Rise and Drive – July 2016

     The week leading to this Sunday’s meet, Rise and Drive hinted that it would be bit more Ferrari flavored, in light of the upcoming Ferraris on Oak street event.  Sadly, I will not be able to make it to Ferraris on Oak, so I was hoping to get a little taste at Collectors Car Garage this weekend.  While there weren’t nearly as many on display as there will be next weekend on Oak Street, there were some quality examples and, as always, the indoor concourse area was quite impressive.  We’ll start with the main display in CCG’s gorgeous facility, two vintage 60’s Ferrari’s flank a 575 in full race trim.  It is amazing to see the contrast between old black 330 and  blue 250 compared to the 575, which was produced about 35 years after.

      Perhaps it’s age that has mellowed the cars, but the 60’s Ferrari’s look so approachable, with flowing graceful lines, they are kind and gentle faces.  The 575, like many of the post 80’s Ferrari’s, have a much more aggressive and menacing look to them. Here we have the most extreme example of that, nothing is more aggressive and menacing than a car that has been fully race prepped, making the contrast even greater.  It’s like looking at a family portrait with proud elderly grandparents gently smiling as they flank their much younger grandson who spends much of his time at the gym, guzzling supplements and doling out overly aggressive high fives.

      Other treats awaited inside the garage, a Ford GT in full Gulf livery.  For anyone not in the know, the classic Gulf livery is the essence of cat nip for petrol geeks, sending them into a frenzy of fuzzy glee.  The GT’s stable mate for the day was a Lexus LF-A, another car that seems to be made purely to become an instant classic.  The third leg of the stable, the noble first generation Acura NSX, a car that has grown into it’s classic status and is enjoying an appreciation in value.  I found the trio quite fitting, as different as these cars may be on the surface, each one was the answer to the question; what’s the best damn car we can make?  They all answered the call in their own way, and they are all splendid for it.

     On the opposite side of the garage, there sat a little Porsche, respectfully out of the main limelight.  This Porsche Speedster is one of those cars that you see and recognize as a masterpiece.  It sits like a shimmering wet droplet of black paint, not just in it’s color but even it’s overall shape.  It is a study in “less is more”, and the beauty of stripped down simplicity.  Just looking at it, you know it would be impossible to drive without a satisfied grin on your face.  What a marvelous little car.

     Also in this corner of the garage, was parked a Berlinetta Boxer 512.  It was one of two on display at the meet, the other one parked outside.  It is telling when a car was never sold here, but finds it’s way here anyway; you know it’s special.  With a mid mounted flat 12 cylinder engine, and styling that would define the next generation of Ferrari’s, it is undeniably a special car.  It’s a good day in my book, when you see two immaculate examples in one place.

     The parking lot portion of the meet had plenty of interesting finds as well.  A full trio of first generation RX-7’s made an appearance, and all still powered by rotary engines.  The red one pictured below even had a 13b-rew swap, the bigger turbocharged variant of rotary that came in the third and final generation of RX-7.  This swap is not as straightforward as you might think, and seeing it done this cleanly is fairly impressive.  With such a light chassis, and at least 270hp on tap, I imagine the performance is quite impressive as well.

      Another sight in the lot that made an impression on me, was this rat rod parked next to a newer Ferrari 458.  I just love the combination of these two extremely different types of car side by side.  Some might bemoan the informal and somewhat scattered nature of the modern car meet, but I just love it for occasions like this that bring together completely different worlds.

     Also outside was a red Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4.  The new Lamborghini is a great looking car, and strikes such a naturally intimidation stance, an angry bull ready to charge as befitting the makers crest.  It has the credentials to back it’s intimidating looks as well, with just over 600 horsepower funneled into any and all four wheels.  It’s engine is perhaps one of the last of a dying breed, big naturally aspirated power, as most manufacturers, even in the super car realm have opted to lop off a few cylinders in favor of adding a turbo or two.

     It seems everyone loves the BMW E30, this 3 series born in the early 80’s has become the darling of automotive enthusiasts as of late.  Whether it be the accessible nature of the car, the tossable chassis, or just the heritage behind it, it really is the “it” car of the last couple of years.  On Sunday, not only was there an E30 present, but one in full racing livery.  Immaculate and incredibly well done, it was a sight to see.

    The often spotted Dream Squad made an appearance this weekend as well, with a collection of cars lining the garage entrance.  Each car in Dream Squad is adorned with unique vinyl patterns meant to emulate famous comic superheroes.  Cars like these turn heads and get attention, but as they represent rolling mortgages to many people, the attention is not always positive.  However, with the core goal of giving back and bringing cheer to sick children, the Dream Squad defies hasty judgement.  Success and wealth should not automatically bring about scorn, as Dream Squad reinforces, most people who do well, want to help others do well.  

     It was another satisfying Rise and Drive weekend at the Collector’s Car Garage, on a beautiful holiday weekend in Chicago, it doesn’t get much better than that.  There were quite a few cars that I saw at the June event, but I intended to focus on more of what was new this month.  With so much to see, it is hard to include everything, but below are a few more shots from the meet.  If you missed these past two, you are in luck, there is another meet next month, Sunday August 7th to be precise.  Come out, you won’t be disappointed!

-photos and writing: Robert Sixto 

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