Dream Cars

British Motoring Summer

Santiago Dream Cars, Event, Sports December 10, 2017

By Leila Russack

Goodwood Festival of Speed – Chichester

The girls are at it again, driving the miles into our F-types at speed along the A3 for the Goodwood Festival of Speed weekend in Chichester. Our just-in-case packing didn’t have quite enough chiffon, but no matter, we brought enough Champagne. I wore McLaren orange and my girlfriend wore her signature linen white. Both of us in reasonably sensible shoes, as we were warned, there is a lot of walking, and I was promised a chance for the Hill Climb.

Hay bales and burning rubber is the perfume of the British motoring season, and in this beautiful English Summer, it is welcomed and divine. My friend sneezes, “Where are those ear plugs?” We swap tissues and squishy latex and take a spot by the grid. The crowd watches Andrew Jordan tickle his right foot in a silver Eagle Speedster Low Drag GT, grabbing it into the first corner, smoke billowing into the trees. A Jaguar pouncing through the mist.

Add five or six decades of design and technology and we are at the Jaguar F-types which we know and love at the JLR pavilion. Geoff escorts us to the VIP section and gives us over to the ruthless Rosco. The former F1 driver swings me about the drift track, screaming and laughing, my hair flying everywhere. “We’ve got to learn how to do this!” Shredding tyres at a rate of 60 per day, we thank the designer for the holding bar on the passenger side console.

The Noble M600 on display at the Michelin stand had the sexiest roaring revs and the loudest crackle I’ve ever heard, we really needed the earplugs for the demonstration after all. “What I’d do to touch that peddle in there!” Noble are making one of the last manual transmissions in modern cars, which makes me love it more. Peter Dyson offers us a sit in the red metal wonder, and we dream a little dream. “Now this is a real car!” You can hear it a mile away and it really is the stand out of the modern cars at the festival.

That brings me to my main question-slash-gripe. How is it that McLaren don’t do a stick shift? They made a Lego 720S, but they retail automatics and I abhor paddle shifts. They get in the way of the steering wheel! My word, though, is the 1967 Can-Am a beauty on the Goodwood track? Bruce McLaren lost his life on the Goodwood track at Woodcote in 1970 testing the M8D. The 650S is modelled with the Can-Ams in mind. I just wish they’d put a stick shift in instead of those pesky paddles. Nevertheless, we adored the 570s and 720Ss on the hill-climb, and the new paint colours pretty much sealed the deal for my girlfriend.

Mercedes gave us a spark with the Turbo green GT machine. Andre d’Cruze, a charismatic stunt driver for films like adrenaline-filled Rush, tells us the reason he calls it, The Beast. “The AMG GTR certainly keeps you focussed past the flint wall. The gear changes are aggressive and the brakes pin you to the belts!” My friend congratulates Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi with his new plastic playtoy Pininfarina V8 creation, the 600 brake horsepower EF7. On our way to get another coffee from the McLaren marquee, we meet Rene Arnoux at Gerry Judahs iconic FOS central feature. Rene raced the canary yellow 1977 Renault RS01 and what a vision he is in his racing overalls, my favourite you know.

We retire to what we thought would be dining heaven and bump into Tiff Needel, who is already sawing through a loosely abbreviated steak. “More wine!” He insists, I concur, “How dare they serve this to a legend!” The Goodwood Hotel has a novice on the crepes stand outside, which is intermittently on fire in a safety-hazard way, and it takes a good half an hour to squash and serve anything to us. “No one here had an interview!” We opt for the Crown Inn in Chiddingfold for our subsequent square meals as there is nothing worse than bad steak and malnutrition. Tiff MCs at the Sponsors ball at Goodwood House, and he sincerely advises us to party-crash. “We’re too sophisticated to do that, Tiff!” But it does remind us to get our outfits and tickets organised for the GP Ball.

Grand Prix Ball – Hurlingham Club

We are both fitted in floor-length Herve Leger and sparkling Alice McCall at the Hurlingham Club on the red carpet studded with a bold BAC Mono, the new company who won one of the Hillclimb time trials at Goodwood, an electric-blue McLaren and midnight berry Weismann. We take care with every step in Valentinos as we are invited to the grounds for the Formula One display. Clayton Kingman of Twitter to Track infamy drives through. He peels off the racing onesie like James Bond in black-tie and lace-up driving shoes. “Don’t let me fall on your Hesketh!” I jibe at Clayton, holding my waist. “Heels are not meant
for the lawn.”

We find ourselves privy to the charms of two Scotsmen fit in kilts, recanting any lewd comments about their National Pride. They are sponsors of the event, and after a photo opportunity, they take us to meet their friend Pierre Gasly at the only glass doors that don’t have a pile of broken Champagne glasses, however, it’s precisely where we have the Diors knocked from our clutch by the host. A guest recognises our eye rolls and and shakes his head.

Tiff shushes the crowd with the guest mic, and comes forth for safety, “Are you two the only girls without an Instagram sponsor?” There is, my friend concurs, a remarkable lack of couture at this Ball. “Balls are hit and miss these days,” we overhear an aficionado. “We should have snuck in some real Champagne,” whispers another. Those half-bottles of Dauby would be perfect, we joke. We were outbid on the access-all-areas F1 International experience and the Beatles Swimming photograph. All proceeds of the auction went to the Wings for Life charity, which really reminded us that we shouldn’t be quibbling about the Prosecco, because some people in the world make no excuses to make the most of often dire situations. No one was discussing aerodynamics or brake horsepower by the end of the evening, we were dancing to The Gypsy Kings with the kilted set and other fun sponsors.

British Grand Prix – Silverstone

Our drive to Silverstone on Sunday at 7am pre-empted heavy traffic on the M40 and not enough parking, and with barely a BMW in sight, my friend said I was being a little Speedy Gonzales. I’m not the Latino of us, but I certainly enjoy the sixth gear in sports mode, who doesn’t? Especially on that amazing curve at High Wycombe. The first race of the day was the early starting Formula Two. We gathered with the team supporting Oliver Rowland at the Luffield stand. Unfortunately he was penalised three places for passing up into third place at the grid. “But how can you help yourself in a thing like that?!” His PR
manager laughs. “True!”

Over 20 identical Porche 911 GT3 Cup cars compete in the Round 5 2017 Porsche Super Cup. We see them race around Brooklands, Luffield and Woodcote from the British Racing Drivers Club. In good company with nice Champagne, we lunch on oysters and smoked salmon before heading back up to the terrace for the Formula One. “What a view!” The roar of the engines is so loud. My friend reads the quote across the track. “Sebastian Vettel You Naughty Boy!”

We witnessed Lewis Hamilton’s fifth British Grand Prix win in the second last year of Silverstone hosting. Hamilton ticked the racing history checkbox with local legends like Jim Clarke and Alain Prost with his win. The energy bubbled from the track and into our Champagne flutes, we were excited as we were whipped up from the BRDC to the Paddock Podium for the Flying Scot Sir Jackie Stewart and his wife Helen’s presentation of the trophies for the ecstatic confetti-fledged UK win and the melodramatically sullen Finns placing second and third. Kimi Raikkonen tipped the magnum up, drinking straight from the bottle like a true Finn, and Valtteri Bottas fizzed it up, partying Hamilton-style shaking it at the media. However, the two Finns waited for the crowd-surfing Brit, who was back long after we ran through the pits, finding shelter from the rain in the Red Bull bar.

The Bridge

Santiago Dream Cars December 10, 2017

By Reyna Rosenhein | Proud owner of a 1997 DB-7 Aston martin convertible in midnight blue with white piping, just like James Bond!

 

 

The Hamptons in summer is New York City’s destination for fun. Parties, friends, family, incredible homes, and all sorts of sports, from polo at the Southampton Hunt and Polo Club to kite-surfing in Montauk – the Hamptons has something for everyone. My favourite month “out east,” as New Yorkers refer to the Hamptons, is September. The ocean is at its warmest, the crowds are slightly dispersed and the weekends are filled with interesting cultural events.

In this environment, it is hard to stand out, but somehow THE BRIDGE managed to be one of the top events of the summer, which is an impressive feat in only its sophomore year.

Located on the modern golf club in Bridgehampton, which was once the Bridgehampton racecourse, more than 100 post-war sports vehicles, classics and modern supercars from around the world were on display. The immense beauty of all these colorful cars, against the open golf course and the blue skies made it easy to imagine what a race day must have been like on that very spot. A number of classic and exotic cars set the tone for the day, creating excitement and buzz: the 1968 Chevrolet Corvette L88, the 1957 Jaguar XKSS, a favorite of Steve McQueen, the 1973 signal yellow Porsche 911E, in its original splendor, the 1980 BMW M1, designed by the renowned Giorgetto Guigiaro, and the 1977 Lamborghini Countach LP400 with a periscope as a rear view mirror.

The event also featured prominent art galleries, such as the Marlborough Contemporary Gallery and the David Kordansky Gallery. Burgess Yachts had a stand and Richard Mille watches were prominently on display. The yachts, watches and art were for sale. The cars, sadly, were not.

The first series of cars on display on arrival, past the helicopter parked on the front lawn, was the most impressive and colorful line up of Porsches I have ever seen. There were so many magnificent vehicles that it was hard to decide where to begin. The cars were presented across all 18 holes of the golf course, a stunning backdrop for these exquisite feats of engineering and beauty. Two of my personal favourites came courtesy of the Classic Car Club in NYC – the 1964 Lincoln Continental and the 2017 McLaren 570s.

As we walked the course, admiring the multitude of cars, a mixture of old and new, right and left-handed drives, and every color under the sun, there was also no shortage of food and drink – and even cigars – o keep us energized for our stroll through car heaven. Food stations from some of the finest restaurants throughout New York provided delicacies so we could walk and nibble. Also on offer was the simplicity of popsicles and various sweets. My favourite stand had a Peruvian-meets-Asian twist, spicy and delicious. The fish and chips and the oyster bar were a close second and third respectively.

The original racetrack was built in 1957, and Bob Rubin (an avid car collector who bought the property in 1992) turned it into a golf course, keeping the most important part of the circuit intact. He added checkerboard flags to mark each of the 18 holes as a constant reminder of the heritage of this incredible property and perfect setting to showcase these immaculate vehicles. The main focus was on cars built between 1957 and 1974 that would have qualified to race on the Bridgehampton circuit in its heyday.

Some of the cars met the original track’s racing standards, such as the uber-rare 1990 Porsche 964 lightweight, the 1957 Porsche 356 Speedster, and my personal favourite, the 1955 Ferrari 121 LM Spider. Many of the cars – although ineligible to race – were included simply because they were incredibly cool. There was even a baby blue Ford GT with white polka dots which exactly matched my dress. And at certain set times throughout the day, some of the most powerful engines in history were started up so we could all hear them purr.

 

The whole day was worth it when I saw the look of pride and admiration on my father’s face when he saw the exact MG-MGA in racing green with tan interior (albeit with different rims, as he was fast to point out), that he bought as his first car, then later sold to buy his first property.

Each and every guest I met were happy to share a story, memory or dream about one or many of the cars. Listening to my father and others talk to strangers and friends alike about what the different cars meant to them was enlightening, often amusing, and mostly just fun.

There are very few universal loves in our divided world. A love of beautiful cars is one that unifies people of all ages and backgrounds. I saw people from all ends of the earth sharing their love and admiration for these amazing vehicles. There were super sexy ladies taking selfies with the cars; there were petrol-heads looking under hoods; there were knowledgeable car collectors educating the rest of us; and there were simple admirers like myself imagining how it would feel to race one
of these beauties.

It was a perfect day to spend with my father and our friends, an excuse to wear a pretty 1950s-style dress, meet new interesting people and share in the joy of all that beauty and power combined, as fast cars are tied up in the best elements of the American Dream. It was an event filled with wonder and simple pleasures. As the sun was setting, and the band was playing, and we were finally sure we had seen every car on the course, I thought to myself that we must certainly return next year. I am already planning my wardrobe – possibly something in Ferrari red.

This event would not have been possible without all the hard work and dedication of the founders, Robert Rudin, Shamin Abas and Jeffrey Einhorn, whose combined passion for collecting cars convinced all the owners to allow the rest of us to revel in their prized possessions. They put together the finest collection of antique and modern race cars that I have ever seen – and I have seen a lot.

SALON PRIVE BLENHEIM PALACE, OXFORD

Santiago Dream Cars December 2, 2016

img_0731

By Leila Russack

Late Saturday morning, a bramble of young classic car and modern motoring enthusiasts took to the road from Richmond, Surrey in a high-speed convoy to Winston Churchill’s manicured former residence, Blenheim Palace. While grey clouds loomed above like the slow traffic below on the M40, a tourmaline 1981 Aston Martin V8 Oscar India, a purist white MY15 Jaguar F-Type V6 S, an imported rare manual MY16 F-type V6 and a brand new Land Rover (for good measure) took every opportunity to stretch the miles per hour in their prowl towards Salon Prive.

 img_0717

As soon as the low riding vintage Aston was parked on the green, the ladies swapped their driving feet for heels and took to the VIP Hospitality Entrance, umbrellas in tow, ready for the rain. Those who didn’t enter the event enjoyed watching the stunning menagerie of cars turning up, snapping shots with the day’s perfect stormy lighting.Beyond the box tapestry gardens and lawn, a concourse of mighty stealth, design class and vision awaited us. The lineup was over 50 vehicles in the innovation and bespoke league of Koenigsegg, the racing pedigree of McLaren, the modern must-have Lamborghini, vintage Ferraris, Porches, Jaguars and Bentleys, and, much to our excitement, the Jaguar’s new Project 7. All set against the backdrop of Blenheim Palace, famous for more than just a parking lot for Winston’s Daimler Dropheads.

Yellows of canary and real gold, reds of seduction, velvet and lipstick, blues for boys and girls. Greys for discretion and greens for professionals. Racing stripes and badges from decades of supercar manufacturing. The details excite as they are emblems of the horsepower and history these cars hold. Those who drive them, love them, make them, and of course, race them.

Peckish after the long drive, we took shelter in one of the Dining Pavilions for some late lunch. After the main dish was served, my Brazilian friend insisted we not be rabbits with left-over salad and buffalo mozzarella. She insisted the catering staff find us a special meal, something that reflects the price of entry, a cool £300 each. Soon enough, after some laughs, the waitress brought us a family of lobsters, and Champagne of course. We laughed and ate before heading back to the lawn, umbrellas protecting us from the typically English drizzle.

img_0693An old tale tells of a coupe being remodelled into a roadster in aide of fainting ladies. One young man comments on the lack of adequate sealing to avoid water leaking into these old cars. Another collector sits in his 1961 Bentley S2 Drophead coupe, engine running to keep him warm. Discreet chattering is heard about how many millions of pounds each of these rare cars are worth. Whilst showroom vehicles drop value as soon as they are driven, these classics continue to hold and gain value.

A cold chill catches us in our cocktail dresses during a selfie capture at the Ferrari 330GTC. We admire the lust-worthy Aston Martin DB11 V12 and quickly find cover at the Universal Classic Cars pavilion. At their sophisticated Salon Prive hut, we are offered more Champagne, how can we say no? The youngsters talk supercar mechanics and high specification detailing, while I can’t help but notice one of UCC’s neon Porsche Carrera RS sitting like sunshine in the rain.

After such an exhilarating day, we are hungry again, time for dinner! The Crazy Bear in Bear Lane, Stadhampton lured us in with its Medieval setting and farm fresh food. Recommended was the pan-fried fois gras, a texture entirely new to me, divine and wholesome. We had fillet steak and creamy risotto with lobster, delicious delights.

Our slew of cars rode back along the M40 towards William the Conqueror’s 11th Century residence, Windsor Castle, Berkshire SL3. The Aston among us soon lost fuel with its full throttle V8, each of us racing the other down the motorway. We eventually found the entrance to the sparsely signed Castle grounds. What an incredible sight. Our beautiful vehicles were parked among common spectators,’ Toyotas and Skodas, but what can you expect when more valuable parking closer to the Castle is upwards of 5000 pounds?

We opened some purpose-chilled, half-bottles of exclusive Dauby Champagne, preferring the dry complexity to the usual event sponsors’ sweeter choices. In a constant sling of jibes and laughter, we posed with our cars before strolling up to the Classic Car Club and tree-lined
Long Walk.

img_0752After all these tipsy questions were partially answered, we ate BBQ for lunch at the burned out car and drank more Champagne at the RM Sotheby’s stand. A metallic strawberry 1957 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Roadster caught my eye, matching perfectly with my patent Diorama and manicure. At a chilling million pounds to be auctioned on the 7th of September with RM Sothebys, why barter? The perfect ladies’
vintage vehicle.

We found a 1926 Grand Prix car, a Frank Halford Special that completed 82 laps of the circuit. It held a special place in my heart, as my Grandfather drove under the name Allan Marshall with the number 26 on the Jeep Special he built. Memories flooded back of watching races in the late 80s. His car is now owned by a driver collector of the Vintage Speedway Association in Australia. These cars are not legal to race due to the safety requirements of professional racing.

If we weren’t already amazed by the concourse leading to the Castle, sixty of the world’s rarest cars gleamed in the Castle’s Quadrangle lawn, leaving us all in awe. I spot a 1953 Jaguar XK120 Ghia Supersonic, a kissed raspberry red coupe ready for a dream drive around the country roads. We could certainly put some miles into its odometer at 22,000kms! A Lalique crystal Cockerel head is perched upon the radiator of the deep magenta 1928 Mercedes 630 Saoutchik Stadt Coupe, which would fit us all in for a top-hatted run for Champagne and ice-cream.

By the time it was over, there were already so many people we would drive in the rain with for the next luxury motoring event. The Concourse of Elegance at Salon Prive Blenheim Palace and at Windsor Castle are the ideal events to have entry-level enthusiasts and professionals mixing with keen collectors and buyers. Tips for newcomers: arrive early at Salon for your lobster! Best weekend in a long time, thank you to all involved!

Ad