Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Car shows: 2012 Gold Coast Concours/Bimmerstock

I've been going to car shows since my age was single-digits.  Whenever dozens, and sometimes hundreds of sports cars gather, I do my best to get there.  This past Sunday, I was more excited than usual.  I had never been to an exotic supercar show before, mainly because there are far fewer of them than traditional muscle car shows and partially because I don't know as many supercar owners as I do muscle car owners.  So, thanks to FerrariChat.com, I found out about this charity (benefitting diabetes research) supercar show in Glen Cove, New York months ago.

Now I had seen some pictures from the past few years, so I knew generally what to expect.  There would be hundreds of BMWs and a decent selection of Italian supercars.  What I didn't know was just how impressive the display of supercars would be.  Here is my day at Glen Cove: Sunday, September 9th, 2012.

I arrived from the Glen Street approach, meaning I would start on the BMW side of the show.  To be honest, I wasn't really interested in seeing a bunch of M3s with fancy rims.  If I want to see my share of high-end BMWs, I'll take a Saturday drive through any Bergen County, New Jersey road and I'll get my fill.  So I pretty much walked right past the Bimmer's and towards the supercars.

Here's what I saw.

Second Enzo of the day!

This used to be an active Ferrari 430 Challenge racer.

World's smallest production car: the Peel P50, as seen on Top Gear.

The very exclusive Lamborghini Gallardo "Super Trofeo Stradale."

Poor Lambos...

I still don't understand this car.

It says "Ford GT," but I'm pretty sure this is a GT40.


It was tough for me to narrow down the best pictures into the ones I posted here.  I also failed to get a picture of a McLaren SLR 722, Lamborghini Diablo and a bunch of 360 CS's.  That's how overwhelming the turnout was.  It's incredible to see this quantity of supercars in one place at one time.

There were many "firsts" for me at the show.  Even though it was wrapped in chrome, the Lamborghini Aventador was the first one I had seen outside of the New York Auto Show last April (by the way, it was literally 10 degrees hotter standing next to the Aventador because of the chrome finish).  The SLR was also the first I had seen in person, as was the Diablo and McLaren MP4-12C (there were two of them).  I had seen a pair of Ferrari 458's, but the black one marked the first Spider version that I'd seen.  The red 288 was also a first for me.

As far as my personal favorite looking supercar in attendance is concerned, I think I'd have to say it was the red Ferrari 458 Italia.  There were rarer, more expensive and more exotic cars there, but the 458 looks incredible, and it looks even better in person.  I wish I could have seen the Aventador minus the chrome, because I think that would have given the 458 a run for its money.  Obviously, having two Ferrari Enzo's in attedance was stunning, I always enjoy seeing the Ford GT and the McLaren MP4-12C is very attractive as well.

After a few hours of staring at supercars and picking up a few giveaways from various dealerships, I was in for one more surprise.  I went over to the owner of the red Enzo (who also owns the black 458 Spider and red 599 GTO), as he's my cousin's former boss, and asked him if I could sit in it.  He obliged, and pulled up the Lamborghini-esque driver's door and I climbed in.

After just a second or two, I noticed a few problems with the Enzo.  First of all, you're practically sitting on the ground when you're in it.  It's lower than any other car I've been in (even the 599 GTO that I also sat in a while back).  To make matters more complicated, the Enzo is very bulky.  The nose is long and there's a massive V12 engine sitting behind you, so that makes the interior quite...cozy.  Being that I'm 6'3", the Formula 1-style steering wheel tried to pull my legs off when I was seated and the racing seat is extremely uncomfortable.

None of that would stop me from buying one if I had the money, because after all, it's a Ferrari Enzo.  Other than maybe the McLaren F1 and the Enzo's oldest sibbling, the F40, there is nothing in the world that I'd rather own than the Enzo, car-wise.  It is one of the greatest cars ever built.  And I came to that conclusion before I was handed the keys to start it up.  The owner asked if I could "do him a favor" and start the engine so that the onlooking kids could hear it.

Eh, I could do that.  Of course, as Ferrari enthusiasts know, starting a Ferrari isn't as simple as turning a key.  I was given step-by-step instructions on how to fire it up, so I put my foot on the brake, turned the key all the way and held down the red "START" button until the 600+ horsepower V12 decided it was ready to roar.  And once that thing is ready to go, it delivers one of the greatest and loudest sounds you'll ever hear.  Hopefully someday I'll figure out how to get one of those things into first gear and drive one of them...

That was a thrilling end to a spectacular day for any gearhead.  If you have the time next September, I highly recommend driving out to Glen Cove.  It's worth it, unless you're from Pebble Beach or Miami, in which case you can step outside and see half of those cars on a daily basis.

Next up: D.A.R.E. supercar show in Saddle River, New Jersey: Sunday, September 16th, 2012.

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