Charlie Chaplin’s 129th Birthday: Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin, KBE was an English comic actor, or Charlie Chaplin as is the name etched in our hearts, is arguably the most well known actor of this century. Today would have his 128th Birthday. He is survived his work, a series of silent comedy movies that may be one of the world’s most watched series keeping relevance all the way to today. He was famed for his ability to make people laugh at his pain, sending the subtle message across that even through your worst troubles, the only thing that is missing between you and joy, is the ability to take the correct perspective.
His work, inspired by his early life which saw him abandoned by an alcoholic father left to be raised by a mother who is claimed to have been affected by mental illness, he rose his way through the entertainment industry starting as a humble dancer in a troupe, work his way to the world stage. One that he would own for the rest of his time on the planet. While we can spend the better half of this story talking about Charles’ early life and struggle in the interest of maintaining automotive context, we take a look at everything auto that inspired the world’s funniest man
On the silver screen, his only known automotive work was Kid Auto Races at Venice, which involved showed Charlie Chaplin at his best, getting in the way of the racers and causing general pandemonium and splits of laughter for the audience. What’s more is that Charlie Chaplin had a keen interest in vehicles as well.
“A day without laughter is a day wasted.
We think too much and feel too little.
Nothing is permanent in this wicked world - not even our troubles.”
-Sir Charles Chaplin 16 April 1889-25 December 1977
His first car was a 1929 Pierce Arrow Convertible, akin to a Rolls-Royce of his time. The Silver Arrow was built around a inline eight cylinder engine that was considered to be one of the most exquisite engines of its time. When it was launched it was priced at a stratospheric $8000 USD in the 1900s ($1,04,000 USD in today money). The iconic car recently surfaced going on sale on Ebay. The Pierce Arrow was considered as a premium brand, it was among the favorites of Hollywood celebrities. However the tough economic conditions during the Great Depression in the 1930s lead to its demise.
Much later Charlie Chaplin upgraded to a Bentley S3 which he bought for another astonishing 65,000 Swiss francs. The ultra luxurious S3 was powered by a BFG 6.2-liter 8-cylinder engine that has is still running with 1.09 lakh Kilometres on the meter. This piece of history was most recently owned by Quebecois author and comedian Yvon Deschamps.