The Philly Auto Show was great this year. We got to see some of the hottest new industry offerings, and the CF Charities hypercar exhibit was better than ever this year. It’s always a bright spot for us Northeastern car folks in the dead of Winter. Enjoy!
We all have our firsts, and this was the first exotic car I ever drove, an ’02 Maserati Spyder like the one you see here (only a lot rougher around the edges).
I basically just bullshitted my way into a test drive at a used car lot down the shore. In true Italian style, the convertible top wouldn’t go down, but otherwise, it was in decent shape.
This was also my first experience with a proper paddle shift transmission. I found it shifted nicely at speed, but it was utter dog shit in traffic. I proceeded, enjoying the lovely Italian V8 engine, and I almost chirped the tires in front of a cop.
It was a fun test drive in a car which at the time was quite special in the eyes of 20 year old me…. if I only knew what was to come 😂👍
I love Cars and Caffe because it draws the entire enthusiast spectrum, everything from beater Miatas to classic muscle cars to heavily modified cars to million dollar hypercars. It’s a real show of enthusiasm for the automobile, and there’s no other show quite like it.
I’m a firm believer that car people are largely the same, just at different socio-economic levels. The person in the E46 M3 would be the one in the Ferrari 488 if he had more money, and vice versa if the person in the Ferrari had less money. You can really see that when you go to a show like this.
Naturally, I tend to focus more on the exotics in my photos, despite me being the guy rolling up to the show in a Miata. Rest assured, I’d do the same with a Pagani if I had those sort of means.
Lots of people really love cars, and that becomes crystal clear when you’re at this show. There is hope yet for the enthusiast automobile!
This beautiful blue 1951 Maserati A6G is one of just nine fitted with a Pinin Farina body. It was used as a test car used by Maserati to perfect the execution of the A6G, and has been returned to its original specification after being repainted over the years.
This Maser shone like a jewel on the show field at Amelia Island, sticking out even among the crowd of unbelievable cars around it.
Sometimes, you should expect the unexpected. This time, Nick and I were just moments from our hotel. about to relax for a bit before a night of karting and general tomfoolery before Concours Saturday. As we turned off the main drag for the airport into our hotel parking lot, Nick grabbed my attention at the left-turn lane–it was an old Quattroporte. What we have here is a stunning example of Eighties excess, and the last hand-built Maserati sedan before they left the USA market (to return later). Enjoy the photos of this rarely-seen Italian Stallion. Continue reading 1983 Maserati Quattroporte III spotted in Jacksonville, FL→
At the mall yesterday, I noticed this gem in the parking lot. It’s a pink Maserati Quattroporte Q4, and judging from the wording on the side, it belongs to a local divorce attorney. This is definitely one way to get your business noticed, especially by the sort of gentlemen who will wind up needing a divorce attorney. Plus, it’s a Quattroporte, not a Ghibli, so you know they must be pretty good at what they do.
This is the track version of the street version of that racecar Maserati made back in the mid 2000s, the MC12 Corsa. It’s one of just 12 examples built, and it costs $1,470,000 more than the inbound US President has paid in taxes in the last 20 years (fun fact!).
Naturally, we didn’t see such a beast at just any venue. This thing was at The Quail, a show for people who are above going to Pebble Beach. It’s the sort of place us car guys dream about, a place where you’ll rub shoulders with the likes of Horacio Pagani or Valentino Balboni, and you’ll get to see cars you’ve barely been able to imagine.
This MC12 Corsa is one of those automotive unicorns. A “normal” Maserati MC12, of which they made 50, is crazy enough, but the Corsa is on a whole different level. It’s also got 745hp to the standard car’s meager 612hp. The biggest thing about the Corsa is that it’s based directly on the race-winning MC12 GT1, rather than the road-going Ferrari Enzo. Not technically street legal, it was designed to be a track day toy like the Ferrari FXX.
Even so, this MC12 Corsa was spotted driving around on the streets around Monterey during Car Week festivities. It must have been awesome weaving through traffic in this, and it’s well-known that the cops generally interpret street “legality” pretty liberally during the week. Hell, I myself have seen a Porsche 935 roll by in downtown Carmel a few years back.
For me the GT1 homologation era has been the epitome of the high performance automobile thus far. These were actual race cars that had been converted for road use, and they make the hypercars of today seem like shallow status symbols. You actually need a decent amount of skill to drive a McLaren F1, a Mercedes CLK GTR, or a Porsche 911 GT1 at all, let alone quickly.
This video from The Supercar Driver shows us a collection with all of them, as well as a glimpse into the ultra-exclusive world of trading automobiles at the highest end.
They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. Well, this one is worth that, plus around $30-40 million. These two legendary Italian racing cars sat side together, waiting to greet us as we began our day at the Lime Rock Historics. It’s great to see they’re still being used as intended after all these years, even despite their substantial value. Racecars should be raced, plain and simple. They aren’t meant to be paperweights.