The Super-Rare Lamborghini He Found at the End of an Oregon Dirt Road
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The Super-Rare Lamborghini He Found at the End of an Oregon Dirt Road

Jeff Meier’s 1969 Miura S was preserved in original condition on a rural ranch and is a model some call ‘the most beautiful car of all time’

Mon, Feb 20, 2023 8:34amGrey Clock 3 min

Jeff Meier, a 62-year-old automotive consultant living in Los Angeles, on his 1969 Lamborghini Miura S, as told to A.J. Baime.

In 2000, I was visiting relatives in Oregon. My aunt told me about this guy who owned an old orange Lamborghini. I asked, “What model?” She said, “How would I know?” I was curious. My sister knew everyone in this little town, and she was able to find him. He lived on an 800-acre ranch. There was this long dirt road, and a shack that looked deserted. I knocked on the door and this hunched-over man came out.

He asked, “Hey, son, how can I help you?” I said, “I’m visiting from out of town. I’m a car guy. I heard you’re a car guy.” He said, “Come on in.”

His name was Earl, and he started telling stories. I asked about a photo of this orange Lamborghini on his refrigerator. He led me to his garage, pulled a tarp away, and there was this Miura. I could not believe my eyes. This is an incredibly rare vehicle. It has been called the father of all supercars, and the most beautiful car of all time. It is also the car that put Lamborghini on the map.

As the story goes, back in the 1960s, Ferruccio Lamborghini was just a couple years in business as a car manufacturer in Italy. He had made his money building tractors. He had young guys working for him and they wanted to go racing. They designed this chassis and engine, and through a series of events, this car went into production with a body built by the coachbuilder Bertone. [A coachbuilder is a designer and builder of car bodies.]

When the Miura debuted in 1966, it was as if a spaceship had landed. It was the most outrageous and extravagant thing—a mid-engine, transverse-mounted V-12 race car with a streetcar body. It was the fastest car in the world. All kinds of celebrities bought Miuras—Miles Davis, Twiggy the model. [Lamborghini ended up building 763 Miuras between 1966 and 1972, according to the company’s website.]

I have been involved in cars my entire life. When I was growing up, my father owned an auto repair shop. When I was 20, I got a dream job caretaking a collection of vintage cars. The job paid $5 an hour, but I would have done it for free. I have been involved with vintage autos ever since. When I discovered Earl’s Miura, I knew it was one of the finest unrestored original examples I had ever seen. It was amazing because existing cars typically had rust problems, or they’d been in accidents, or they’ve had engine fires. This car had none of that. And it was an S version, with more horsepower and nuanced styling.

I asked Earl how he had gotten it. He had been an engineer who purchased this car as a retirement gift to himself from a Chicago dealership in 1970. He had driven it out to Oregon. From the time he bought the car to when I first saw it, he was the only person who had driven it. The car had 16,000 miles on it, and it still had its original set of tires. It was a true needle-in-a-haystack scenario.

Earl refused to sell me the car, but I kept in touch. When he died in 2005, I was notified by the estate, and I was able to acquire the Miura at market price. In a 10-year period, I took the car from being a “barn find” to a first-in-class winner at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance [widely regarded as the most prestigious vintage car show in the world] in California.

What is it like to drive this car? The Miura sits so low to the ground that when you look out your window you are looking at the wheels of the cars around you. The high-revving engine is right behind you. The music from this 12-cylinder, the mechanical sounds of the transmission, it is all hard to describe. It is just magical.


Consumers are going to gravitate toward applications powered by the buzzy new technology, analyst Michael Wolf predicts

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Booming demand for wellness tourism shows no slowing, with travel related to health and well-being projected to have reached $1 trillion last year and to hit $1.3 trillion by 2025, according to the Global Wellness Institute, a nonprofit based in Miami.

Curated wellness travel programs are especially sought-after, specifically holistic treatments focused on longevity. Affluent travellers not only are making time to hit the gym while gallivanting across the globe, they’re also seeking destinations that specifically cater to their wellness goals, including treatments aimed at living longer.

“I believe Covid did put a spotlight on self-care and well-being,” says Penny Kriel, corporate director of spa and wellness at Salamander Collection, a group of luxury properties in places like Washington, D.C., and Charleston, South Carolina. But Kriel says today’s spas are more holistic, encouraging folks to understand the wellness concept and incorporate it into their lifestyle more frequently.

“With the evolution of treatment products and technology, spas have been able to enhance their offerings and appeal to more travellers,” Kriel says.

While some growth is connected to the variety of treatments available, results and the digital world are also contributing to the wellness boom.

“The efficacy and benefits of these treatments continue to drive bookings and interest, especially with the support of social media, influencers, and celebrity endorsements,” Kriel says.

While genetics, environmental factors, and lifestyle choices such as regular exercise, a diet free of processed foods, sufficient sleep, and human connection play essential roles in living well and longer, experts believe in holistic therapies to help manage stress, boost immunity, and ultimately influence length and quality of life.

Anti Ageing and Beyond

“For years, people have been coming to spas, booking treatments, and gaining advice on how to turn the clock back with anti ageing and corrective skin treatments,” Kriel says. However, today’s treatments are far more innovative.

On Marinella Beach in Porto Rotondo, on the Italian island of Sardinia, guests at the five-star Abi d’Oru Hotel & Spa can experience the resort’s one-of-a-kind “longevity treatment,” a unique antiaging facial using one of the island’s native grapes: Cannonau. The world’s first declared “Blue Zone”—one of five designated areas where people live longer than average, some into their 100s—Sardinia produces this robust red wine varietal, the most widely planted on the island.

Known as Garnacha in Spain and Grenache in France, Cannonau supposedly contains two to three times more antioxidants than other red-wine grapes. By incorporating Cannonau, Abi Spa says its unique 50-minute longevity session increases collagen production for firmer, younger-looking skin.

Maintaining a youthful appearance is just one facet of longevity treatments, which range from stress-reduction sessions like massage to nutritional support and sleep programs, Kriel says. Some retreats also offer medical services such as IV infusions and joint injections.

Keeping with the trend, Kriel is expanding Salamander Collection’s existing spa services, such as detox wraps and lymphatic drainage, to include dedicated “Wellness Rooms,” new vegan and vegetarian menu items, and well-being workshops. “Sleep, nutrition, and mindfulness will be a big focus for integration in 2024,” she says.

Data-Driven Wellness

Skyler Stillings, an exercise physiologist at Sensei Lanai, a Four Seasons Resort—an adults-only wellness centre in Lanai, Hawaii—says guests were drawn to the social aspect when the spa opened in November 2021.

“We saw a huge need for human connection,” she recalls. But over the past few years, what’s paramount has shifted. “Longevity is trending much more right now.”

Human connection is a central draw for guests at Sensei Lanai, an adults-only and wellness-focused Four Seasons Resort in Hawaii.
Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort

Billionaire co-founder of tech company Oracle Larry Ellison and physician and scientist Dr. David Angus co-founded Sensei. After the death of a mutual close friend, the duo teamed up to create longevity-based wellness retreats to nurture preventative care and a healthy lifestyle. In addition to the Lanai location, the brand established Sensei Porcupine Creek in Greater Palm Springs, California, in November 2022.

Sensei has a data-driven approach. The team performs a series of assessments to obtain a clearer picture of a guest’s health, making wellness recommendations based on the findings. While Sensei analyses that data to curate a personalised plan, Stillings says it’s up to the guests which path they choose.

Sensei’s core three-day retreat is a “Guided Wellness Experience.” For spa treatments, each guest checks into their own “Spa Hale,” a private 1,000-square-foot bungalow furnished with an infrared sauna, a steam shower, a soaking tub, and plunge pools. The latest therapies include Sarga Bodywalking—a barefoot myofascial release massage, and “Four Hands in Harmony,” a massage with two therapists working in tandem. Sensei Guides provide take-home plans so guests can continue their wellness journeys after the spa.

Sensei Lanai, an adults-only and wellness-focused Four Seasons Resort in Hawaii.
Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort

Sanctuaries for Longevity

Headquartered in Switzerland with hotels and on-site spas across the globe, Aman Resorts features an integrative approach, combining traditional remedies with modern medicine’s advanced technologies. Tucked behind the doors of the storied Crown Building in Midtown Manhattan, Banya Spa House at Aman New York—the brand’s flagship spa in the Western Hemisphere—is a 25,000-square-foot, three-floor urban oasis.

Yuki Kiyono, global head of health and wellness development at Aman, says the centre provides access to holistic and cutting-edge treatments benefiting physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being. Aman’s customisable “Immersion Programs” consist of a three- or five-day immersion. “The programs encompass treatments and experiences that touch every significant aspect to create a path for longevity, from meditation and mindfulness to nutrition and movement,” Kiyono explains.

Banya Spa House at Aman New York.
Robert Rieger

The spa’s “Tei-An Wellness Solution” features 90- to 150-minute sessions using massage, cryotherapy, and Vitamin IV infusions. Acupuncture is also on offer.

“With its rich history of Chinese Medicine, modern research, and the introduction of sophisticated electro-acupuncture medicine, acupuncture has been proven to assist with problems and increase performance,” Kiyono says.

Resetting the Mind and Body

Beyond longevity, “healthspan”—the number of years a person can live in good health free of chronic disease—is the cornerstone of Mountain Trek Health Reset Retreat’s program in British Columbia, Canada.

Kirk Shave, president and program director, and his team employ a holistic approach, using lifestyles in long-living Blue Zones as a point of reference.

“We improve our daily lifestyle habits, so we live vitally as long as we’re meant to live,” Shave says of the retreat. He built the program from an anthropological stance, referencing humans as farmers, hunters, and gatherers based on their eating and sleeping patterns. Food includes vegetable-centric meals sans alcohol, sugar, bread, or dairy.

Guests wake at dawn each day and have access to sunrise yoga, several hours of “flow” or slow hiking, spa treatments, forest bathing, calming crystal singing-bowl and sound therapy sessions, and classes on stress reduction—one of Mountain Trek’s primary goals. The program motivates people to spend much of their time in nature because it’s been proven to reduce cortisol, the stress hormone that can lead to inflammation and disease when elevated for extended periods.

While most guests aren’t aware of how immersive Mountain Trek’s program is when they arrive, they leave the resort revitalized after the structured, one-week program. Set in the Kootenays overlooking its eponymous river, the resort and adventure promise what Shave calls a “visceral experience of transformation.”

“They’re interested in coming to be in nature,” Shave says of the guests. “They hit a wall in their life and slipped backwards, so they know they need a reset.”

Banya Spa House at Aman New York provides access to holistic and cutting-edge treatments benefiting physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being.
Robert Rieger

This article first appeared in the Winter 2024 issue of Mansion Global Experience Luxury.


Consumers are going to gravitate toward applications powered by the buzzy new technology, analyst Michael Wolf predicts

Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

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