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The Late Show

The Late Show

Shows that are rather late in the ‘car season’ can still be a worthwhile and very fun outing. As our own blogger proved last weekend.

You thought you were done with my first person antics for the week, weren’t you? Ha! I don’t give up on using the word ‘I’ very easily. I am exactly as shallow and pedantic as you expect me to be. But enough about my qualities that send the ladies to me in droves — today’s about another adventure. Last weekend, as you may well know, I went to Road America with Jeremy Cliff and shot a bunch (of pictures, not people). Well, getting home Saturday night was not the end to our weekend adventure. First thing Sunday morning, I drove down to Jeremy’s place and he and I drove up to Lake Forest, Illinois, where the venerable Lake Forest Sportscars were holding their annual Concours d’Elegance. As one might expect, a sales floor filled with a Maserati MC12 and a McLaren Formula car will be bound to attract some of the best, rarest and overall most awesome cars from around Chicago. Boy, were they right. After walking up to the parking lot, the first car to greet us was none other than a Mercedes McLaren SLR. Please excuse the excessive vignetting on the first picture. Let’s just say I was in an ‘experimental’ phase with Lightroom earlier this week.

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(Photographer’s Note: Again, I had to borrow one of Jeremy’s cameras for this. The 40D was equipped with a 10-20mm f/4 super wide angle lens, with which I was wholly unfamiliar, so not all the pictures are indicative of the large amount of rare and expensive cars there. I will remember to bring the work camera with me from now on, promise. Pinky swear on it?)

The excitement didn’t stop at the McLaren, either. Even though seeing one out and about is a rare sight in and of itself, there were other equally awesome cars lined up right next to it. One of my personal favorite cars was there — Jaguar’s E-type. That’s a body that hasn’t gone out of style in however many decades it’s been. Directly next to it, in rather stark contrast to the subtle grace of the E-type, was a 997 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 3.8. Not only does it provide intense aggression against the Jaguar, but it’s also decorated in my alma mater’s colors. Orange and blue!

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As one might expect, there were quite a few Ferraris present at the Concours. Everything from the extremely-successful-hairdresser’s-car California to a 308 Quattrovalvole were in attendance. Some windows were up, some t-tops were removed to let attendants peep the interior, but overall there was a very healthy and diverse collection of Prancing Horses.

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We’ve all had the moment before. You’re standing around, minding your own business, when suddenly you notice them from across the room. As if you were in some sort of movie, the crowds part subtly and fireworks explode in your head as you lay eyes on what might be the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen.

I had that moment when, out of the corner of my eye, struck a familiar figure. Sitting in what had to be the most perfect spot ever for a show-stopper, sat a Ferrari F40 in Rosso Corsa. In that moment, you could have told me that I’d died, and I would have believed it. It’s not a car I would have expected to see at a show, especially one that’s this close to cold weather. At the risk of sounding like a 6-year old, I’ll just stop and let the pictures take over. Because the pictures also look like they were shot by a 6-year old.

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After cleaning up the drool from around the F40, and cursing the sunlight’s angles for ruining any hopes of an interior shot, I kept walking around the Concours. After all, the F40 wasn’t the only car there. Although I’m firm on the notion that if the only car there were the F40, you’d still have at least 50% of the attendants show up. I’d also never seen a Dino in real life, having only read about them on Wikipedia and in my Ferrari coffee table book (the best thing to come out of my last relationship). So it was nice to see. Also, an SLS AMG showed its gullwing doors to the crowd from the center cluster of cars. The owner of this SLS also owns the grey Veyron you might have seen at a Supercar Saturdays — quite the impressive stable, to say the very least.

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Even though Lake Forest Sportscars doesn’t sell them, there were still a good few Lamborghinis that showed up. Carla’s green Murcielago was in attendance, as well as a couple Gallardos. But, as you might imagine, the true Raging Bull on the premises was the LP700-4, known to you and me as the Aventador. This one came ready for a show, too; its doors were open, the trunk/engine cover were wide open for inquisitive eyes, and the owner took a couple minutes to rev the piss out of it, too. Never a bad day when you have a Lamborghini motor shouting in your ear.

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Not to be outdone by the F40, which is a seven-digit car in and of itself, a much older Ferrari showed its face to the masses. What you see here is a rare sight indeed — it’s a Ferrari 250 TRC. It has just the right amount of curves, and stopped every single person at the show dead in their tracks. Seeing as how this outdoes the F40 by a factor of ten (meaning that one will cost you roughly ten million dollars to get in good condition), it was certainly mind blowing to see both these cars out at the show. Hopefully Jeremy will be putting this one in front of his camera in the near future.

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One car chose to leave earlier than the rest, which was great, seeing as how pictures of cars standing still can’t comprise an entire blog post.

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Other than that, I just rolled around the parking lot, shooting and re-shooting cars from various angles, trying to see if anything good could come out.

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Perhaps trying to fit in with the Ferrari crowd, a Porsche Carrera GT was in attendance, rocking a dealer plate and a beautiful shade of red. Funny enough, there was an award at the Concours called “Best Non-Red Ferrari.” Too bad I couldn’t zoom out and get a giant picture of all the cars in the lot; Joseph McCarthy would have blown his head off after seeing all that red in one place.

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The one Aston Martin picture that managed to turn out nicely also happened to be of my favorite Aston there. This specific AM was completely pristine — if you use the actual definition of the word ‘pristine,’ which is completely untouched and left to the ravages of time. Which this one definitely was. This is the closest you’ll ever come to an Aston Martin rat rod; that is, until a member of the rusted-hood consortium finally wins the lottery. It gave this car a level of character that flawless paint and shiny chrome can’t really match. I think I saw the E-type sticking its nose up in repulsion from across the lot, saying in a soft British accent, “How bedraggled.”

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Much to my chagrin, there were no Ferrari F12 Berlinettas present, which makes sense since they’re not being pushed out to customers yet, I don’t think. However, there were two FFs there, albeit one was a black car half-covered by a canopy, making photography a nigh impossible task given the lighting. As a fan of professional motorsport, though, it was an honor to see an old McLaren Formula car present inside the showroom. And seeing as how I’m pretty pissed off that Fox has decided to replace SPEED with a multi-sport channel, completely cutting off the United States from Formula 1 racing coverage until something’s figured out, I’ll end it on this note.

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Have an excellent weekend, and I’ll be back to the third-person on Monday! Which is probably best for all of us.

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