24 Oct
2019

Celebrating James Dean’s Birthday with 4 Rebellious Rides He Would Have Loved

first_imgYou don’t get a nickname like “One Speed Dean” by going slow, and if any of Jimmy’s rides really let him put the pedal to the metal, it was the 1955 Trophy Triumph bike, which looked and felt a lot like this pristine 1955 Triumph 649CC T110 auctioned in September 2016. Dean’s Triumph was the last bike he ever bought, although he owned other Triumphs and a Harley in the past.Ordinarily, we associate Mr. Cool Steve McQueen with the Triumph brand, but Dean was just as much a devotee. In fact, the king of Triumph was Marlon Brando, who rode the iconic 6T Triumph Thunderbird in the film The Wild One. It was this film and role that inspired Dean to purchase a Triumph TR5 Trophy. Phil Stern’s series of iconic photographs of Dean show him on this bike. It was sold after the actor’s death, and then was retrieved, restored, and displayed at the James Dean Gallery in Fairmount, Indiana. The auctioned 1955 Triumph 649CC T110 is a near perfect match except for the handlebars, which were higher on Dean’s bike.Happy birthday to the First American Teenager, our forever man-crush: Jimmy Dean.Feature image by Bettmann/Getty Images. Porsche made only 90 of the 550 Spyder that James Dean drove, each assigned a unique racing number. Dean had traded his 356 Porsche Super Speedster for number 130 (the 550s were not ordered 1-90), and, according to a Porsche historian, customized the sleek, silver ride with “130” in black, non-permanent paint on the front hood, doors, and rear deck lid. He also had “Little Bastard” written across the rear cowling.While there’s absolutely no hope of owning or ever riding in that car, a 1958 Porsche 550A Spyder was recently put up for auction on January 18 and sold for $ 5,170,000. The automaker released only 40 of the 550A Spyder a couple years following the 550 model. With an almost identical body shape, the 550A Spyder has a 1.5-liter twin-cam flat-4 engine producing 135 horsepower.Dean would have loved the fact that this particular Porsche placed fifth overall at the 1958 24 Hours of Le Mans, beating out bigger Aston Martin and Ferrari race cars. For this reason, the car was nicknamed “The Giant Killer.”This 550A Spyder is also unique in that it’s the second to last model ever made, reaping the rewards of new upgrades like a higher compression and centralized distributor. In English, the car is nimble, quick as hell, and easy on the eyes. It’s the perfect car to celebrate James Dean and the legacy he left.1957 Porsche 365A 1600 Super Speedster Photo by Bettmann/Getty ImagesThe actor best known for his roles in Rebel Without a Cause, East of Eden, and Giant came into this world on February 8, 1931 in Marion, Indiana. By his early 20s, he was a style icon and a symbol for 1950s teenage disillusionment, inspiring our love for quaff haircuts, plain white tees, Harrington red windbreakers, and Porsches.At only 24 years old (during the filming of Giant), Dean was on his way to a race in Salinas, California, when he collided with a Ford Tudor and died on U.S. Route 466.In 2018, we’re celebrating the ultimate rebel as though he were alive to blow out the candles. Actually, Dean wouldn’t want a cake. He’d want a new car …A passionate racer, Dean aspired to compete in the Indianapolis 500. He raced smaller events in California on the little downtime he had between films (Dean only ever appeared in those three classics above). He drove a Triumph Tiger T110, Porsche 356, and even placed second at his debut race in Palm Springs, crossing the checkered line in a white Porsche Super Speedster. However, the most iconic James Dean car is his “Little Bastard” Porsche 550 Spyder — the car he was “breaking in” before the Salinas race and the one he was driving at the time of his death.In honor of what would be have been his 87th birthday, we’re taking a look at four classic rides that remind us of James Dean. No, they’re not for sale (one was was auctioned in Scottsdale and rang up a bill of over $5 million), but they’re real nice to dream about.1958 Porsche 550A Spyder 1. Image courtesy of Bonhams 2. Image courtesy of Bonhams 1. Image courtesy of Bonhams 10 Best Books by Ernest Hemingway, Ranked 19 Classic Films Every Man Should Watch (or Re-Watch) in 2019 1. Image courtesy of Bonhams 2. Image courtesy of Bonhams The first sports car James Dean purchased for racing was a white Porsche Speedster that looked nearly identical to this beautiful white 1957 Porsche 365A 1600 Super Speedster, auctioned in August 2017. Not only did Dean place second in this car (there are some great photos of that race!), but it was considered his tooling-around ride. The record has it that Dean (also a motorcycle lover) traded in a bike to get a used, red 1953 MG TD sports car, which he then traded in 1955 to get the brand-new 1955 Porsche Super Speedster. He purchased the Speedster from John von Neumann at Competition Motors in Hollywood.The biggest difference between Dean’s Speedster and this next-generation version is almost impossible to detect: the mirrors. You’ll notice in photos of Dean with his Speedster that he had to turn to reverse. The 365 body was actually based on the Volkswagen; like the “Beetle,” the 356 uses a platform-type chassis with a rear-mounted, air-cooled engine and torsion bar, all-independent suspension. So … slug bug?1951 Mercury Lead Sled Custom Coupe The Best Podcasts to Listen to During Your Workout Dean never traded his Porsche for a Mercury, nor can we imagine the young actor seeking to buy this vintage ride coveted by aging hot rod enthusiasts. But if Dean opened his eyes today as an older man to the 1951 Mercury Lead Sled Custom Coupe, he might shed a tear, and would definitely take it for a spin. This car is nearly identical to the 1949 Mercury driven by James Dean in the 1955 hit Rebel Without a Cause.The film that put him on the map as Jim Stark (he’d done only a Pepsi commercial before that), the Mercury was more than a car; it was a symbol for all Stark was fighting with and against. Dean drove this car in the Chickie Run scene up against antagonists who revved a gorgeous ’49 Ford single spinner convertible.Was this a truly rebellious car? Not really. But seeing a red-jacketed James Dean behind the wheel certainly made an impact. This 1951 Mercury, which was made years after the Rebel model, sold at auction in 2011.1955 Triumph 649CC T110 What Kind of Motorcycle Should I Get? A Comprehensive Guide to Motorcycle Types 1. Image courtesy of Barrett-Jackson 2. Image courtesy of Barrett-Jackson Editors’ Recommendations 6 Fastest Cars in the World Right Now last_img read more

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8 Oct
2019

Media in Sri Lanka not free

Media freedom remained restricted in Sri Lanka in 2012, with journalists subject to myriad forms of legal harassment and physical intimidation, Freedom House,  an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom around the world said in a report.The report said that although the government included several items related to media freedom in its July 2012 National Action Plan on national reconciliation—including the passage of freedom of information legislation, enhanced efforts to investigate and prosecute past cases of attacks on journalists, and increased physical access for reporters to the north and east of the country—little progress was made on any of these recommendations by year’s end. “There is no enforceable right to information in the constitution or separate legislation. In fact, the Establishments Code, the formal administrative code governing civil servants, actively discourages access to information even on public-interest grounds. An attempt by the opposition to introduce a right to information bill in Parliament in 2011 was defeated by the governing majority, in violation of its previous campaign promises, and an additional attempt in May 2012 was also stymied by the speaker of Parliament,” the report said.The report said that journalists throughout Sri Lanka, particularly those who cover human rights or military issues, face regular intimidation and pressure from government officials at all levels. (Colombo Gazette) The 1973 Press Council Act, which prohibits disclosure of certain fiscal, defense, and security information, was revived in 2009, having not been enforced in more than a decade. The government nominates all seven council members under the act, and violations of its provisions can draw prison terms and other punitive measures. In July 2012, the government announced its intention to extend the act’s application to electronic and web-based media, and to introduce registration fees of 100,000 rupees ($780), with annual renewal fees of 50,000 rupees for websites. These figures were revised downward in August to 25,000 rupees and 10,000 rupees respectively. In 2006, unofficial prepublication censorship on issues of “national security and defense” was imposed by a new Media Center for National Security (MCNS), which assumed the authority to disseminate all information related to these issues to the media and the public. In March 2012, the MCNS issued a directive extending this provision to news services distributed via mobile-telephone text messaging. The constitution provides for freedom of expression, but it and other laws and regulations place significant limits on the exercise of this right. The 1979 Prevention of Terrorism Act contains extremely broad restrictions, such as a prohibition on bringing the government into contempt. The decades-old Official Secrets Act bans reporting on classified information, and those convicted of gathering secret information can be sentenced to up to 14 years in prison. Although no journalists have ever been charged under the law, it is used as a threat. Journalists are also occasionally threatened with contempt-of-court charges or questioned regarding their sources. read more

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