How Lenny McLean became the hardest man in Britain

East End hard-man Lenny McLean with his beloved dogs

There’s some footage towards the beginning of The Guv’nor, Paul Van Carter’s brutal yet measured documentary about Lenny McLean, which just about sums up the temperament of the famed East End hard-man.

In the clip, from 1986, McLean patiently bounces up and down in a boxing ring, looking slightly like a silverback gorilla about to be released into the wild, preparing to take on an undefeated fighter named Brian ‘Mad Gypsy’ Bradshaw in an unlicensed bout.

From the grainy video alone it is difficult to tell whether Bradshaw is a member of the traveller community, but it takes just a few seconds for the other half of his nickname to prove emphatically correct.

Striding forward to touch gloves with McLean in order to start the fight, Bradshaw – long before a bell has tolled – head-butts his opponent square on the chin.

In the course of human history, few decisions have proven less wise, and fewer still so instantly regretted. To a backdrop of gasps, McLean recoils, gently touching a glove to his mouth to check for blood, before unleashing utter mayhem.

Bradshaw is floored by the first punch, a huge right hook, before McLean boots him while he’s down, punches him a dozen more times, madly kicks him, picks him up a bit, punches him a lot more again, then repeatedly stamps on his head until four exceptionally plucky spectators intervene, restraining the victor just about long enough for the fight to be called to a halt.

It’s terrifying, but to many people, that was just the Guv’nor. The hardest man in Britain.

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Lenny McLean ruled over the East End for decades

Defining Lenny McLean, who died in 1998, beyond calling him ‘hard’ is no easy task. Consult his online biography, for instance, and you’ll be met with the following list of pursuits – the like of which you’ll be pressed to match in 2016, no matter how long you spend on LinkedIn:

“A bare-knuckle fighter, bouncer, criminal and prisoner, author, businessman, bodyguard, enforcer, weightlifter, television presenter and actor.”

With The Guv’nor, a feature documentary that shows in cinemas tonight and sees release on DVD from Monday, Van Carter attempts to make some sense of that extraordinary life. To do so he collaborated with Jamie McLean, Lenny’s only son, who fronts the documentary, turning the film into not only an examination of its subject, but its presenter too.

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Jamie McLean, Lenny’s only son

The Guv’nor follows Jamie, 45, around the now heavily gentrified areas of east London where McLean grew up and spent most of his days, eventually becoming the most famous – and feared – man around. Through interviews with McLean’s old friends and family, Jamie builds a complex portrait of his father and discovers, in unflinching detail, how he became one of the most notorious men in London.

“It was an emotional thing to do, talking about my dad, especially as he isn’t here anymore,” Jamie says. “We got there in the end, but even going around those parts of London, bumping into people who had stories about him and remembered him as a kid, was very hard for me.”

Born into a working class family in Hoxton in 1949, Lenny McLean’s father died when he was six, leaving him to be raised by his mother, Rose, and later a stepfather, Jim Irwin. A local conman, Irwin physically abused McLean and his siblings (who refuse to speak on camera in the documentary) throughout his childhood, unleashing regular beatings until the children’s great-uncle, a gangster named Jimmy Spink, stepped in to deal with Irwin in a predictably forthright manner.

Consumed with rage, Lenny became a brawler as he grew older (and bigger, reaching 6’3” and over 20st at his peak), before mixing with criminals – at one point associating with the Kray twins – and serving a prison sentence for petty crimes.

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A 17-year-old Lenny in 1966

It didn’t take long for Lenny to make a name for himself as the toughest street fighter around, earning the nickname ‘Ten Men Len’ on account of it taking ten men to take him down. Turning to bare-knuckle and unlicensed boxing to earn money (a license was never possible for him, thanks to his criminal convictions), regularly knocking out opponents far larger than him.

Despite that local environment, Jamie – an honest and extremely likeable frontman for The Guv’nor, who admits to his own history of brushes with the law for violence – says the abuse Lenny suffered as a child ignited a rage his father was rarely able to escape from.

“My dad wasn’t a born fighter. He was uneducated and a product of his upbringing, traumatised by what he’d been through, and probably had mental health problems as a result of all that. Fighting was all he knew.”

In particular, through the course of the film Van Carter and Jamie discovered Lenny likely suffered from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) as a direct result of his upbringing.

“The violence was a way of managing and concealing the OCD that directly sprung from abuse,” Van Carter, 40, says. “He almost satisfied the chaos of that psychological disorder through fighting, hiding any vulnerabilities he might have felt mentally.”

In the documentary, Jamie tells innumerable tales of his father’s extreme violence, never sugar-coating or seeking to present Lenny as less aggressive than his reputation. For instance, one fight outside a pub in Hoxton, started when a local asked to see him outside, ended with Lenny ripping the man’s windpipe out with his teeth.

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Lenny McLean with the actors Craig Fairbrass and Frank Harper

As Lenny McLean grew older, he began using his considerable reputation to guard doors at nightclubs across London, including Camden Palace and the Hippodrome in Leicester Square, becoming a de facto leader for bouncers in the capital. In this period he was shot, accused of murder (later acquitted) and enjoyed another stint behind bars.

In his work, Jamie admits, it was all violence. As a father, though, Lenny was nothing but a big softie.

“He was gentle and funny to us and his friends, never raising a finger to my sister and me,” Jamie says. “What my dad did, in work and on the streets, was bully bullies. Unprovoked violence only ever came as a vigilante, clattering blokes on the estate who’d hit their wives or kids, sometimes even working with the police to sort out problems they couldn’t get near. People respected him in the area and still do; that was the old code of honour.”

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Jamie McLean with his parents, Lenny and Val, at a family Christmas

That safety didn’t allow Jamie to act as he liked as a kid, however. He may have had the hardest dad in town, but it came at a cost.

“We knew the consequences if we told him that we’d had a problem or someone had done something to us. Telling him someone had hit us would have resulted not just in violent revenge, but extreme violence, so we had to keep quiet,” he says, before admitting there was one perk: “Me and my mates never queued for a club anywhere in London.”

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McLean strikes a pose at a caravan park

After years of fighting, the late 1990s brought a remarkable change in Lenny’s life. Giving up violence and moving to Kent, he instead became something of a creative, writing a best-selling autobiography, also called The Guv’nor, and turning to acting, most famously in the TV series The Knock and as Barry the Baptist in Guy Ritchie’s 1998 gangster film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

“That’s what he always wanted to do. He was a good fighter, especially on the streets, but his lasting legacy was acting. When he arrived on the set of Lock Stock, someone asked him what drama school he attended. Without missing a beat, Len told him ‘I’ve been shot twice, stabbed 100 times and had 10,000 bar-room brawls – is that enough drama for you?’

“Guy Ritchie said he was a natural, with perfect timing. If he was around today he would’ve been a really accomplished British character actor, maybe in Game of Thrones or something. He’d probably have tried Shakespeare for all we know…”

As it is, we’ll never know what the future had in store. During filming on Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, he complained of flu symptoms that later turned out to be lung cancer, and died that July, aged 49. When Lock Stock was released a few weeks later, Ritchie dedicated it to Lenny.

“You don’t get Guv’nors like my dad any more,” Jamie says, wistfully. “He was the last of a dying breed. These days kids are so trivial. You can have a gun pulled on you in a club just for looking at someone, or being in the wrong postcode. And then everything’s on camera anyway. It’s all changed, and had started to even by the time he died.”

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The McLean family portrait in the late 90s

In addition to the documentary, Lenny’s story will return to the big screen next year with My Name Is Lenny, a biopic produced by Van Carter (who also co-wrote the screenplay) and Jamie, and starring Mad Max actor Josh Hellman in the titular role, alongside Sir John Hurt, and MMA fighter Michael Bisping in support.

Almost 17 years after his father’s death, both films are intended to add some depth to the fearsome character of Lenny McLean. Van Carter and Jamie admit they’re passion projects, but hold high hopes for the audience reaction.

“My dad was a working class kid in the East End with no positive role models, an abusive upbringing and OCD, and his journey was to fight and fight and fight to get away from that,” Jamie says. “In the end he did steer his life in a positive direction and a proper profession. It’s not rags to riches, we know that, but he got through the darkness and made something of himself. Even today, that’s inspiring for people.”

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Flying Flipper’s Superfly GT 42

Flying Flipper, a Scandinavian boatbuilder with a memorable name, launched its Superfly GT 42 recently at the Cannes Yachting Festival.

The 42-foot-8-inch, high-performance vessel has power options ranging from twin 400 hp Mercury outboards up to triple 627 hp Seven Marines that should have this boat absolutely well, flying, through the water.

Superfly GT 42, Flying Flipper, RED Yacht Design

The boat’s cockpit has a table for alfresco dining that rises and lowers at the push of a button.

Courtesy Flying Flipper

Flying Flipper collaborated with Turkey-based RED Yacht Design and boat racer Sigurd Isaacson to create a sleek vessel with an air-step racing hull, for extra cushioning and control when she really gets up and goes.

The company also managed to incorporate lots of carbon fiber into the build to maximize strength while keeping weight down. Two cabins, forward and aft, down below make this boat able to handle overnights, but where we think she will really succeed is as a fast, sporty dayboat perfect for making a run to your favorite sandbar.

Superfly GT 42, Flying Flipper, RED Yacht Design

The dayboat’s salon and galley area has a carbon fiber countertop and table.

Courtesy Flying Flipper

Superfly GT 42, Flying Flipper, RED Yacht Design

The Superfly GT 42 has a double-berth master stateroom aft and a guest stateroom with two twin berths forward.

Courtesy Flying Flipper

Top 10 Most Creative Scooters Ever Made

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Sometimes you come across a vehicle, whether on the road or online, that blows your mind. Over the past century you can see the creativity of scooter designers increasing as new models are produced, each more wonderful than the one. So, take a look at these 10 unusual scooters and wonder how anybody came up with such creative designs!

10. Cezeta 501The Type 501 scooter is Cezeta’s first scooter, with a unique design that was very popular among youngsters: the long seat is perfect to carry two persons. At 2 metres the “torpedo-like” scooter is much longer than regular scooters in those days, holding a pretty large luggage compartment since the fuel tank is located above the front wheel.

9. Salsbury Motor Glide de LuxeThe Salsbury scooter brand brought the first generation of scooters to America. This 1938 Motor Glide de Luxe was featured with an automatic instead of a manual transmission.

8. Mitsubishi Silver Pigeon C-10After World War ΙΙ, scooters were used to help reconstruct Japan – they were so important to the country that a Silver Pigeon was presented to the Emperor of Japan in 1948. This Mitsubishi Silver Pigeon C-10 from 1946 was the first in a long line of successful scooters. The design was based on a scooter brought from the United States by a General Motors engineer.

7. Honda Juno KThe 1954 Juno K was not only the first Honda scooter but also the first in a number of other areas as well. It featured the first electric start, the first fibre-reinforced plastic body construction, first turn-signal lights and a full windscreen with a tilt-back sun-shade. Sounds pretty cool, right? Well, former Honda vice-president Kihachiro Kawashima says the bike was a ‘splendid failure’. Too expensive, too heavy and the engine got too hot too soon. Still, it’s quite an awesome collector’s item now!

6. KYBELE Cyber scooterThis scooter looks like something from the future; like it belongs in a city with flying cars and robots. The KYBELE Cyber scooter actually started off as a Honda Fusion, customised into this futuristic vehicle by the Japanese firm Gull Craft.

5. Vespa Stretch ScooterThe family-version of the scooter: with 4 seats it is supposedly ideal to drive your kids around. Vespa South Africa subtly refers limousines, by calling it a stretch scooter. A pretty creative vehicle, but how sturdy is it?

4. Lambretta RecordThis little red devil broke the world record of speed in the scooter category back in 1951, going an astonishing 201 km/h on ‘the flying kilometre’. The ‘red bullet’ is indeed as fast as it looks! The record was set by Romolo Ferri when he beat the Vespa Torpedo, his greatest competition at the time.

3. Piaggio Ape Calessino 1953A scooter and a covered wagon all in one. This vehicle really takes you back to ‘La Dolce Vita’ of the 1960s! While the driver takes you around Rome or Toscana, you and your lover can sit back and enjoy the ride. This classic scooter is still very valuable as a 2016 Catawiki auction shows: a Piaggio Ape Calissino 150cc from 1953, perfectly restored, was sold for £20,622.

2. Lambretta TV 175 with Volkswagen Bus SidecarThis is definitely one of the cutest and coolest scooter sidecars on the planet. Not quite suitable for camping however.

1. Vespa 150 TAP with canonOnce you have seen this scooter, you have seen it all; it doesn’t get much more creative than this! The ‘Bazooka Vespa’, introduced in 1956, has a rifle mounted to it and only about 500 of these scooters were ever made. They were parachuted into war zones and hidden in hay-bales. With a top speed of 40 mph these scooters were faster and more mobile than most vehicles on the battlefield.

A Dedication to wood with the Oak Bicycle.

The cask, re-imagined

A creative collaboration in wood

 

With such elegant curves and smooth lines, it is certain to draw the eye. But there is more to this beautiful wooden bicycle than appearances suggest. Meticulously engineered to create the smoothest of rides, its innovative frame contains a small proportion of sapele wood and is hand-crafted from the finest American oak which, intriguingly, has already given years of exceptional service to Glenmorangie’s award-winning Highland single malt whisky…

The Glenmorangie Original bicycle is the culmination of a creative collaboration between Glenmorangie single malt Scotch whisky, and Renovo Hardwood Bicycles, inventors of the first engineered wooden bicycles. United by their passion for wood, exceptional craftsmanship and zeal for innovation, these kindred spirits were inspired to celebrate the casks which bring to maturity Glenmorangie Original, the Distillery’s signature single malt, in the world’s first bicycles made from whisky casks.

Dedication to wood

Since 1843, Glenmorangie has been revered for its masterful whisky creation, challenging the bounds of single malt in pursuit of excellence. The Distillery’s dedication to its craft is never more apparent than in The Original. Created from spirit distilled in Scotland’s tallest stills, it is matured for ten years in the finest hand-selected ex-bourbon casks.

And unlike other distilleries, who may use their casks many times, the casks of The Original are only ever used twice, to ensure they enrich Glenmorangie’s delicate spirit with their fullest depths of flavour

In honour of these casks, which so shape The Original’s uniquely smooth and rounded character, Glenmorangie has searched the world to find brands which share its respect for wood and pioneering spirit. The single malt’s Beyond the Casks series began last year, with an innovative collaboration with British eyewear brand Finlay & Co. to create the world’s first Scotch whisky sunglasses from The Original’s casks. Renovo seemed a perfect partner for the second inspiring limited edition.

 

A meeting of minds

“From the moment we began talking to Renovo, we realised there was a natural affinity between our brands,” explains Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation. “Renovo shares our uncompromising approach to craftsmanship and, like Glenmorangie, is known for its pioneering work with wood. So, we shipped a pallet of staves from second-fill casks which once contained The Original from our Highland Distillery to Renovo’s workshop in the U.S. Then, we began to imagine the possibilities…”

 

Renovo was founded in 2007 by Ken Wheeler, a keen touring cyclist. He was inspired by wood’s unrivalled ability to absorb shock and resist fatigue to begin designing unique, hollow-framed wooden bicycles that displayed all the durability and beauty of an heirloom. Ken, who has a background in aeroplane engineering, was delighted by the prospect of working with Glenmorangie’s casks. “The American oak from which Glenmorangie makes its casks is a great wood,” he says. “Its engineering properties are ideal for bikes, as hard woods have a high stiffness. For us, the only aspect that was different was the shape of the staves, which have a curve to them, and the fact that they were a little damp, after spending years with whisky inside them… which, by the way, made them smell pretty good. Although, we have to admit to whisky fans, the scent has now diminished!”

 

Ken soon set his skilled craftsmen to work on these invitingly scented staves, creating innovative designs which would embrace the staves’ trapezoidal shape and their unique curvature. “We finally decided upon a design which would celebrate that curve in the downtube – the largest tube of the bicycle, which carries the most load,” he explains.

 

Creating an heirloom

Once the design was finalised, it took more than 20 hours – and 15 staves – to create each bicycle. At Renovo’s workshop, in Portland, Oregon, the wood was carefully cut into the shape required and any remaining charcoal (bourbon barrels are traditionally charred on the inside) was smoothed away. Ken’s craftsmen married the American oak with darker sapele wood, to bring an intriguing colour contrast to the hollow frame. Finally, they added a durable coating, and decorated the frame with Glenmorangie’s Signet icon and each bicycle’s individual number.

 

The finished bicycle, fitted with superior handlebars, pedals and other accessories, is a celebration of the values that Glenmorangie and Renovo share. Dr Bill adds: “In these beautiful bicycles, we have created a lasting tribute to Glenmorangie Original’s casks to which our award-winning whisky owes so much. I’m delighted that through our pioneering collaboration with Renovo, founded on a shared passion for innovation and expertise in wood – we ensure that these wonderful casks live on and on.”

The Original

The original expression of our elegant, floral spirit and the showcase whisky in the Glenmorangie range.

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2018 RANGE ROVER VELAR

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2018 RANGE ROVER VELAR

The all-new 2018 Range Rover Velar has been revealed, filling the space between the smaller Evoque and larger Sport in the British marque’s line-up, and will land in Australia later this year, in the Summer.

Pitched as the “avant garde Range Rover“, the Velar is claimed to offer new levels of refinement and technology for the brand, and is set to go on sale in Europe later this year.

When the Velar goes on sale in Australia, pricing will range from $70,300 to $135,400 before on-road costs. A special ‘First Edition’ variant will also be offered at launch, priced from $167,600 – again before on-road costs are applied.

Although full Australian details are still to be revealed, headline features in the Velar include the debut of the new Touch Pro Duo infotainment system with two high-definition 10-inch touchscreens, along with Matrix Laser-LED headlights, Jaguar and Aston Martin-esque flush deployable door handles, and a minimalistic design approach.

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The Velar is also the most aerodynamic Land Rover product ever, achieving a drag coefficient of 0.32. In order to achieve this, Range Rover has applied numerous techniques throughout the body to reduce drag, including specially-designed air channels in the rear spoiler that also help to cut the accumulation of dirt on the rear screen.

Despite its style-focused and aerodynamic design, the Velar still has all-round practicality like its stablemates.

Behind the second row of seating is a 558-litre boot, while a 2874mm wheelbase – about the same as the Mercedes-Benz GLC – helps provide plenty of space for rear-seat occupants. Depending on model, the Velar also features a towing capacity of up to 2500kg.

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The Velar comes with the company’s renowned Terrain Response 2 system with switchable modes for different low-traction surfaces, along with offering All Terrain Progress Control, Low Traction Launch, Hill Descent Control and Gradient Release Control systems.

Models fitted with the standard coil-sprung suspension feature a class-leading 213mm of ground clearance, increasing to 251mm with air suspension (standard on V6 models, optional on higher-output four-cylinder models), along with a class-leading wading depth of 600mm (650mm with air suspension).

At speeds above 105km/h, the air suspension lowers the ride height by 10mm to reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency. Additionally, the Auto Access Height function lowers the suspension by 40mm when the car is turned off – allowing for easier access in and out of the vehicle.

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Under the bonnet six engines are offered, including a mix of four- and six-cylinder turbocharged petrol and diesel units. All are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission sending drive to all-four wheels.

Two versions of the 2.0-litre ‘Ingenium‘ turbo-diesels will be available, in 132kW/430Nm and 177kW/500Nm tunes.

A 2.0-litre Ingenium turbo petrol will also be offered, producing 184kW of power and 365Nm of torque, propelling the luxury SUV from 0-100km/h in just 6.7 seconds.

Range Rover says an even more powerful 221kW/400Nm version will join the range not long after launch.

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Meanwhile, a V6 turbo-diesel and supercharged V6 petrol will sit atop the range, the former producing 221kW of power and a meaty 700Nm of torque, capable for sprinting from 0-100km/h in 6.5 seconds.

The 280kW/450Nm petrol shared with numerous Jaguar performance models sees the Velar dash from 0-100km/h in a spritely 5.7 seconds.

The Range Rover Velar also offers an array of technology highlights, some being firsts for the British marque.

As mentioned before, the Velar will debut the company’s new Touch Pro Duo infotainment system, which includes two configurable high-definition 10-inch touchscreens stacked at the centre of the dashboard.

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Featuring a quad-core Intel processor, 60GB solid-state drive and 4G internet connectivity, the new-generation infotainment system offers a number of services and functions including online search for fuel stations, real-time traffic updates, Wi-Fi hotspot, and remote app compatibility.

The upper screen is divided into three menus for navigation, media and phone. It recognises swipe and pinch gestures much like a smartphone or tablet screen for navigating between menus and zooming in on maps.

Meanwhile, the lower screen is reserved for the climate control and Terrain Response functions, along with controls for the optional massage and ventilated seats.

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The screens are complemented by to two rotary controllers that are configurable to perform different functions including climate control temperature, massage seat settings or the Terrain Response system – essentially a physical version of the touchscreen.

Between the two larger dials is a smaller one for controlling the vehicle’s audio system.

Capacitive switches sit below the screens to control maximum air conditioning and defrost settings, along with stability control and hill descent control systems.

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Four audio systems are offered, including a 23-speaker 1600W Meridian sound system with three-dimensional sound-processing technology.

Customers can also specify the rear entertainment system, which adds two independent 8.0-inch high-definition displays featuring USB 3.0 ports along with HDMI connectors.

Numerous driver assistance systems will be offered, including autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane departure warning, lane keep assist, driver condition monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, 360-degree parking camera, park assist, semi-autonomous tow assist, and trailer hitch assist.

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Four LED headlight designs will be available, including segment-first Matrix-Laser LED headlights, which have a range of up to 550m and feature animated direction indicators. LED technology is also used for the Velar’s fog lights and tail-lights.

Will Bugatti Be Next To Join The Exotic SUV Craze?

Will Bugatti Be Next To Join The Exotic SUV Craze?

If you had told us a decade or two ago that exotic automakers would be breaking into the SUV market with six-figure luxury crossovers, we might very well have laughed in your face. But now we’re looking at a reality where the likes of Aston Martin, Maserati, and Lamborghini are launching ever-pricier and more exotic crossovers – as are Bentley and Rolls-Royce. So who’s next?

Probably not Bugatti, if we’re to be honest about it. Though the Alsatian automaker has toyed with the idea of a four-door sedan with concepts as recent as the Galibier, the only vehicles it has actually produced in the past few quarter-century since its revival have been two-door, two-seat, mid-engined supercars – each with four turbochargers, double-digit cylinder-counts, stratospheric output levels, and even higher price tags.

If Bugatti were to get in on this particular territory, though, the result might very well look something along these lines. Brought to us by Peisert Design, this rendering envisions a sport-ute called the Bugatti Megalon – a name that sounds about right, but borrows from a fictional, fighting giant insect monster (not a pre-war grand prix driver). It’s based on the Bentley Bentayga, but with design cues obviously inspired by the Chiron. And though the borrowed proportions might suggest otherwise, Jan Peisert tells us that he envisions the engine sitting in the back.

As unlikely as it might seem, it wouldn’t be the first time that Bugatti would stick its neck out beyond the realm of two-door sports cars. Back in Ettore’s day, the original company delved into everything from trains to aircraft. The founder left “the world’s fastest lorries,” as he famously called them, to his rivals at Bentley. But now that the two are so closely linked (even presided over by the same CEO), it would only be fittingly ironic for Bugatti to follow suit with a million-dollar, thousand-horsepower sport-ute – and upstage its British counterpart in the process.

Aston Martin SUV (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExizG_m0L30)

Maserati SUV  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PijI_e02Z0w )

Lamborghini SUV ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74lvhmjGO84 )
Bentley SUV ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ostjWhG07ZI )
Rolls -Royce SUV ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8jSMcqgCqY )

Frank Vincent, ‘Sopranos’ and ‘Goodfellas’ Actor, Dies at 78

Frank Vincent, an Italian character actor who uttered the famous line “Now go home and get your fuc*^% shine box” to Joe Pesci’s character Tommy D. in Goodfellas, died today during open heart surgery, TMZ reports. He was 78.Vincent was a beloved actor who made a name for himself playing notoriously tough characters, like Billy Batts in “Goodfellas” and Frank Marino in “Casino.

He began acting in 1976 when he co-starred in the low-budget crime film “The Death Collector” alongside Joe Pesci. Vincent then acted in Martin Scorsese’s “Raging Bull,” which sparked the first of many collaborations between Vincent, Pesci, and Robert De Niro

Frank Vincent, an Italian character actor who uttered the famous line “Now go home and get your fuc*^% shine box” to Joe Pesci’s character Tommy D. in Goodfellas, died today during open heart surgery, TMZ reports. He was 78.

He began acting in 1976 when he co-starred in the low-budget crime film “The Death Collector” alongside Joe Pesci. Vincent then acted in Martin Scorsese’s “Raging Bull,” which sparked the first of many collaborations between Vincent, Pesci, and Robert De Niro

On HBO’s The Sopranos, Leotardo often butted heads with James Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano as he eventually rose to become boss of the Lupertazzi crime family.

“He didn’t fool around. Phil was serious,” Vincent said in a 2011 interview. “He had a job to do and he thought, you know, ‘This Soprano guy is from Jersey, what does that mean? We are New Yorkers! The Jersey mob is nothing — they don’t even prick their fingers when they do the ceremony.’ Some of the writing for Phil was just brilliant.”

His film résumé also included The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984), Brian De Palma’s Wise Guys(1986), Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing (1989) and Jungle Fever (1991), Sidney Lumet’s Night Falls on Manhattan (1996), James Mangold’s Cop Land (1997), Shark Tale (2004) and Chicago Overcoat (2009).

Vincent also appeared in Hype Williams’ Belly (1998) and served as the official acting coach to rappers DMX, Nas and Method Man on the film.

A native of North Adams, Mass., Vincent was raised in Jersey City, N.J. and became a drummer, performing with the likes of Paul Anka, Del Shannon, Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme and Trini Lopez and the Belmonts.

Scorsese saw Vincent playing a gambler who gets killed by the mob in The Death Collector (1976) — the film starred Joe Pesci, who helped get him the role — then cast him alongside Pesci and Robert De Niro as Salvi in the iconic boxing movie Raging Bull. In that film, his character is beaten to a pulp in the Copacabana by Pesci’s Joey.

Check out this

offtheclothboff.com/2017/01/30/the-cast-of-the-sopranos-then-and-now/