If you follow Formula One, you will have seen that the Renault team recently changed their name to Alpine. This is an old brand that has recently been reintroduced by the company. I popped down to Exotics@RTC recently to see what was showing up and came across a pair of Alpines of differing vintages. One was a new one to me but the younger example did seem rather familiar. I guess I must have seen them in the UK when I was younger.
A few people were hanging around them but I thought they weren’t getting the attention that they deserved. Exotics@RTC has a never ending supply of McLarens, Ferraris, Porsches and Lambos but these were something that definitely deserved the title exotic.
The improvement in the pandemic in our region has meant that certain gatherings that were cancelled last year have been able to restart. That includes the Exotics@RTC car gatherings in Redmond. The first of the year that I was able to attend had a German theme to it. The theme days do not exclude other car types but they provide a focus to the theme cars and give them pride of place within the center. The other cars are out in the parking lot.
It won’t surprise you to learn that there were plenty of Porsche and Audi vehicles on display. Mercedes was also represented but not in such large numbers. There were some nice old Porsches to be seen including a pair on display which are owned by a father son team – the son being a neighbor of ours. I was really pleased to see a nice selection of older BMWs and a Z1 which I recall from my teen years. I had assumed the Audis would be more around the R8s (and there were a few of them) but to see a Quattro from the rallying era was a cool addition.
I had ridden down to Redmond on my bike so I wasn’t carrying heavy gear with me. I went with the M6 which shows how useful it is for such a situation. It is nice and compact plus, it has the folding screen which is great for getting low or high angle shots. Waiting for people to move out of shot is always problematic in this events but they have as much right to be there as I do so I either wait a long time or just accept that the shot will be more cluttered than ideal.
I hope to get down there a lot more this season and see what they have to offer and what fun cars show up. I will also share a few of the non-German cars from this day in another post to come.
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.