This weekend I was saddened to learn the news that Paul Newman had passed away.
In the tributes being shown, his love of car racing is always present. In 1971, Coca-Cola teamed with Mr. Newman for a TV special about racing called “Once Upon a Wheel.” The show featured Mr. Newman and celebrities from racing, television and movies, along with music from groups and singers including The Association, James Taylor, Neil Young, Arlo Guthrie, Cher and Wilson Pickett.
Coca-Cola bottlers sponsored the TV special, and Mr. Newman appeared in magazine ads (wearing a Coke racing jacket). We also offered special Coke collectibles related to the show: 8-track cartridges or cassette tapes of music from the show, a Coca-Cola jacket similar to Mr. Newman’s, a Coke cooler, and patches like you’d have on a racing uniform.
We’ll miss Mr. Newman’s love of racing, and of course his great acting and his philanthropy. He raised more than $250 million for charity.
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