This past week I’ve been processing THOUSANDS of photos. I just finished going through the first day of photos from the Reunion Practice Sessions, but I’ll be adding the qualifying and race session photos very soon!
In the meantime, check out the list of galleries below!
I really love the Mclaren F1. It seems that I’m still learning something new about the development of the world’s fastest naturally-aspirated car! During the development of the S70/2 48-valve V12, the engine was practically shoe-horned into test cars like “Albert”; a Noble Ultima GTR test car. Imagine my surprise to learn that there is a secret BMW M5 Wagon test car with the legendary S70/2 crammed in it!
There’s something really funny about taking a hilariously overpowered engine and shoving it into something like the family grocery-getter. The BMW M5 Wagon is more for the discerning enthusiast with three kids. Despite that, I’m really getting some Paul Newman’s Ford V8-powered Volvo Wagon vibes from this car! But, how did this car even come to exist?
During a recent Collecting Cars with Chris Harris Podcast, Harris was interviewing with former McLaren engineer David Clark. When the subject of testing the S70/2 engine came up, Clark mentioned that there was, in fact, a BMW M5 Wagon test car for the S70/2. Not only there was a test car, but Clark himself had driven it! Clark went on to say that the car still exists somewhere in BMW’s collection, presumably stored next to the Ark of the Covenant. Apparently, this car belongs to a secret collection of BMW test cars that never made it to the road. Maybe it was because someone decided the S70/2 was simply too much engine for someone picking up their kids from soccer practice?
It’s been a while! I took a little hiatus while I was setting up the site’s new store, but now I’m back! The new print store will be up this week!
The Geneva International Auto Show is underway…
…And already there are some poster-ready sports cars and concept cars that could adorn the walls of teenagers who aren’t really into Fortnite. The most notable car for me is the Pininfarina Battista; a technical tour-de-force from one of Italy’s most well known car design studios, famous for penning the sultry bodies of Ferraris for decades. The Battista itself is a push forward towards the limits of electric drivetrain technology, with a motor in each wheel making a combined 1,874 horsepower and 2300 Newton meters of torque. And of course, its very good-looking.
So, why is it that I’m not very impressed with it?
Don’t get me wrong; I think the Battista is an absolutely gorgeous car, with plenty of references to one of my favorite concept cars of all time; the Maserati Pininfarina Birdcage 75th Anniversary Concept. It’s just that with all of the super sports cars and hypercars that have come out in the last couple of years, I might be a little jaded hearing about another sports car for the uber-rich. It just seems kind of pointless, doesn’t it?
The Pininfarina Battista and the Maserati Birdcage 7th Anniversary Concept car. Definitely a family resemblance.
On one hand, of course a car like the Battista is going to be ridiculously expensive; it’s essentially a concept car for the road. I should be glad that a car like this even exists as it represents the cutting edge of automotive technology. On the other however, I’ll likely never get to own or even drive something like this as fast as I want, because I live in a country with an average maximum speed limit of 55mph.
It could be a multitude of things that are making me feel this way about this car. Could it be that I’m now more cognizant of the current issues of our society, such as poverty and income inequality? When viewed through that particular lens, the Batista becomes another tool of which billionaires can use to flaunt their wealth to the lower classes. Maybe it’s the practicality of it, or lack thereof. I’m certainly someone that believes a car is meant to be driven and enjoyed, especially with a standard transmission and a short throw shifter. A car like this is likely going to take up space in a climate-controlled garage filled with other pieces of beautiful automotive engineering, only to be brought out for special events and gatherings; not that I don’t appreciate it. Certainly there will be people who would drive the Battista, but then we run into the first issue again.
Mostly, I think it’s my own preferences evolving as I get older. As I said before, I’m not interested in things that I have little to no chance even owning, let alone driving. Instead, I’ve noticed a trend toward interesting, quirky cars that don’t break the bank for owning and maintaining. In fact, I’m more impressed with cars that tick all the right boxes and still reside in the land of feasible ownership. A Lotus Esprit or an 90’s Acura NSX fall within this realm for me, and lord knows how much I’ve drooled over something like the Mazda Autozam AZ-1. Even new cars like the Alfa Romeo 4C interest me more than the Battista, because there’s a slight chance that I’ll be able to own or drive it.
I suppose this is just the thoughts of someone shedding their teenage desires for owning an exotic car and settling with something more in my socio-economic standing. How many of us grew up with a Jaguar XJ220, McLaren F1, Lamborghini Diablo, or a Ferrari F50 taped to their bedroom walls, and are currently driving those around? I personally can’t answer that. But I can say that I could get a 90’s Lotus Esprit for around $25k and still feel like a million bucks.
The Pininfarina Battista is still a good-looking car though.