arguing with the fact that this was, is, and always will be the coolest car in the world:

And now Carroll Shelby is dead.   Rest in peace, old friend.


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