Monterey Car Week is finally underway!

Monterey Car Week kicked off with the 2019 edition of the Rolex Monterey Pre-Reunion!

Yours truly managed to snag press credentials once again this year, so of course, I went down to Laguna Seca to get some practice in before the main event! This year, Monterey Car Week will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the International Motor Sports Association. This means nearly all of the famous GTP, Group C, and even LMP race cars will be present at the track!

The Monterey Pre-Reunion was chock full of awesome race cars from the past, including the legendary Audi R8 Le Mans Race Car that dominated The American Le Mans Series from 2000 to 2004! Also, there were more than a few fire-breathing Group C and GTP race cars, including the Toyota-Eagle GTP Race Car!

The best part of all this? I get to see these cars again starting Thursday! I’ll be staying at the track with some friends, so it’s going to be racing from sunrise to sundown!

Check out my gallery from the Pre-Reunion!

Advertisements

The Corvette C8 is much better than I expected!

The Corvette C8
I’m in love again. Image © 2019 Chevrolet, General Motors

Could it be I’m falling in love?

By now you all have heard the news: The Corvette C8 was unveiled yesterday to much fanfare. Since the 1950s Chevrolet has been toying with the idea of a mid-engined version of the Corvette for decades, only ever coming close once or twice in the 70s and 80s. Alas, Zora Arkus Duntov’s dream of a World-beating mid-engined Corvette had to wait until now. But the wait was worth it.

The C8 Corvette Stingray
I could actually see myself driving this! I’ve never been this excited for a Corvette in a long time! Photo © 2019 Chevrolet, General Motors.

Powered by the venerable LT-series 2 engine making 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque mated to a Tremec 8-speed dual-clutch transmission (no manual, unfortunately), the new C8 has rocket-like acceleration and great efficiency at highway speeds. Also, the car would be built out of lightweight materials like die-cast aluminum and composite materials. Paired with the optional Z51 package, the car would feature bigger brakes, improved cooling, a performance exhaust, and a performance suspension system.

The new engine layout and performance over the stock C7 are great and all, but the car has a few more surprises. Notably, the C8 has both a trunk and a frunk, and comes standard with a targa top for when you want to blast down the Coastal Highway listening to that LT2 scream. But what’s the most shocking about this car is the price.

The C8 Corvette Stringray
Finally, Duntov’s dream has been realized! Photo © 2019 Chevrolet, General Motors.

Prepare yourself…

Chevrolet has announced that the C8 would only set you back $60,000.

$60,000!? That’s more affordable than anything else on the market! The Alfa Romeo 4C I spec’d out when I wrote about why hypercars don’t excite me anymore costs over $72,000! Chevrolet has dropped the mic in front of the supercar world with an affordable alternative! To understand exactly how big this is, the Corvette C8’s closest competitor is Porsche, with their Cayman and 911. The base 718 Cayman is around $57,000 MSRP, while the 911 Carrera costs around $91,000 MSRP. The new Corvette C8 is faster and more powerful then both cars, around the price of the Cayman!

It’s appropriate that Chevrolet has revealed the C8 near the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo XI mission that landed Neil Armstong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon; The Corvette C8 is a moonshot that has successfully taken off!

I can’t get enough of the DeTomaso P72

The DeTomaso P72 is just gorgeous!
The DeTomaso P72 might be my new favorite car! Photo © 2019 G.F Williams / DeTomaso

I really do think this is the best-looking car ever.

This past weekend, the Goodwood Festival of Speed started and ended while I was away from the desk. I did manage to cover some of the more notable events in my new series “Weekend Rear-view”, but there was one piece of news that I simply couldn’t get enough of; The reveal of the DeTomaso P72!

Oh God; that EXHAUST NOISE!

In my Weekend Rear-view, I mentioned that the car is based on the Apollo Intenza Emozione. Personally, I think the P72 is much, much better looking! But, it does use the same naturally-aspirated 6.3-liter V12, so it looks as good as it sounds! Speaking of its looks; the car is inspired by the styling of some famous prototype race cars from the 60s. Cars like the Ferrari 330 P4 / 412P and Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale are definitely reflected in the lines of the car. In fact, this has actually caused some issues with Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus, who has called out DeTomaso for copying their design for the Pininfarina P4/5.

I think this is a bit of a moot point since it’s clear that both cars were inspired by the design of the Ferrari 330 P4 and other similar race cars. That being said, I think the P72 pulls it off a little better than the Pininfarina P4/5. I mean, just look at it!

It’s just gorgeous!

The car looks exactly like the kind of thing I would sketch in the margins of my notebooks during elementary school. Hell, I still sketch cars like this when I get a chance! It has all the classic lines and proportions, and the interior is simply beautiful. Polished and machined copper adorn the inside and outside of the car, and most notably, the top-mounted exhaust. Both the wing mirrors and wheels are finished with polished copper as well, giving the car a weird combination of retro 60’s styling and steampunk aesthetics. I might even go far as to say that the interior looks just as good, if not, better than the Pagani Huayra’s!

A quick pencil sketch I did in 2016.
A quick pencil sketch I did back in 2016 during a meeting at work. I prefer flowing lines over sharp edges!

Now, I know what I said about hypercars. But, this car just happens to be one of the very few that I’m actually excited about! Part of that is because this car looks nothing like your typical hypercar. Cars like the Aston Martin Valkyrie have their designs dictated purely by aerodynamics, and in a way, that takes away from the overall design. The cars aren’t beautiful; they’re purposeful. The P72 is the opposite of what a typical hypercar looks like, and that’s why I like it so much. The P72 is retro design absolutely done right.

DeTomaso couldn’t have picked a better way to return.