The Paris Auto Show is one of those must-visit events for those of us charged with reporting on the latest and greatest new vehicles.
So many manufacturers now develop products for a world market so these early European shows often offer a glimpse of what’s coming next to our shores.
Here are five machines that caught my eye.
“This event has grown as a spectacle each year and is now the talk of the town among auto aficionados…”
Canada’s most valuable collection of supercars and luxury brands rolls into Vancouver’s VanDusen Botanical Garden this weekend.
The fifth Luxury and Supercar Weekend – September 6 and 7 – will again showcase the crème de la crème of cars and also dazzle with fashion and art on the Great Lawn. This event has grown as a spectacle each year and is now the talk of the town among auto aficionados.
The wide selection of luxury cars includes examples of Lamborghini, Pagani, McLaren, Bugatti, Ferrari, Jaguar, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin, BMW, Cadillac, Lincoln and Mustang.
This year’s Canadian Concours d’Elegance classes include 100th anniversary of Maserati, 50 years of Mustang, 50 years of Jensen, 50 years of Sunbeam Tigers, The British Invasion, American Supercars, Modified Luxury and Modified Supercars, Chromes and Fins, Off Road Luxury, 50 years of Chevelle and GTO, Italian Supercars, Restomod, and Pre-First World War (Brass Era).
Look out for the Pagani Huayra, which is powered by a 720-horsepower twin turbo engine, the fastest car to go around the BBC TV program Top Gear’s test track. Also worthy of a lingering look will be the P1 McLaren, one of only seven in Canada; a 2015 Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4, making its debut here; a 2014 Rolls Royce Ghost Majestic Horse Edition, a 2015 BMW i8, the new electric luxury car; and a 2015 Aston Martin V12 S Roadster, arriving directly from Pebble Beach for its Canadian debut.
Those with racing in their blood should enjoy the 2015 GT Speed, the fastest Bentley ever produced, very rare Weissach Porsche 917K, a Saleen S7R race car, a 1933 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS 6th Series, which is a winner of the Gold Cup at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy, a 1957 Maserati 200 Si once owned by Franco Cornacchia & Carroll Shelby and one of only 28 built. Also expected are a 1937 Bugatti type 57 and a 1964 revision Buick Riviera ‘Ridler Award Winner’.
It’s not all about cars though. A partnership with Oakridge Centre has produced a fashion pavilion which will stage six shows throughout the weekend – three each day. ‘Casual Elegance’ will be the focus of the first show of the day on the runway at 1 p.m. then ‘Seasonal Silhouettes’ at 2 p.m. and ‘Fashion Forward at 3 p.m.
More than 100 luxury retailers, including automotive, music, art, gourmet food suppliers, top Vancouver restaurants, champagne, wine and spirits companies, will be represented at the event. Other highlights include a James Bond Ultimate Entertainment Bungalow by Inform Interiors, EA Sports’ “Need for Speed” hospitality/gaming tent and a Ferrari Maserati Pavilion, featuring Hawksworth Restaurant.
Single day tickets are $50 and VIP tickets (19+), which include lunch and adult beverages, are $100 per person, per day. Visit http://luxurysupercar.com/p/ticket-information to purchase.
Bad things often happen to good cars in the movies.
Here are five that make car lovers squirm.
1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)
This scene is perhaps the most famous bit of classic car mayhem in all of moviedom. In it, the Ferrari is seen placed on jack stands running in reverse in a hilariously stupid attempt to remove the miles that had been put on the car during the day’s class-cutting good fun in Chicago. In a fit of frustration directed at his misplaced-priorities jerk of a father, Cameron Frye (Alan Ruck) accidentally kicks the car off the jack stands and it sails out of its glass enclosure into the woods below. Happily, as you’ll read with the Miura and the Aston below, it wasn’t a real California Spyder.
1970 Dodge Challenger (Vanishing Point)
The ’70 Dodge Challenger (one of about five used for the film) meets a fiery end when the protagonist of the film (played by Barry Newman) drives it into a bulldozer being used as a police road block.
1967 Lamborghini Miura P400 (The Italian Job)
The Miura is probably the most beautiful mid-engine sports cars of all time. And that’s what makes this scene so hard to watch. In the opening scene of the movie, mobsters destroy heist-plotter Roger Beckerman’s (Rossano Brazzi) Miura with a backhoe and push it over a cliff. A small consolation is the fact that an actual intact Miura wasn’t destroyed. Just body panels over an empty accident-bent chassis. Interestingly, when the producers went to clean up the mess the next day, the remains had disappeared. Neither the chassis tag nor any of the pieces have surfaced to this day.
1979 Porsche 930 (Caddyshack)
This scene is an object lesson as to why you should never park your car with the sunroof open within a half-mile radius of where alcohol is being served: Young Spalding Smails, suffering from a case of ‘affluenza’ combined with Johnny Walker, staggers up to Dr. Beeper’s parked 930 and empties the contents of his upper GI tract into the open sunroof. The squishy sound-effect of Beeper sliding into the seat never fails to make one cringe.
1979 Porsche 928 (Risky Business)
This scene reminds us all why we should use the hand brake. Those of us who are old enough to have seen this in theatres didn’t see this one coming: Tom Cruise is enjoying a night out with the typical Pretty Woman-like, non-drug addicted hooker (played by Rebecca de Mornay) of which Hollywood is so fond. Her handbag strap pulls the gear shifter into neutral as she’s exiting the car. It rolls down a hill heading toward Lake Michigan with Cruise on the hood in a futile attempt to arrest the forward motion of the 3,800-pound 928. It ultimately comes to a stop at the edge of a wooden pier. Just as Cruise breathes a sigh of relief and starts to make his way to the driver’s door, the entire pier collapses, taking Cruise and the car for a swim in the lake. Audiences everywhere gasped audibly. The scene at the dealership where the service manager enters the waiting rooms and asks, “Which one of you is the U-Boat commander?” is priceless.
Rob Sass is the vice-president of content for Hagerty Insurance. Hagerty is the world’s leading specialist provider of classic car and boat insurance. Learn more at hagerty.ca and you can email rsass [at] hagerty [dot] com
To some, Supercars are a gaudy form transportation. An arrogant display of wealth. To others, works of art…
The Supercar: It’s something anyone of any age can appreciate.
The design. The engineering. The way the engine and exhaust purrs – or roars – when you push on the throttle.
They are the culmination of the workmanship of talented individuals who dedicate their lives to crafting components that are then distributed globally. Now put more than 100 of these machines together (111 to be exact) and the appreciation factor goes up 110-fold. To some, Supercars are a gaudy form transportation. An arrogant display of wealth. To others, works of art.
But to the group who participated in the second annual Diamond Rally, it’s more than just a showcase of imported engineering or customization. It’s about a great cause. It’s for charity. I’m not going out on a limb when I say that car enthusiasts love to see amazing cars, regardless of context.
What’s more, it’s even cooler when a group of them travel together up one of the most incredible drives in the world: the Sea-to-Sky Highway. What started off last year with 42 cars quickly grew to three digits. Each entering car chose a charity to raise funds for.
As the day was ramping up, the Brian Jessel BMW dealership in Vancouver was overrun with vehicles ranging from a 1957 Ford Thunderbird (it was quite the car back in the day, and still is) to the Lamborghini Aventador. Along with Nissan GT-Rs, Maseratis, Porsches, Ferraris, and more. Even the brand new BMW i8, which had yet to be driven on Canadian soil, broke ground and was the lead car in the day’s event.
The route would take us along the spectacular Sea-to-Sky highway, with a stop in Squamish and then the main rendezvous in Whistler. Fellow motorists were pleasantly surprised when they spotted the exotics driving beside them on the world famous road.
The humble, all new, BMW M4. I say humble because I had nowhere near as much horsepower (this only generates 425) as some, or most, of my fellow drivers.
But what I did have was the “wow” factor. Clad in an extremely eye-catching Austin Yellow Metallic coat, she was quite the sight to see.
What made it even more special? It’s a 6-speed manual.
Unsuspecting admirers didn’t catch me overhearing their conversations including, “Dude, this one’s a stick. Awesome.”
Yes, some people actually talk like that.
Though it may not have garnered nearly as much attention as some of my fellow rallyers, it still brought smiles to people’s faces.
That’s what I think the event is all about.
So did the drive route.
Craig Stowe, Founder of the Diamond Rally and Canada’s own Luxury & Supercar Weekend mentions, “There is a new breed of supercar owners who are rallying together to individually raise awareness and money for the charity of their choice.”
He also comments that Vancouver is supercar crazy, and that there are more luxury and supercars per capita then any other city in North America .
“There is nothing like 111 spectacular cars rallying up the 99 highway to bring awareness to many worthy charities.
Visit Alexandra [dot] straub [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca” target=”_blank”>www.bmw.ca for more information on the 2015 M4 Coupe