Being in Boston for Larz Anderson’s British Car Day I couldn’t resist making the pilgrimage to the event, despite having sold my Land Rover years ago.
Conveniently I was able to convince Matt Weaver of Bootleg Racing to give me a lift in his Cooper S provided that I paid his registration fee and brought the beeahs.
The event would be a good chance for Matt to gain some exposure for his car- the Cooper is currently being prepared for Auto-X and RallyCross events and he’s gathering sponsors to make it all happen.
And of course, the event would be an even better chance for me to sit under my car show awning, crush PBRs in the middle of the world’s prettiest parking lot and nerd out on cars for four hours.
So, solid weekend.
We managed to pack all my tailgating gear into the aptly-named MINI and get ourselves in the front seats for the journey across Boston in 100-degree heat. My new roommate Abby was wedged in the back, and had been surprisingly willing to to take part in this despite being both apathetic about cars and a woman.
Once we reached the park we nabbed a spot square in the middle of the lower show field and I proceeded to build our encampment.
No matter how many car shows I go to, I’m always surprised I’m one of the only exhibitors who brings his own shade and comestibles.
It’s not like there’s a shortage of space at these things… why get sunburned and eat the park’s gnarly $9 hot dogs? Anyway, seeing as I’m about thirty years younger than your average auto show exhibitor I don’t think their habits are going to change anytime soon. I expect I’ll continue to see old farts toddling over and making the same goofy “in my day we didn’t have coolers” comments for the rest of my car show career. Ha, these events are always crawling with characters as wacky as the V8-swapped TR6’S or single-seat XK150’s they roll up in.
Check out some photos of the beautiful iron in attendance this year, courtesy of Abby and her fancy Nikon DSLR.
August 8th, 2010 was this years “Tutto Italiano” (Italian Car Day) at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum.
And after having our FIAT held hostage by our mechanic for two months, my father and I were pretty excited to clean it up and park it between some other showpieces.
Other highlights of the field included Alfa Romeo GTVs, a Ferrari 512BB, and some very cool vintage motorcycles.
Naturally we bumped into our mechanic Nino, who was decked-out in Ferrari regalia. He had ridden his Vespa to the show all the way from Gloucester… following his friend in a Ferrari Testarossa. Like, for real.
If you didn’t make it out to Brookline this year, get your s**t together, gas up your Vespa and get that out there for 2011.
As usual, there was a Ferrari on a lift… so we could see the glorious underbody. Smoother than a baby’s butt.
Even the visitor parking lot was stacked with exotics… museum staff had another impromptu car show on their hands.
Too lazy to read? Check out the video/slide show:
Lamenting my absence at British Car Day this year, I was determined to attend the next lawn event at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum despite the fact that all two of my remaining local friends were otherwise engaged.
It took awhile to maneuver through the crowd, as I kept getting stopped by show-goers who wanted to know more about the car I was driving.
“Yes, it’s an original Honda Odyssey. It’s got the optional sunroof, no big deal.”
Ironically my mum’s ratty minivan did stand out a bit in the parking spot I finally found- between a Ferrari 360 and Bentley Arnage.
The show itself benefited from having many more exhibitors as last year’s- probably twice as many, in fact. I think that can mostly be attributed to the weather, as last year’s show took place in rain.
German Car Day tends to attract the largest group of uninteresting vehicles, as anybody with a 3-Series or E-Class (which is everybody in Brookline) decides to “exhibit” since the cost is less than admission if you have more than one person in your car.
This year, however, I am pleased to report that the stock E36’s stayed away for the most part, and the field was full of interesting specimens including many race-tuned 911’s, a few 300SL Mercs, more Opel GT’s than I thought existed, and even a BMW M1.
You know what a 911 looks like, so I won’t waste your time with pictures of the fifty I saw. Instead, I’ll show you the special cars I saw that most non-dorks wouldn’t appreciate.
This 80’s Mercedes-Benz is the not only the predecessor to the E-Class, but was/is the roadgoing version of Merc’s foray into the DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft, “German Touring Car Championship” in English). With an engine worked by British tuning company Cosworth, these things are pretty rare and some of the few Mercedes in America you can find with a five-speed manual gearbox.
I don’t care much for Audis in general, but this Quattro Coupe is one seriously cool car. Brutally 80’s in design (check out that giant Audi logo on the door), like many of my favorites, but a really original performance car to be driving today. I give the owner of this one a lot of respect for keeping it in such fantastic condition.
The only times I’ve ever seen BMW M1s have been at car shows. Talk about rare. Another so-80’s-it-hurts piece of work, but serious performance icon and probably as fun to look at as it is to drive. Interior, unfortunately, is one of the lamest ever.
The dudes over at Total BMW Magazine cream their pants over these- it’s an old E28 BMW M5 tuned by a company called Alpina. TBMW always has limp-wristed adjectives in its captions like “rapid” and “dashing.” …I’ll spare you the British verbiage, but this car is pretty damn cool and probably one of the only examples of its kind in the U.S.
My girlfriend tells me that seeing another woman at a social gathering with the same dress is a major buzzkill (her words)… so imagine dropping $150,000 on a fresh Audi and seeing two other dudes with the same idea. The R8 doesn’t even look like a car… but it’s hard to say no to all that carbon fiber.
Other than that, German Car Day attracted the usual flock of German-car driving douches- I saw one guy jump out of a black Carrera with some seriously tight pants and a pony tail. And whether he was fresh from Europe or fresh out of a time machine from 1991 I really don’t care… I didn’t like him.
Next lawn event is the much-anticipated Italian Car Day… where we’ll be exhibiting our FIAT in its newly-restored glory, if we ever get it back from the mechanic.
If anyone was hoping to read about my Land Rover’s journey to Arizona and back, or about anything new at all over the last five weeks, I’m sorry to have disappointed you.
Sadly, the great destroyers of all poorly planned expeditions; time and money, dropped their ugly axe of practicality and forced me to make the 6,000 mile journey like a normal person. In an airplane.
No sooner do I clear my head of recycled aircraft-cabin oxygen then I find myself at one of my favorite annual auto shows in the Boston area; Italian Car Day at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum.
Yes, I’ve mentioned this place before.
My Land Rover and I had been there about two months ago for British Car Day (are you seeing a pattern here?)
This time it was my father’s chance to exhibit. He brought his 1979 FIAT Spider 2000, which has as much time between waxing treatments as Gertrude Stein. But on this day it was slippery as a well-lubed cow inseminating glove, and actually looked pretty decent as long as you didn’t get less than ten feet away.
We were one of the first vehicles to arrive. My 5:20 AM landing time prompted us to get going sooner then usual. But by around 10:30 the field was well packed with lovely cars and motorcycles from the land of pasta and moonlit dinners featuring a guy with a striped shirt playing the accordion. Or is that France?
Ducati had a setup with several bikes available for test rides. Unfortunately I didn’t have my helmet with me, so that was an attraction I was forced to forgo.
The vintage Ferraris are always exciting to look at, and the museum even had one of those Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione on display. Of course I had already checked it out in Geneva a few months ago, but it was cool to see one of the 99 here in the States.
If you’re hoping one of those 99 can be yours, MSRP is just shy of $300,000. You might be better off buying ten Honda S2000s.
By the time we were ready to leave a few other FIATs had joined us, including some Spiders. We may have had more rust on ours then all the others combined… but we had more character too. Or something.
Overall the show was great. Lots of beautiful machines you don’t see everyday, fair weather and a fun atmosphere. I read on somewhere else on the internet that people were complaining about the quality of the sausages… but I say if you pay $6 for a microwaved cow dick you deserve what you get.
Maybe by next year the restoration fairy will have visited our garage and turned our Spider into a show piece… or the judges will forget their glasses.