Frank Swertlow, now retired, was interviewed on this article to place its publication in time. Laura Montagu, wife of Alex, 13th Duke of Manchester, placed it in 1985 when posting it on her website in hopes of refuting Alex's marriage to Marion Stoner. This was not possible as Alex was then either in prison in Australia or living with his then-girlfriend in the Melbourne area that year.
Frank Swertlow remembered it as having been published in 1988, around April, at the time Alex was involved with Lia Belli.
by Frank Swertlow, appeared in the Daily News, 1988
The shortish piece reads, "Move over Crocodile Dundee: There's a new Aussie in town – Lord Limo. He's Alexander Charles David Drogo, a.k.a. Viscount Mandiville Baron Montagu, and his motto these days is: Have limo, will travel.
For a mere $150 an hour, plus gas and tip, Lord Alex, who grew up in Australia, will whip you around the City of Angels in his 36-foot Lincoln Continental, which is guarantees to draw gasps. Among the amenities his chariot offers are a bed, fout telephones, a Fax machine, two VCRs, a video camera, an array of video games, a 26-speaker stereo system and a wet bar. To set the mood, the lights along the inner roof twinke at starry-eyed passangers.
Why does this peer of the realm spend his time burning rubber in Beverly Hills? "I have nothing better to do," said the 25-year-old baron. "I thought it was a fun idea. I am not getting anything from this. It just gives me something to do while I'm getting work. I've found that a lot of people who rise in limousines look down on the drivers. No one looks down on me."
But there is more to it than that. Proceeds from his rides go to charities in this country and Archbishop Desmond Tutu's foundation in South Africa, and sometime soon he plans to auction off his superstretch, which he hopes will pull in an additional $250,000. He also has six other cars that cruise New Yor, Boston, and Florida. "Three are double-deckers," said Lord Alex, who says he lives off family income and profits from a restaurant business in Australia.
However, life in Los Angeles for Lord Alex, as he likes to be called, hasn't been as smooth as a ride in his stretch. His His Australian accent, his youth, and his unabashed willingness to do such things as wash his own car has raised questions about his blue blooded heritage.
To dissuade doubters, he carried copies of Debrett's Peerage and Burke's Peerage with the appropriate references underlined. He even offers a color pamphlet of his ancestral home, Kimbolton Castle, "The Last Residence of Queen Katherine of Aragon until her death" in 1536.
"People think I'm a phony," he lamented. "They think that a duke should be in his 60s and 70s and wear suits and sip tea. Well, I like to carry on, have a drink and socialise. I'mreally no different than anyone else."