A while back I posted some shots of a Lancia Delta Integrale. The Integrale was the road homologous on version of the rally car that came about when the Group B rally cars were closed out. However, the Group B cars were the really crazy ones. The S4 was the Lancia that competed in Group B. It replaced the Lancia 037 and, at Chateau Ste. Michelle, the two were on show together. Both were road versions for homologous on but they were both beasts.
The S4 was the pinnacle of crazy rally cars. A huge engine and four wheel drive in what was really not a road car. They built some to meet the rules and this was one of them. It was surprisingly nicely finished on the interior given what type of car it was. However, the way in which the body looked like it was different pieces bolted together made you know this was not a car designed for consumers. I was designed with a single purpose in mind. However, it looked like it could eat anything else on the road. What as absolute monster.
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!
One of the more interesting vehicles (among a ton of interesting vehicles) at the Avants event in Woodinville was a Jaguar XJ220. This was something that was developed in the early 90s and was supposed to be a big impact in the super car world. Intended to get to about 200mph (which it almost did), it was a huge vehicle with a twin turbocharged V6 engine (not the V12 which was originally considered). It was long, wide and very fast. It was also very expensive costing something like GBP400k at the time.
Unfortunately for it, the super car market took a bit of a dive at that time with the economy not being great. Also, McLaren introduced the F1 which was fast and light. (It also did not seem terribly well because of the same market conditions but did turn a small profit when the racing versions were sold.) Production of the XJ220 never reached the intended numbers and the unsold vehicles at the end of the line ultimately were sold for some pretty low prices. It just didn’t really arrive at the right time.
It is a hell of a car to see in person. It is very big. The width of the vehicle head on is impressive but the length of it is something else. It also seems quite unusual compared to more modern cars in that the wheels are a long way in from each end of the car. The wheels themselves are strange too with quite a small wheel compared to the tire unlike a modern super car with low profile tires. It’s a shame that it never really had the impact that was intended but it was cool to see one out on display.
As we walked through the grounds of Chateau Ste. Michelle after the Avants car event, we came across this tree. As we looked at it we concluded that it was a single tree that was coming out of the ground in various places. However, we are not arborists so could be completely wrong. It just looks like it springs from a single source under ground and breaks the surface in various places. If you know about trees and more specifically this tree, let me know.
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).