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Rick Michel's Blog

Rat Pack Racing

With the phrase “Rat Pack” being a synonym for “cool,” there’s little wonder they seemed to have been drawn to some very hip cars.  Automobiles have been an essential part of the American landscape since their birth and Frank, Dean, and Sammy all embraced this mode of transportation, adding their own flare to the vehicles they drove.  Here’s a quick look at some exceptional cars matched to the personas of the icons that owned them.

Let’s start with Sinatra and an era filled with a unique, outgoing style and color - lots of color - the late 1960s.  For Ol’ Blue Eyes’ 54th birthday he personally ordered an orange 1969 Lamborghini Miura, widely considered the world’s first supercar.  Since the Rat Pack normally seemed to choose elegance and luxury, was this a way to embrace his Italian roots?  Perhaps it was part of a midlife crisis we hear about so often now?  It doesn’t really matter though because it was an amazing car.  His Lamborghini was sold at auction in 2004 for $150,000.  Today, prices for these classics approach a million.

Okay, it may not have been a midlife crisis that inspired The Voice’s purchase because if you’ve ever seen a particular episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, he shows off a bright yellow 1967 Lamborghini Miura P400 that actually belonged to Dean Martin, which may have inspired Sinatra’s choice.  Martin’s son, Dean Paul, apparently used to drive the car to high school.  The car eventually fell into disrepair and it made its way to Leno around 1984. He restored it and drives it regularly.

Sammy loved buying stuff, but didn’t seem to possess the quite same passion for automobiles, which may not be surprising given the accident in which he lost his eye and almost cost him his life.  Still, there’s a 1935 Duesenberg SSJ Roadster in the National Auto Museum in Reno with the license plate, “Sammy” that was a definite piece of pride for The Candy Man.

Cars are a huge part of nostalgia for so many and you can almost feel the wind in your hair and view the blurred scenery while looking at some of the vehicles the Rat Pack drove.