More from the archives today. Only once have I made the trip to the Goodwood Festival of Speed. For car enthusiasts, this is quite the event. An enormous variety of motor vehicles are on display and the drive them up the hill across the estate past the main house – a place I am quite familiar with having spent a summer living in the stable block around the corner. Oh how I wish they had done this when I was there!
My one trip would have probably been in 2003 shortly before leaving the UK. I only got a few photos but there are some rather unusual cars in the shots I did take. I thought that a few of you are in to cars and might be interested in what was there. Maybe some of you were there too? One day I will try and be back when it is on again and make another trip.
It is around this time of year that the Exotics@RTC should be starting up again. Of course, with everything on lock-down, that is not happening at this point. Consequently, I thought I might go back to the last meeting of 2019 which I paid a visit to. It wasn’t a big gathering but, with it being the last one to take place (I think weather scrubbed some later meets), it was the final run out to Redmond for some of the cars and their owners. Here is a selection of shots of the fine machines that showed up.
The Exotics@RTC team have a number of special days throughout the season and I figured the Italian Car Special was probably one worth taking a look at. I wasn’t mistaken. Unlike the normal meets that take place out in the parking lot, this one was centered in the shopping mall itself. The atrium was filled with Italian cars of many marques. This even included Lamborghini tractors!
It will come as little surprise to know that the prancing horse was on display in large numbers. The centerpiece of the display was a a pair of La Ferraris – one with a roof and one open topped – with an Enzo and an F40. This was quite a valuable selection to have in the middle and it seemed rather funny how so many expensive cars were barely getting any attention as a result of the focus on this foursome. Alfas were also on show and there were some older Fiats that were clearly trimmed for rally activities.
As a young kid growing up in the 70s watching Bond movies, the Lotus Esprit that became a SAM launching submarine made a big impact on me.The next movie also had an Esprit, this time in turbo form, but it got blown up very quickly and a 2CV was the “star” of that movie which did not please me at all.My love for the Esprit was born and it continued through the Turbo SE and to the V8.It had another movie appearance in Pretty Woman although I suspect only a few of us watching were impressed.
A V8 example showed up at Redmond.I got chatting to the owner, a Brit as it turned out.He had owned a Turbo in the UK and then bought the V8 after he moved to the US.Apparently, only about 70 were sold in the US and maybe half of them are still in use.I loved checking it out and talking with him about the car.It also reminded me of one that used to live in South Kensington when I lived there so I dug out the old negative scan and that one is included here too.What a great looking car.A shame the gearbox was never able to accommodate the power the engine had potentially on offer.
Exotics@RTC does attract many types of vehicles. Neither of these little vehicles will be competing for the attention of the Lambos or McLarens but they still get a few people checking them out. Hard to believe vehicles so small have ever been sold in the US. They would fit in the trunk of some older cars or could go in the back of a large minivan! Kind of interesting all the same.
Super cars have come a long way. Now they are ridiculously powerful and also very technologically advanced. A supercar from the 80s has a very sparse feel to it in comparison. Coming across a Ferrari F40 was quite a throwback for me. I saw my first F40 when I was a student. It was parked in a mews street in Kensington near a pub I used to frequent (that doesn’t narrow it down much). I was shocked to see one then and I still am a little shocked now. This one was not getting as much interest as I thought it was due but I was happy not to have it surrounded by people.
I have mentioned that I am not much of a Porsche guy but my college years did include rather a penchant for the Porsche 928. This was a car I could really have enjoyed has a huge amount of cash come my way at the time. The later models, like the S4 and the GT, were something that looked super cool to me. Seeing a rather racy looking 928 at Redmond was a very pleasant surprise. Annoyingly, a lot of people seemed to be around it while looking in the opposite direction so I struggled to get some shots of it but managed to find a way to get a few. I wonder if it goes as well as it looks?
Tons of Porsches show up at Exotics@RTC. There are more 911s than you can shake a stick at an I am not someone that is terribly au fait with Porsche models anyway so I can tell which ones are which. Rather than focus on the latest ones, I am often looking out for some of the older versions that show up. The late eighties had some beefy 911s like to Turbo and something like that would be good to see.
You also get some more vintage versions of the marque popping in and these are always worth a look. The standard of care/restoration is usually very impressive and, while the Porsche guys will be checking the cars out, they don’t get the same level of interest as the Ferraris and Lambos across the parking lot.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that there was interest in McLaren starting to develop road cars. I guess the first time I saw one on the road, we still lived in Chicago, so it has been a while. However, it still feels very recent. What I haven’t done is pay much attention to what the different models are. Consequently, when I am at Exotic@RTC, there are a bunch of McLarens from the local dealer as well as some local owners and I have absolutely no idea which model is which. Moreover, I don’t know whether or is a base model of “little” interest or a particularly rare example. I might recognize a Senna by the huge wing but haven’t seen one of those yet.
Instead I just wander around and look at the various cars to see which ones I like the look of. Their styling is generally pretty nice. Some of them have more interesting shaping for the aerodynamics (no surprise that is something I am focused on) but the simpler shapes are nice too. Seeing which colors they bring can be fun too. Some of the colors are rather vibrant/gaudy. I was quite interested in one vehicle that was originally painted red but had been wrapped in a matte gray film with just some elements of the red visible around certain areas.
Since I don’t know which model is which, I guess it is probably safer for me to just not bother buying one for now. I’ll have to do my research to make sure I don’t buy the wrong one. That would be so embarrassing…