Photo Album: Luxury Supercar & Concours d’Elegance Weekend – Vancouver 2012

September 11, 2012

This past weekend (Sept. 8th and 9th) marked the third annual Luxury Supercar & Concours d’Elegance Weekend, held on the grounds of the beautiful Van Dusen Gardens in the Shaughnessy region of Vancouver, British Columbia.

The size of the show this year nearly doubled in comparison to the previous year and, it must be said, the thought given towards the layout, open-space and ambiance of the swooping lawns of Van Dusen in displaying these vehicular beauties was an appreciated improvement over any other car-show I’ve ever attended at the historical garden. Well done, organizer(s)… 😉

For this year’s event, special attention was given towards celebrating certain themes. Among those were: 50 years of James Bond cars, Classic Supercars, the 60th Anniversary of Porsche in North America, 50 years of Shelby cars, Mercedes-Benz roadsters, classic Italian motorbikes and (almost) 100 years of Aston Martin.

The weekend culminated with the Shaughnessy Concours d’Elegance, awarding trophies on Sunday to the Best In Class. And Sunday was my chosen day for attending the event, seeing as how the Saturday was absolutely jam-packed with loads of people at the event during one of our last days of blistering Summer-y sunshine before Autumn announces its arrival.

This turned out to be a smart decision on my part, as Sunday was forecasted with overcast skies and a noticeable cooling in temperatures. Less people and less sunshine = a more comfortable and relaxed viewing (and photographical) experience all around.

Some notable cars in attendance were the new 2013 Aston Martin Vanquish, the 1933 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 by Figoni, the 1951 Ferrari 212 Export Vignale Coupe (stunning), the return of the 1967 Toyota 2000GT (the only one in Canada), the Ferrari F40 and Enzo supercar, the wide assortment of Lamborghinis both old and new, the army of Shelby Mustangs, the 4 (or was it 5 ?) McLaren MP4-12C’s in varying trim and colour packages, the Mercedes/Mclaren SLR 722, the Spyker C8, the 1947 Humber Sedanca D’Ville (owned by King George VI)… and so on…

It goes without saying that this was one of, if not THE, most extraordinary vehicular event this fair, west-coast city has ever laid host to… So without further ado, let’s allow the photos to illustrate the extravagance and automotive rarities that were bestowed upon our region for one fine weekend in September… Hope you enjoy the photos.

-Words and Photography: Blake J.

Mini: Making A Van – Finally..!

January 3, 2012

When glancing back at all of the Mini derivatives and show/concept cars that have cropped up over the last 8 years or so, it seems almost ludicrous that a Mini Cargo Van hasn’t entered into the list of appetite-whetting possibilities until now. Yet it seems that, finally, ze Germans have decided that now is that time…

The Mini has been here before...

The scene will be the Geneva Show in March and German Automotive sources (helps if you know a smidge of German) are predicting a 2-seater Clubman with the rear seats and other assorted gubbins taken out with the rear side-windows replaced, appropriately, with sheet metal.

...and it worked brilliantly back then.

It goes without saying that this Mini Cargo will be aimed at the hip commercial vehicle sector and to those that might want a new slice of the old – as the above pictures show, this isn’t the first time the Mini has been down this road. Should be interesting, nontheless… just as long as they refrain from chucking 19″ wheels on it and making it ‘sporty’.

$20 says they will.

Next up for Mini – the Mini pick-up…! (C’mon, you know you want one…)

-Blake J.

SEMA 2011: Final Highlights and Awards

November 4, 2011

The 2011 SEMA Motoring and Tuning Show in Las Vegas winds down today so the obligatory Awards Ceremony took place in awarding the ‘Hottest’ of the hot from the major manufacturers. Ladies and Gentlemen, put your hands together for the…

Hottest Car: Chevrolet Camaro

You're hot.

Hottest Sport-Compact: FIAT 500

Hot car, hot temperature, fold back roof to reveal hot people.

Hottest 4×4-SUV: Jeep Wrangler

Hot air.

Hottest Truck: Ford F-Series

Hot stance.

In other SEMA eye-candy news…

The hard-working lads at SpeedHunters provide us with a sampling of the variously tasty Japanese cars on display along with a full rundown (no pun intended) of the Racing Cars that were scattered about.

Will be there in a jiffy when things get... hot.

The folks at AutoBlog spotted a couple of over-zealous Fire Truck creations by way of this 1944 Mack Firetruck fitted with a Viper V10 (above) along with this Matchbox Ford F-350 Super Duty by Superlift Suspensions (below). Plus, they also had a gander at the impressive Ring Brothers 1970 Camaro ‘Diversion’ adorned with beautiful details and stuffed with a 650 bhp LS7 lump.

I've come to save you from the... heat.

See you next year at SEMA 2012..!

-Blake J.

SEMA 2011: Highlights from Day 2

November 3, 2011

Two days have now passed under the belt of the 2011 SEMA show – here’s your exclusive AutoInjected rundown…

Vintage Mercedes-Benz 280SE 'restored' with an AMG atomic-bomb under the hood.

Mechatronik is a German company founded 15 years ago by an ex-AMG Mercedes engineer and Car and Driver stopped by their stand to have a glance at their intriguing old-meets-new restorations.


Laying some frame at SEMA - photo by Speed Hunters

The folks at AutoBlog pored over a cool and scrappy 1952 Chevrolet with 430 bhp of 6.2L/V8 GM firepower and also had a gander at the familiar 3-wheeled ‘SuperTrike’ Invader TC-3 from Tanom Motors, which sounds (and looks!) like a city-car designed for The Terminator himself… They also spotted this unique 2011 Mustang clothed in ’68/’69 body panels.

Another oldie with 'updated' internals - '52 Chevrolet here

The fellas at Edmunds InsideLine managed to trace down their Top-10 SpokesModels of SEMA, and of course… the standard ‘slutty schoolgirl’ makes an appearance. They also managed to film a quick video rundown of the upcoming V8-endowed Hyundai RM500 Genesis Coupe.

Uh sir.... there's a time and a place for... uhm

Finally, the Luxury Vehicle twist to the show was amply captured in fine, photographic style by the SpeedHunters crew along with their own spotlight on the barrage of Rods, Lowriders and Customs and some Manufacturer’s OEM displays.

Audi A8 on Airlift and flashy Rotiforms

Very cool 1986 Subaru XT Turbo..! Photo by SpeedHunters, obviously.

By a whisker... what happens when it actually moves though..?

Classic BMW E30 M3... with an LS3 Corvette engine.

A rather Slammed Caddy... Didn't the Jetsons float about in something quite similar to this..?

More tomorrow folks..!

-Blake J.

Luxury & Supercar Weekend @ VanDusen Gardens – A.I. was there

September 13, 2011

Friday early-morning Press day. The first image that greeted me.

My petrolheaded brain is up-in-arms right now – too much ‘really badly want’ and ‘wish I could afford’-like longings have temporarily clogged my ability to think straight and perform basically normal, human-being functions over the last 48 hours – like buying groceries, for example. Sleep has even been uprooted and disturbed… what the heck.

McLaren MP4-12C in the mid-morning light

Then again, if I had known that I was going to be shown this diversely opulent gathering of the finest motorcars ever constructed on a beautifully sunny September afternooon just up the street (!) from my very home, *breathe* then I’d have properly prepared myself for the inevitable  fallout of flashbacks and middle-of-the-night-for-no-reason wake-ups lending to the ruination of my ABC’s and 123’s…

Plus, it probably didn’t help matters either when endlessly sorting/editing through the 300+ photos I captured…. In short, I have become a gibbering, flat-plane crank’d, twin-carbed, gull-winged nuisance. My eyes have seen things that can never be unseen – thank heavens!

Lovely Peugeot Special Sport

This was the 3rd installation of the Luxury & Supercar weekend; the inaugeral event being held at the Plaza of Nations (old Expo site) in Downtown Vancouver back in 2009 with the 2010 event travelling to Seoul, Korea. Now back in Vancouver for the city’s 125th birthday and from what I’ve overheard, it will most-likely become an annual event. This is good… very good.

I’ve taken part-in and attended many many car shows out here over the years of my life, yet never have I witnessed such a level of unbelievable excellence, rarity, detailed beauty, diversity and charm. This was Vancouver’s entry, somewhat, into the world-class Concours realm a-la Pebble Beach, Villa d-Este in Italy and Salon Prive in London… Not quite up to those levels of sheer dominance in world-class exquisiteness and mouth-watering rarity just yet (we didn’t exactly have 7 1960’s Ferrari GTO’s lining the western lawn), but a mighty fine start to say the least. Surely, the roster of rarities for upcoming year’s event will only improve.

Maserati MC-12, officially waking me up

The event itself began on early Friday morning for me as that was the posted ‘Press Day’ for journo hacks and TV-crews to come and take advantage of the laid-back (and always calming) early-morning surroundings of VanDusen while various work teams set-up tents, built benches and erected fences. Of immediate notice was the truly gargantuan ‘Mercedes World’ Pavilion/tent… no, wait…. open-aired lounge… placed smack-dab in the middle of the upper-lawn that work crews were placing final touches on before the army of all-white leather-and-chrome couches, stools, coffee-tables, bars, chaise longues and plants arrived. Overheard during my strolling about was the truly eye-watering figure of $130,000 – something to do with rental costs for mega-posh, rubber tents – Deary me.

Goes well with a morning cup 'o coffee

The local Ferrari dealership managed to perk-up my morning gazes amidst the freshly-cut, dew-y lawn by wheeling-in one of the 50 Maserati MC-12’s in existense (1 of 2 residing in Canada) and McLaren was looking as precision-perfect as you’d expect with their MP4-12C planted on a flat-black show deck.

Looking aggressively taut and almost alien-like with its (expensive) satin, burnt-orange paint inviting glimpses of the morning sun, the glowing curves of this controversial new car made it near impossible to ignore. It was serenity in nature mixing it with near-robotical levels of controlled, precisional dominance.  Make no mistake, the MP4-12C is a thing of subtle, yet recognizable beauty… but it’s in the evolving details (and the car’s still-evolving driving dynamics) where most keenly-eyed individuals will take notice and be firmly awestruck.

Lynne from McLaren, freshly arriving from New York

The next morning, after a buzz-ish sleep session involving aural recounts from the morning before (did I mention the Aventador making its entry in a lurking Battlestar Galactica-on-wheels type of way..?), I downed my freshly-mulched cup ‘o coffee and made my way up towards VanDusen.

Maserati 3500GT - so good

Winding your way through the shaded path leading to the main lawns, you’re eventually greeted by the familiar sounds of tinkling and soaring Classical music amidst an air of grand openess in the wonderful September sun. Immediately to my right was a tent housing tasty automotive collectables from Vancouver’s own Wilkinson’s Automobilia. A quick stop ‘n chat with the owner set the perfect stage for my entry into what was undoubtedly going to be a day to remember in the automotive folklore files.

This one was adorned with the full carbon pack. Quite striking.

Classics from the early 20th-century via Bentley and Rolls-Royce greeted your entry to the left. A quick 180-degree scan revealed a plethora of tempting automotive legends – some of which I had never seen before in-the-metal. Restraint was a troubling offshoot to maintain, especially with so much loveliness on hand. ‘Keep focused lad’ – I tell myself – ‘Stick to the path and remember, you’re mainly here to work/document, not oggle and gasp all day’. So I sink myself into a 20-minute conversation with an elderly E-Type Jag owner named Leon, who owns an incredibly stunning dark-blue example in a shade that offsets the classic chrome accents with such orchestrally layered fluidity. This is what it’s all about…

The attention-to-detail is monumental

I stop and stare at the all-white assemblage of brand-new (and porky-rumped) BMWs and wonder (again) why-oh-why didn’t BMW take proper advantage of that F1-derived normally-aspirated V10 drivetrain they stuffed into the outgoing M5 and M6 and go produce a proper supercar with it… Just for a last internal-combustion celebration of ///M-ness. I’ll openly say it – what a wasted opportunity, BMW…tsk tsk. Instead, we’re eventually going to receive some gadget-stuffed, techno-driven, electric/hybrid, self-folding, baby-panda-saving eco-‘supercar’ that’ll do 103 mpg and have Facebook-propelled idrive or something… as a successor to the iconic M1… Hmm…. The truly awkward-looking Mini Cooper Coupe hiding underneath its own tent sporting, what looked like a metal-plated version of the ‘backwards baseball cap’ in this particular silver/black combo hinted towards the confusing direction of this once-legendary Munich manufacturer of prestige autos. (rant/over)

The new Aventador and the F430 Scuderia

Lunch was next on the agenda, and Truffles Fine Foods was set up to offer 4 varying boxed options to divulge your belly with. Deee-licious. Free liquor was flowing as well, if that’s your thing. Though, the Tequilla and Martini tents weren’t exactly displaying long cues – probably a good thing, that. After sipping back my Evian bottled water and childishly chomping down the thin chocolate bar contained within my complimentary lunch-box, I set my sights on the multitude of classic Mercedes SL’s and Gullwings branching out from the ‘Mercedes World’ tent (of which, no one was milling-about in or ‘lounging’ in – I’m guessing 27-degree sunshine belting through the clear structure straight onto the leather couches and seats made for oven-like levels of uninviting heat – whoops?).

Rounding the bend, I was greeted by 2 Toyotas that I’d never seen before… well, one was a Lexus – the stonking LFA, to be exact. The other, a Toyota 2000GT – I was floored. What a beautiful, beautiful car. One of only 337 made between ’67 and’70, the patina worn by this exquisite example had me coming back time and again all afternoon to take-in its elegant lines and attention-to-detail.

Lexus LFA and Toyota 2000GT - me and the little fella both agreed that they were ace

I was shocked at how commanding and solid-looking the interior alone was – I thought it would be slightly plastic-y here and there… Not at all. Of course, this car just drips of British sportscar influences but it has that Japanese Sports/Supercar-lite thing going on… Pure class. I’d always waited for the day that I would see one of these cars, and now that I have, I want one more than ever before. I can see why they tend to fetch upwards of $375,000 at auctions worldwide. Interesting that the LFA costs just as much to buy one brand new… (I’d have that too please – aside from the dumpy rear-end styling, I was in awe at the level of detail and quality of materials/construction… not to mention the blood-curling, shrieking F1-of-yesteryear soundtrack)

If Lamborghini was able to pass this front-end design through legislation, what on earth is stopping the other car makers from scaring small children...?

The Italians were next-up on my visual quest and lordy lordy the Italians showed up, and then some. Lamborghini Aventador. Ferrari 599 GTO and a carbon-fibre blessed 458. Ferrari F40 (gasp). Lamborghini Countach. 2 Ferrari Daytonas. A disturbingly beautiful ’66 Ferrari 330 GTC. 2 Dino’s. Alfa Montreal. DeTomaso Pantera. Shockingly mint Maserati 3500GT. Afformentioned Maserati MC12. Maserati Bora… this list goes on. Sadly though, an Alfa Romeo 8C was listed in the line-up but turned a no-show (same with the Fisker Karma).

Maserati MC-12 interior. Love the side-knee pads

The Brits and the more-idiosyncratic examples of motoring were also on display as well. A li’l red Fiat 500 from the 60’s was there and looking perfectly perfect. But one car in particular that caught my eye was the Jensen 541 R. Produced during ’57 to ’60 and only one of 193 ever made, this oddly brutal (yet attractive) car had me languishing in its wake of lines and nods to aerodynamic knowledge of the day.

Oh, hi. Uh... would you mind moving to the... nevermind

Looking back at the photos I captured throughout the 2 days, it becomes apparent that I’m scanning over a mere sprinkling of highlights and noteworthy add-ons… and then I look at how much I’ve written and I realize that the time has come to halt the typing and allow said pictures to help illustrate what this event managed to gather.

Ferrari F40 - madness from a bygone era

Of course, there were the inevitable wanna-be high-roller G’s and various gals wearing clothing more suited towards the lowbrow nightclubs on Granville… Kids freely climbing into cars that I’m pretty sure they shouldn’t have been (I think a Ferrari F40 should be roped-off, don’t you agree..?) and a level of snootiness/snobbery on the Weissach/Lamborghini stand from a select few that had me rolling my eyes and walking away (A,  your rude hostility forever kills me). But those are minor footnotes on what was an obvious, unrivaled success. I had a fantastic afternoon. Met some genuinely kind and invitingly sincere people that I look forward to seeing again one day… Let’s hope it returns next year. I’ll be there.

Massive photo-fest below…

words/photos: Blake J.–and–supercar-weekend-%40-vandusen-gardens-%e2%80%93-a.i.-was-there

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