Sunday, May 28, 2017

Murphy's Law: Shot with a .38 and lived



David Ellis

HOW'S this for putting faith in your product – New York businessman Mr W.H. Murphy, puts his life on the line to prove just how effective is the bullet-proof vest created by his Protective Garment Corporation.

It was in 1923, a time when bullet-proof vests used by American police and criminal gangs alike were simply thick layers of compacted cotton wool and cloth, with luck just able to absorb bullets from light gauge .22 handguns and rifles fired from a distance.

So when the crims began using heavier .38 revolvers and even machine guns in their fights with law enforcers, companies like Mr Murphy's came up with vests better able to protect police officers literally in the line of fire… and close-up.

The one being demonstrated here by Mr Murphy at the Washington City Police headquarters was made from over-lapping steel scales fitted to a leather lining, and as proven by the photo, able to deflect bigger gauge .38 bullets fired from as close as just 3m metres away.

The vest weighed 5kg (11lb,) and although the two .38 bullets had been fired directly at Mr Murphy's chest from such close range, he "had not batted an eyelid."

Unfortunately, however, few police forces appeared interested in the vests – mainly, it's believed, because of their weight – and the Protective Garment Corporation simply faded away… with Mr Murphy living to reminisce with whoever would listen as to how many times he'd lived through being fired at by colleagues and the police.


[] BULLET-PROOF vest maker Mr W.H. Murphy proves just how good is his product, by having a colleague fire two .38 bullets directly at him from just 3m away.

Japan welcomes 2017 Emirates Melbourne Cup

One of the world's most coveted sporting trophies was on show in Japan today, with the 2017 Emirates Melbourne Cup the centrepiece of the Victoria Racing Club's (VRC) racing and tourism engagement lunch in Tokyo.

To coincide with the running of one of Japan's biggest races, the Group 1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) (2400m) on Sunday, VRC representatives engaged in market with key racing figures, government officials, tourism operators and media at an event held at Tokyo Racecourse.

The event was attended by guests comprising representatives from the Japan Racing Association (JRA) including Jun Tanizaki (Director), Akihiro Shinoda (GM of International Department) and Hiroshi Ito (Head of International Planning Development)  and members of the Yoshida family, who have been instrumental in crafting Japan's reputation as a global force in thoroughbred racing and breeding.

Speaking at the event, VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott noted that Japan forms an important pillar of the VRC's international strategy, and highlighted the positive relationship that the Club shares with the Asian nation.  

"The Melbourne Cup Carnival continues to experience strong visitation from Asia, and our wonderful relationship with the JRA benefits both our respective international racing events to grow wagering and horse participation in both directions," Mrs Elliott said.

"We are proud to use trade, lifestyle and tourism, and of course, racing, to strengthen that bond further."

Six Japanese horses have joined a large international contingent to contest races during the past three Melbourne Cup Carnivals, with Japanese horse connections embarking on the quest for a second victory in the Emirates Melbourne Cup, following the landmark win of Delta Blues in 2006 at Flemington.

Having tasted success in Australia's greatest race with Delta Blues, prominent owner-breeder Katsumi Yoshida of Northern Farm was represented by son Shunsuke Yoshida who shared with the audience in Tokyo memories from their triumph in 2006. Shunsuke remarked that his father was "most overjoyed by the massive outpour of congratulations from the entire country of Australia. In particular, despite Delta Blues being a foreign bred horse, the congratulations extended beyond the race track to restaurants and even the staff at the airport.

Asked about the importance of the Emirates Melbourne Cup for Northern Farm, Shunsuke commented that "we have always known about the prestigious reputation of Australia's landmark race, having shuttled stallions back and forth between the North and Southern Hemisphere for several decades prior to our win in 2006. Since our win we have enjoyed success at other races around the world, but to win again at Melbourne would be the ultimate prize."

Interest from Japan in the Emirates Melbourne Cup continues to soar, with 2016 marking the first year that the race was broadcast into Japan via The Green Channel. This was also the first time Japanese racing enthusiasts were permitted to bet on the Emirates Melbourne Cup, with approximately A$1.92 million wagered on the race.

The Emirates Melbourne Cup is the pinnacle of the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival, which injected more than A$427 million of gross economic benefit into the Victorian economy in 2016.

In 2016, there were over 80,000 visitors from interstate and international to the Melbourne Cup Carnival, such is the attraction of Australia's original home grown event.  

The 157th edition of the Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) will be run at 3pm (Australian EDT) on Tuesday 7 November, featuring A$6.2 million in prizemoney and the $200,000 18-carat gold Emirates Melbourne Cup trophy.

The 2017 Melbourne Cup Carnival runs from 4 November to 11 November. Visit for tickets and information.

Image:         Models wearing Myer and Kim Fletcher Millinery and the Emirates Melbourne Cup in Japan.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Ultimate car collection up for sale


David Ellis

WHEN a European car enthusiast got serious about collecting classic sports cars in the 1950s, he decided he would need somewhere large enough and suitable enough to store and admire his ever-growing multi-million-Euro assemblage.

And after a bit of searching he found the only place really suitable to his needs: it was a castle in Switzerland, and in whose grounds was a separate building that could be converted to house his motoring playthings.

So he bought the castle and by the time of his death had gathered together a formidable dozen of the world's most sought-after vehicles. They included a 1980 Aston Martin V8 Volante that back then was amongst the world's fastest convertibles, a 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster described as "arguably the most influential post-war car ever created," a 1981 Mercedes-Benz 500 SLC Coupé, a couple of Maseratis (one a Ghibli SS that was Maserati's fastest-ever car,) and 1970 and 1972 E-type Jaguars.

He also picked up a 1967 Maserati Series II Quattroporte, a 1973 Ford Mustang for a bit of everyday reality, and for classic comfort when speed came second, a 1921 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Double Phaeton and a 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II.

The man's son inherited the collection in 1990 on his father's death, but didn't use the cars for some years, and somewhat unbelievably since 2005 they've been in full-time storage.

He's now decided to sell the lot, with famous international auction firm Bonhams conducting the sale on May 21 at the legendary Francorchamps race circuit in Belgium. The twelve cars are expected to fetch a total between them of around 2.5m Euros (just over AU$3.5m.)

If you're interested making a bid, hop onto  

[] THIS dozen classic cars collected by a European enthusiast over several decades from the 1950s, could fetch up to 2.5m Euros when they go to individual auction on May 21.


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