Shortly before the shelter in place restrictions came into effect, we took a stroll along Lake Washington Boulevard in Seattle. It is a popular place for people to walk but also for people out on their bikes and also to drive along. As we wander up the shore, a couple of Minis came the other way. These aren’t modern Minis as built by BMW. These were the originals like the one I learned to drive in. One was a regular mini and the other was configured with a flatbed. I only got a quick shot as they went by. I loved driving the Mini when I was young. It was such a fun car. Of course, if anything went badly wrong, you weren’t exactly well protected so I’m not sure I would be so keen now I am an old git!
There have been plenty of posts about sports cars from our time in California and Washington. However, when we lived in Chicago, there were always a ton of exotic cars around the city. These would be in regular use rather than part of organized gatherings. However, one weekend, there was a gathering of Ferraris on North State Street. I had completely forgotten about this until recently working through some old shots.
There was a combination of new cars with some older but no less exotics examples. An F40 was there along with Testarossas. Having this on a busy street in the center of the city seems pretty odd now but it was definitely cool at the time. Here are some of the nice motors that were on show that day.
The movement of cars around the world requires a specialist type of ship and, while they may be functionally effective, they are not good looking ships. They have the appearance of a box on the water. The large rear loading ramp allows the cars to be loaded and then they get driven around the multitude of decks for storage. This example was coming up the Solent and heading in to Southampton. A similar example had a shift of load in this area and was put aground on the Brambles Bank to avoid sinking. No issues in this case, of course.
During the Italian car day at Exotics@RTC, all of the focus was on the selection of cars inside the mall area. I did take some time to wander out in to the parking lot to see what other cars had shown up that day and hadn’t been “worthy” of a spot inside. As I was strolling around, something unusual showed up. I had no idea what it was but it was clearly pretty old. As it pulled to a halt, we got a chance to take a look around.
It was an Alfa Romeo C6. I asked the guy driving it why he was outside when this would clearly have been something that would have got a prime spot. He wasn’t bothered about all of that sort of thing and was happy to roll up when he wanted and to have those outside check the car out. The restoration had been undertaken in the UK and I imagine it hadn’t been cheap judging by the condition of the vehicle. It had that swoops look that cars of its era sometimes had and was a fantastic looking machine. If I had gone out earlier in my visit, I would have missed it completely!
Exotics@RTC brings plenty of jazzy cars including lots of McLarens as I posted here. The one car I was hoping to see at some point was a Senna. I figured with all of the IT cash floating around the area, one was bound to appear at some point. I rode my bike down to Redmond to have a look one Saturday. My jersey only had small pockets so I left all cameras behind except my phone. Guess what car showed up as soon as I had no proper camera?
I didn’t see it initially. All I saw was a large crowd of people around one car. This is always a sign of something special and there, within the crowds, was a black car with a huge rear wing. The Senna had arrived. Getting clean shots of it was almost impossible given the number of people milling around but the wide angle lens on the phone was a benefit for once as it meant you could get closer and grab some shots. Quite a mean looking machine and one I might have to save up a bit in order to buy.
The Chevy Bolt is not the sort of car that would normally grab my attention. This one did though. It was at The Henry Ford (even if it is a Chevy) and it is tricked out with all sorts of sensors. I assume it was some sort of development tested for automated vehicles. I could have made the effort to go and read whatever was written next to it but that seemed far to much like hard work. I guess I am the sort of person an automated vehicle is designed for if I can’t be bothered to even do that!
The 80s was a time of some crazy cars in the rally world. Rallying was a big deal in those days and the impact it had on car sales was significant. The hot hatches were heavily influenced by rally based marketing. One car that was a big success in WRC was the Lancia Delta Integrale. The road cars that came from homologation of rally cars were hot property. Coming across one now is even more exciting than it was back then. This Integrale was part of Exotics @ RTC. It wasn’t getting a whole lot of attention (plenty of supercars on display to attract the visitors) but there were probably a few guys my age that recognized it and appreciated what it was.
My visits to Exotics@RTC provide an interesting mix of different vehicles. On one Saturday morning, there were a few older BMWs on display. I have never been particularly interested in owning BMWs but the old ones catch my eye, probably more for nostalgia than anything else. The simplicity of them compared to the modern vehicles is striking. The hard edges, the bumpers, the sparse interiors – it is so far from what you get now.
Of particular interest was a racing 6 Series coupe. This was tricked out with all the normal accoutrements of a racing car of that vintage but it looks positively gentile compared to a modern racing car. The details in the rear wing were very cool and the finishes looked very well taken care of. I wouldn’t say it was a good looking car but it was definitely noteworthy.
Since The Henry Ford is a museum founded by a Ford, it is no surprise that they have some significant Ford vehicles on display. This includes the number one Mustang. It looks quite different from what followed it, an example of which is not far away on the display. It seems quite light and small compared to what followed and definitely compared to the current incarnation (like the pun?). It’s is always cool to see something that is historic, irrespective of what the subject may be. This one definitely led to an iconic brand.