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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
The weather was not great for a
portion of the holiday period so, when the sun came out, we took a trip to
Shoreline to walk along the beach. A
couple of freight trains passed by while we were there. One of them was just a set of locomotives on
a light move while the other was a train of tank cars. The curves along the shore provide a bit more
context to just how long a full sized freight train can be with the line of
cars snaking off into the distance.