Tag Archives: cars

Of All Of These, One Is My Favorite

The Avants event at Chateau Ste. Michelle had some very high end hypercars on display.  A Ferrari Enzo or a La Ferrari might seem like they are the best.  How about a McLaren Senna?  Seems like the best huh?  That might be true but the one next to them was the one I really was taken with.  I am not a big Porsche fan.  I don’t have a problem with Porsches but I have never been taken with them in the way some have.  However, I make an exception for the Carrera GT.  That is a car that seems to be special and the end of an era of car types.  I recall seeing one on the streets in Chicago and being blown away.  Consequently, when I saw this one next to the more recent high end creations, I was really excited.  It is a great looking car and something more traditional in the way it is designed.  It was also super expensive when it was new.  Of course, if you want one now, it is even more expensive!

Avants at Chateau Ste. Michelle

I was chatting with one of my neighbors and he mentioned a car event coming up at Chateau Ste. Michelle, a local winery.  This event was arranged by Avants and was a selection of exotic and unusual cars on display in the grounds of the winery along with wine and food to enjoy.  Sounded interesting and Nancy was keen to try it out so we got ourselves tickets.  On the day, the weather started out looking pretty bad but, since the event started in the afternoon, we decided to see how things turned out.  As it was, the day became overcast but basically dry so it worked out fine.  I’m not sure whether it actually reduced the number of people there or not but it felt busy but not crowded.

Exotics@RTC will provide a bunch of unusual cars but this had some very special vehicles and was definitely worth going to.  I am going to have some specific posts on some of the vehicles but this is more of a general overview of what we saw.  The cars were spread out across the lawns so were not crowded together.  Also, while there were people around most of the time, the cars were often clear of visitors if you were trying to get a shot – even when it came to some of the most unusual vehicles.

There was wine from the winery to purchase as you walked around (assuming you hadn’t bought the more expensive tickets with packages of wine and food) and you could order food.  However, the food options were not that impressive and didn’t seem to fit with the nature of the event.  That would be my only complaint with the event as a whole.  Whether you wanted race cars, hyper cars, vintage sports cars or even more unusual vehicles from Europe, there was something to see.  Nancy is not a car person but she certainly enjoyed looking at the beautiful styling of some of the vehicles (and the quirky styling of others).

Vintage BMW Style

When I go to Exotics@RTC, I just enjoy the vehicles and occasionally know something about them.  Most of the time, I don’t know much about them at all.  Some of my friends are far more knowledgeable about cars than I am and they can recognize what is significant and what is not or even what is genuine and what is not.  I don’t have that knowledge.  Instead, I see something that appeals to me or doesn’t.

German day, earlier this summer, included a vintage BMW.  This car looked like the sort of thing that would have appeared in old movies.  The sweeping lines of the car, the suicide doors, the shape of the windows – all of these just looked really elegant to me.  This was a car that had a certain something and I was drawn to it.  The fact it got a central position in the display must suggest it was not an average vehicle but I don’t know why.  Maybe some of you will instantly recognize it and point out I was looking at something amazing or something decidedly average!

Off Road Style

More from Exotics@RTC with this one, a Pinzgauer.  This was a beast of a vehicle.  Looking at it the idea of Paris-Dakar sprang to mind.  It looked like it would be capable of taking on any number of adventures.  It’s entirely possible that the owner doesn’t go further afield than local car meets but maybe they really do put it to the test.  Either way, it was quite a cool looking vehicle.  From what I understand, this is an early generation of the vehicle and, while they were sold to militaries around the world, they were also sold to the civilian market.  A newer generation came along but this is the older version.  Production has stopped at this point.

Getting Rid of the Visitors at Exotics@RTC

This was not something I really made a proper effort at during a visit to Exotics@RTC but I did have a brief go just to see how things might work out.  With all of the lovely looking cars on show, there are plenty of people checking them out all of the time.  This does mean the chances of getting a shot without someone in it are limited.  I figured I might play around with using a bunch of shots and Photoshop to blend out the people and get left with the cars.

To do a good job of this I really could use a tripod to keep the shot identical and take way more photos than I did to give the algorithms something to work with.  However, I didn’t have the tripod and wasn’t too keen on staying in exactly the same position for ages trying to hold the camera in place, so this was always destined to be a feeble effort.  With limited data, people aren’t going to vanish but become ghostly.  Added to that is that a few people were chatting with friends for ages so didn’t move much at all during the time I was shooting.  They clearly were not going to disappear.  Still, it was a good thing to play with and might encourage a more planned approach next time.

A Pair of Alpines

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.

German Day at Exotics@RTC

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.

Vintage Japanese Rolling Stock

Here are some old Japanese rail vehicles.  These are part of the SCMaglev museum in Nagoya that I visited when I was in Japan last summer.  The museum has a great selection of Shinkansen equipment across the generations but it also has a lot of other rail vehicles from long ago.  The vehicles clearly look old from the outside but the interiors are really an interesting comparison with what you see these days.  The amount of wood in the paneling and the materials of the seating are definitely of their time.  I was quite amused by the fans mounted on the ceiling.  Obviously pre-air conditioning days with these cars and so a bit of air circulation was all you could hope for.  Knowing how incredibly hot it gets in Japan during the summer, they would not have done much for the riders I would have thought.  I wonder whether it was as crowded in those days as it is now.  If it was even close, that would have been brutal.

Goodwood Festival of Speed

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.

Last Exotics of the Year

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.