You only live once.
Fitch was a fighter pilot who survived being shot down. Then he went on to be a successful race car driver—after racing yachts. Fitch socialized with royals—he was kissed by Evita after he won the 1951 Grand Prix of Argentina, and the best line of his obituary might be this one:
He liked to tell the story of how he met the Duke of Windsor at one soiree: they were relieving themselves on a bush at the time. The duke became a friend.
Fitch also was a leader in automobile safety; he invented the impact-softening barrels ubiquitous on highway off-ramps to this day, credited with saving 17,000 lives. He was even tapped to design a Chevy sports car, which led to him being “Nadered” before the term had been invented—Ralph was a consumer advocate at the time and pushed Chevy to stop production. The way this philosopher/Ricky Bobby summed it all up: “I always needed to go fast.” Needless to say, it’s worth a read.
And worth reconsidering the notion of “live fast, die young.”
LIFE just posted a Technicolor photoset from the 60s, taking a tour through Sophia Loren’s villa. It makes a pretty strong case for Italian villas, gold upholstery and marrying Sophia Loren—in case you weren’t already convinced.
Cross-generational gifts are often the hardest to choose, but we’ve found the perfect one: Keith Richards’ Life.
It sounds unlikely, we know, but if you’ve got any grandparents with a deep interest in history and/or chemistry, they might get more out of it than you think. Here’s why:
We were trawling the LIFE archives when we came across this unusually well-dressed son of an American ship captain in Panama circa 1964. Those thick candy stripes might be ripe for a comeback…and he’s certainly ahead of his time on the popover.
LinksUrbanDaddy DRIVEN A Continuous Lean A Headlong Dive A Suitable Wardrobe Archival Clothing Art of Manliness Blackbird Blog BULLETT The Choosy Beggar Coolhunting Cool Material DETAILS Die, Workwear! FashionBeans Four Pins GQ Hypebeast The Impossible Cool Jake Davis The Midwestyle Mister Mort The Moment Put This On Racked The Sartorialist The Selby Selectism Valet Vanity Fair Daily Vulture Wax Wane What I Saw Today Well Spent