As you doubtless already know from your newspapers, Jack Dempsey filed suit against SPORTS ILLUSTRATED after we printed an excerpt from a new autobiography of the late Jack Kearns, who had been his manager.
Dempsey's specific charge was that we had damaged him when we quoted Kearns as saying that, unknown to Dempsey, he "loaded" Dempsey's gloves with plaster of Paris, enabling Dempsey to administer the historically devastating beating to Jess Willard on July 4, 1919, which made him world heavyweight champion.
Jack Dempsey has been a friend of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED since publication began in 1954. He has cooperated with us in the production of a number of stories concerning boxing, and he has also made public appearances in our behalf to promote the business fortunes of this magazine.
We have been his friend, too, and, not wanting to hurt this famous sports figure, we printed his vigorous denial of Kearns's allegations.
Now we are pleased to record a happy ending to this story. Since publication, no evidence has come to us to support the tale told by Kearns, and we support and wholeheartedly accept Jack Dempsey's denial.
Good men, of which Dempsey is one, are sorely needed in boxing in these troubled days.
Most of the automotive stories in this magazine are concerned with races and racers—the Indy 500s and the Jimmy Clarks, the Daytona 500s and the Freddy Lorenzens. From time to time, however, we invite your attention to a car of special significance. Last year the expert sports-car racing driver Bob Grossman tested and analyzed the new Ford Mustang for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, predicting that it would become a sort of sports car for everyman. That happened.
In this issue Grossman appraises another new model, the front-drive Olds-mobile Toronado. On reading his report I was struck by the amount of sports-car thinking that seems to have gone into the car. The people at Olds clearly have taken pains to make the car corner better and steer more quickly than the average full-sized product, and they have come up with a firmer ride.
What has happened over the last decade, of course, is that nearly all passenger cars have become sportier, and most sports cars have acquired some passenger-car conveniences. Not so long ago it was kind of sissy to have a sports car with windup windows and a ride that did not jar your spine. Not so long ago Detroit was so preoccupied with things like horsepower and automatic transmissions and design features to appeal to the growing number of women influencing car sales that other things—such as the manner in which a car took curves—were neglected. Detroit has also caught on to the appeal of sports-car-style bucket seats, floor-mounted gearshifts (so laboriously engineered out of U.S. cars after World War II), fast-back roof lines and even simulated wire wheels with genuine-looking (but inoperable) racing knock-off hubcaps.
By adding a touch of sports-car appeal to the Toronado, Olds stimulates interest in the art of good driving. And with that front-drive feature I imagine the car will be popular on snowy hills in ski country. Getting to and from the slopes in dirty weather is a pretty fair sport in its own right.