Last Sunday I made a somewhat spur of the moment appearance at the very first Cops and Cars show in Chicago. It was in a familiar venue, the lot just outside of Collectors’ Car Garage which hosts the monthly Rise and Drive meets as well. However, there are some important distinctions between Rise and Drive and Cops and Cars. For Cops & Cars, the show is a judged show, with entry fees and judges, where as Rise and Drive is a more informal meet (you can see for yourself in previous blog entries). The proceeds from entry fees, went toward the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation’s “Back the Badge” initiative. This initiative aims to purchase new bullet proof vests for Chicago Police officers currently in the line of duty. Believe it or not, as critical an item for an officer’s safety as it may be, it is the responsibility of the individual officer to purchase his/her own vest (outside of the one they receive out of cadet training, but those wear out). So with a good cause and major bragging rights in the balance, the cars on display were bringing the proverbial “A” game.
Not surprisingly, the variety on display was vast, much like what you encounter at Rise and Drive; a little of everything. Domestics, European makes, Japanese all spanning every imaginable era from pre-WWII until present day. The overriding theme though, was definitely a domestic flavor, old school American classics, and there were some drop dead gorgeous examples to see.
As always, I like to highlight some of the cars I found interesting for one reason or another. This example below I found very interesting, a pre-World War II Citroen. Made in 1922, the Citroen 5CV Torpedo below was a genuine antique, a relic of automotive history. Standing next to it, taking in the details, you start to realize just how far the automobile has evolved. The overtly boat-like styling, replete with beautifully finished wood panels that terminate rearward in a pointed bow, contribute to making the car seem not like any car at all. Seeing these antique cars next to modern examples, is almost like seeing the leap in evolution between a Tyrannosaurus and a present day sea Gull, it is hard to wrap your head around them being related at all.
Another notable car, and one that received an award on the day, was the Volvo P1800S below. Immediately recognizable as a 1960’s design, but in the funky Swedish car way, it is distinctly different. A front grill reminiscent of Ferrari 250GT with tail end resembling Cadillac-lite fins, and body lines that make it appear wider on top than the bottom, it definitely drew my attention. I am not as familiar with Volvo as I’d like to be, so this car inspired a post-show Wikipedia read for me. It was a car that almost did not exist according to Wikipedia; having production held up for one reason or another, it finally saw the streets for the first time in 1961. It is also the first car to be recognized for record highest mileage, with over 3 million miles of non-commercial use! Adding to it’s notoriety, it was also the car driven on TV and in regular life by the recently deceased Roger Moore during his days on The Saint. If there’s one thing I like more than seeing cool cars, it is learning about new interesting cars, so thanks to the owner of this Volvo for coming out!
A wonderful Lotus Elan +2 was on display as well. The styling of the Elan is such that even from a block away, someone like me who is not necessarily a Lotus aficionado, could immediately recognize it as an Elan. I love the two color design, with the body in that gorgeous deep blue, the roof and pillars dressed in a glittering silver, it works together better than one might expect. This car would also deservedly take home an award on the day, it was probably more immaculate than when it even left the assembly line.
If you have been following the blog for any amount of time, you probably realize I have a penchant for Japanese cars. Especially when it comes to those of the 1980’s and 90’s. So you can imagine my glee when I was greeted by a veritable herd of 1st and 2nd generation NSX’s (you’ll see those further down). What drew maybe as much attention though was a couple of unusual suspects of the JDM world. The Toyota Supra is probably the most drooled over car in it’s mark IV generation of the late 90’s and early 2000’s. The third generation variant below is perhaps less, or under appreciated. The one at Cops and Cars also appears to be a Japanese import, being right hand drive. This struck me as unique as well, as this is not a car that typically someone goes through the trouble of importing. To see it in person though, is to understand, it was incredibly clean and the interior even was about as mint as you will ever find in a Japanese car of the 80’s. Then I noticed the decals, “Team Nostalgic”, it all makes sense as these guys eat, sleep and breath vintage 80’s JDM. Incidentally, Team Nostalgic has their yearly BBQ/Car Show coming up next weekend, which I will be looking to check out this year!
Lastly, this Aston Martin DB MKIII was actually the first thing that drew me in. I regret not having more shots of it. A combination of my drooling over the car in amazement, chatting with the owner who was quite friendly and proud of the car, and it being parked in a spot that made a good angle difficult, all conspired to leave me with too few shots and none that I really felt did the car justice. This DB was incredibly restored, as faithfully as possible save for the inclusion of a 5 speed transmission that is far less problematic than the Aston gearbox it originally came with. The interior, a decadent maroon leather so supple and soft in appearance, it’s contrast with the understated silver gray toned exterior accentuates both simultaneously. I absolutely loved this car, and hearing that the owner actually makes a point to drive it makes it that much more endearing. It may make an appearance at the Geneva Concours D’Elegance later this year, so I hope to catch up with it once again.
Yes, Sunday ended up a good day for a show, the weather held relatively well and it was a great crowd on hand for the first Cops and Cars show. I only wish I had a bit more time to cover the event and soak it all in, but you can be sure I will be making a point to have Cops and Cars on my schedule in the future! As always, keeps scrolling for more of my favorite shots of the day.
-photos and writing: Robert Sixto