View Full Version : Out for a stroll... (exotic car spotting)

04-26-2004, 02:12 PM
Ho hum... images/icons/grin.gif

While out for a stroll on a beautiful spring day, spotted a Mercedes-Benz 300SL gull-wing, just an "ordinary" car, probably the same one I saw at an indoor show earlier in the year, I think there's only one around here.

Anyone have any great stories of exotic car encounters "in the wild"? (ie. non-car show setting, out in public)

One I'll never forget... Following a Lamborghini Miura, I think sometime in the mid-1990's. It happened by sheer chance, turned onto a local road to head home and there was a Miura two cars in front of me images/icons/shocked.gif The car just happened to follow the same route I would normally take home... The pickup truck in front of me eventually turned off and I was directly behind (saw it was running Alberta dealer plates)... car turned off into the same community I lived in but an earlier turnoff than I normally take, didn't follow!... one right turn later went into the labyrinth of roads in my community to find the car and was successful!... Saw the car nose first inside a garage at a house and the guy was headed into his house, apparently didn't feel like talking... Did talk to his wife on the front lawn briefly and she said something about the car heading over to Japan...

Any more spottings "in the wild"?

04-26-2004, 02:27 PM
Way back in 1984 I was riding on the back of a motorcycle with an Air Force buddy out in Sacramento CA. We pulled up next to some girls at a light and then raced them through traffic for about 5 minutes until we were thoroughly lost. (Warning: Don't try this yourself - it was stupid and dangerous!) The "race" had probably topped 80 mph at some points and the car easily kept up with our bike. They were driving a Jensen CV8! At that time I didn't really know what exactly it was but it was fast! Now I know it was rare too!

[ 04-26-2004: Message edited by: UltimateQuestion ]</p>

04-26-2004, 04:18 PM
A family in my parents neighborhood is a dealer, and they regularly have something exotic - typically Italian - in their driveway: Lambo Count, Diablo; many Ferraris; always an Alfa, even the late model stuff.

04-26-2004, 05:33 PM
Sounds like Reina. Am I close?

04-26-2004, 06:23 PM
There is a De Tomaso in regular use around here. Not a vintage Pantera or Mangusta, but the late model one the name of which escapes me ATM (I believe its the model that MG is basing the SV on). Saw it yesterday, in fact, and it needed a bath, which made me feel better. There is also a Panoz Esperante around here-I usually see it in traffic on the way to work in spring/summer. I've also spotted a Maserati 3200GT around here. I almost hate to say it, but Ferraris are almost common around here-not that you see on every day or even every week, but there's an exotic dealer near here and a lot of people who have made a lot of money in the last few years. The only vintage exotics I've seen around here tend to be old prewar American cars (which is why I desperately need an Auburn 851 now) and, inexplicably, an Alfa Romeo Montreal.

04-26-2004, 06:30 PM
Related to that last post...

I did also see a Ferrari this past weekend on the same stretch of road (I think F355 Spider or something like that) but it wasn't as worthy of mention here. Newer exotics like that don't usually get me going as much as the older exotic cars.

For one thing, by and large the older exotics look far better than the newer ones, IMHO.

Bruce Bowker
04-26-2004, 07:32 PM
Being a "garage groupy" whenever I am back in my area in New Jersy, I visit the small garage where my cars get worked on, nearly every day. Not the cars being worked on every day, me visting every day. Seen too many exotics to name but some would be a genuine Cobra, a beautiful Lamborghini 400 GT, numnerous Miura, an Aston Martin DB6 and what was apparently once Cher's DB5. What I really want to see is a Ferrari 250 GTO. Doubt I will.

04-26-2004, 10:13 PM
Steve, you're not close. You're right on the mark.

04-26-2004, 10:37 PM
Couple years ago I went out to Aspen skiing for spring break, on the way we stopped in Vail for gas, and I saw a Lamborghini LM002 running around, a black one. Something like 365 produced.

Then when we got to Aspen I saw a red Ferrari F50, twice. That car has the best sounding engine ever! Also under 400 made, 395?

I also saw a Murcielago, way, way early. I don't consider them common, but now that they're out there in the world, I wouldn't mention it, but it was early, before I knew they were in the US.

[ 04-26-2004: Message edited by: SoloSpridget ]</p>

04-26-2004, 11:21 PM
On Friday I saw a '68 Lamborghini Miura driving the other way about 3 miles from my house...and I saw a Pantera today.

Both are owned by friends of mine, but they both were out driving... It's only the second time I've seen the Miura out since I drove it last year for my column's profile.

The Pantera is in regular use in nice weather.

04-26-2004, 11:48 PM
This past summer I saw a Ferrari F50 twice on the road !! I gets serviced by the same shop that ported my cylinderhead. I also saw a Cream with Plaid interior 300SL Gulwing. It was in heavy traffic while I was on my way to school. I gave him a tumbs up and he waved and smiled back. graemlins/driving.gif graemlins/hammer.gif graemlins/patriot.gif

04-27-2004, 12:04 AM
Come to think of it, last week when I drove up I5 to Seattle, there were two Ferraris -- a F355 and F40 going southbound in tandem. There are a bunch of F40s and F50s and Enzos in Seattle.

04-27-2004, 01:34 AM
My favorite sighting was a DeTomaso Pantera. It was about mid 80's and the thing that really made it stick was looking over to the driver and seeing a "Just shoot me" expression. He and his wife(?) in the passenger seat looked like they had been to **** and back. The 3 yr old with them was fresh as a daisy. As they pulled away, the rest of the story was the California plate in Dallas, TX. I hope they hadn't come all that way like that, but they sure looked it.

04-27-2004, 03:28 AM
Got ya all beat. When I was a little kid (5) I remeber my dad had a job putting in some playground equipment in at a dude ranch in Colorado, don't ask me where I can't remeber. Anyway we stayed there for a week and while we were there we meet the guy who at the time (1986) had the largest collection of Duesenbergs in the world, and he happened to be driving a 1936 SJ. He took my dad and I for a ride, and I've been hooked on cars ever since.

Cheers, graemlins/thirsty.gif graemlins/driving.gif

04-27-2004, 04:52 AM
Both of these places are near my house. The Stable has a nice Ferrari GTB/4 right now and High Marques has a new Aston-Martin convertible in the window.



I saw many of the classic racers and their cars in the '60s / '70s. Mark Donahue in his Camaro, Graham Hill in his last F1 car, Jim Hall in his Chapparrel and so forth. One year when I was in college (I think '69) we were at Watkin Glen and we saw an actual Mako Shark (GM Corvette concept car) with Zora Arkus-Duntov driving it. I recognized him and we went up and talked to him for a minute....he was a nice fellow.

I rode in a GT-350H a few years ago. It was owned by Greg Kolasa, who is an officer in the Shelby Amercian Automobile Club (I'm a friend of Greg's brother). The ratcheting Detroit locker sounds cool.

I'm sort of a Bugatti nut and I was overwhelmed by seeing seven Type 35Bs at Lime Rock last year.

04-27-2004, 09:56 AM
In our region of classic car club we have a bunch of Duesies, three or four Bugattis (and they get driven,) some Merc 540Ks, and the obligatory gaggle of V12 Packards, Caddies, Auburns etc... It's so great to see these cars out being driven.

04-27-2004, 09:59 AM
Around here, my GT6 counts as exotic. images/icons/frown.gif A really cool ride is considered to be a 1 ton diesel pickup with duallies. Sigh......

04-27-2004, 10:06 AM
... Up here in the frozen north (wet snow in the forecast tonight! images/icons/shocked.gif ) we don't get to see that many ultra-exotic cars out and about, somehow doubt if there is a Duesenberg in the province - with the exception of the one displayed in a museum. I'm almost envious of some of you guys sometimes hearing stories like that.

But overall Calgary is still a great place to live and on a nice clear day there is a great view of the mountains, even from within the city here images/icons/tongue.gif The best beauty of all, even better than the most beautiful cars in the world.

[ 04-27-2004: Message edited by: Sherlock ]</p>

04-27-2004, 10:51 AM
We used to see a lot of neat classics in the Copper State Rally as it came through Flagstaff, but I've seen little other than typical Detroit iron since moving to Ohio. Maybe they will sneak out during the summer months.

04-27-2004, 12:30 PM
Well, I've lived in Tokyo since '91, with a year north of Toronto in '02-'03.
Used to pedal my bicycle to Shinjuku station every morning in the early 90:s.
Most mornings I was side by side with the same (vulgar) Testa Rossa, needless to say, I always beat him to my destination. Tokyo traffic...
Tokyo, being a big city, exotics are not all that exotic...Murcielagos, Modenas, Astons...can all be seen regularly on the roads here.
But my most memorable encounter was only a few months ago.
Driving back late at night, a Toyota 2000GT was in front of me for a good half hour.
A true beauty, never seen one one the road before or since. What surprised me most was that at all the red lights I was pulling up alongside admiring this fantastic car, tons of people crossing the streets...and no one, NOT A SINGLE PERSON, took notice.
It seems in Tokyo, a city of 20 million people, only a pasty Swede will oogle a 2000GT.
After more than 10 years in this country, I have yet to figure things out... images/icons/confused.gif

04-27-2004, 10:47 PM
Wow...a Toyota 2000GT is rare, even in Japan! I've never seen one in person. It must have been a Toyota executive! (Isn't that the joke, that only Toyota executives ever owned them?)

I have a '67 Road Test magazine which reviews the car. It was extremely expensive -- basically Aston Martin territory. Very refined, creative, but not particularly fast.

That's the type of car I'd love to own, where it doesn't attract too much attention, save from the true car enthusiasts who would just love to come over and ask questions and discuss it.

04-27-2004, 10:55 PM
Oh yeah...

Forgot about one other sighting, I think sometime in perhaps the mid-1990's in Calgary, in the frozen north.

One summer day I went to a store to pick up some stuff. On the way out I saw a neat looking sports coupe of some sort, so went over to take a look at it. Were it not for the Bristol badge somewhere on it I wouldn't have known what it was. I waited around a short while hoping the owner might appear and fortunately he came back a short time later. We had a great conversation for awhile, and he paid me a great compliment... he told me he could count on his hand how many people actually knew what his car was. Then he had to go and I've never seen the car since, always wonder if it's still around town, I rarely get up to that area of Calgary anymore as well. Anyway... as I best recall it was a mid-1960's Bristol but forget what exact year.

Keep em coming... graemlins/thumbsup.gif

Mark Beiser
04-28-2004, 01:21 AM
In 1989 I had a guy in a Diablo bump into the rear bumber of the MGB I was driving.

We were at a red light in one of the trafic lanes and the green arrow for the left turn lane came on, We both eased off our clutch and rolled forward a little, he just rolled a little further forward than me.

No damage, exept to his pride. images/icons/grin.gif

05-02-2004, 04:03 AM
Well ther are a lot of exotics and classics around town in Vancouver so seeing a couple a day is not really that rare. But the big one for me was when my family and I were taking a road trip to California back in 2000. We were on the I-5 with 2 CHP's cars infront of us then for no reason what so ever the both cars in unison pull onto the sholder doing about 70MPH. Then both officers hop out of the cars as if they were on fire and pull out video cameras. We were all very confused about this and had no idea why they would do a dangerous manouver like this. Then we start to hear a roaring sound getting louder and louder in the distance. On the other side of the road comming towards us had to be about 10 police cars with lights a blazing. Behind them we see a sea of vivid colors which as it got closer turned out to be about 200 or so Lamborghini's!!! Followed by about 5 hummer limo's, various other exotics and it ended with another 10 police cars. We have no idea what is going on and we are all very suprised to say the least to see this VERY rare sight. I later found out that this is an annual event called "The Running Of The Bulls" which is a rally for Lamborghini owners that happens in California. Let me tell you , I will never forget that sweet sound of 200 Lamborghini driving in unison for as long as I live images/icons/grin.gif

[ 05-02-2004: Message edited by: littledeucecoupe427 ]</p>

05-02-2004, 11:44 AM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by littledeucecoupe427:
[QB] I will never forget that sweet sound of 200 Lamborghini driving in unison for as long as I live images/icons/grin.gif


Now that IS cool! coolgleam.gif

05-02-2004, 08:47 PM

I got a story for you. I sold my Series Land Rover to a young kid who was an apprentice at Russell Motorcars in Essex MA; 5 miles from me. Anyhow he wanted to check out my truck on the lift, so we drove over. Now, you gotta understand this place in unreal, tucked away in an old mill building in a small New England town, they are one of the premier MB 300SL restorers in the country, (used to go by the name of Gullwing Motors). Anyhow, we pull up & he wants me to drive the truck through the garage onto the lift as he is was not used to it. I end up driving past 2-3 300's restored & in for service & he jockies me within about 2" to spare past one at the head of the lift. My old Rover with huge 16' tires plus one on the hood could have done a couple hundred thous $ damge in a minute. I make it ok, but my heart was pounding, not to mention some of the mechanics. I got an unreal tour of this place, including a 1938 Ferrari that was completely restored. They had to make the trim rings, incuding the stamping by hand for the headlights. They also have 3-4 of Ralph Lauren's cars there, including a 1930's Alfa Romeo Atlantic valued at over $1M. It was on display in the Museum of Fine Arts in NY for a while!
They had at least 50-60 cars of all types with specialists in interior, body, chassis & machining on staff.

Talk about a place to work & learn, I'd pay them to let me work there.

He did end up buying my truck, but luckily, didn't do a concours resto on it; but did tow & push quite a few beauties around the yard.

05-02-2004, 10:46 PM
Saw an Aston Martin DB7 this evening, black in colour. Just a fleeting glimpse of the back end, but it was unmistakable.

05-03-2004, 12:22 AM
Ralph Lauren's car is a Bugatti Atlantic. And as far as its value goes, try adding a zero!!! While there are no plans for it to hit the market, it is valued around $10,000,000 .

<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by gjh:

They also have 3-4 of Ralph Lauren's cars there, including a 1930's Alfa Romeo Atlantic valued at over $1M. <hr></blockquote>

05-03-2004, 11:43 AM

That's why you do this for a living, you are absolutely correct now that you correct me, I don't know why I was tinking alfa, they had a bunch of ol Bugattis in the shop besides that one. Again a really cool place to see.


Have you seen/covered anything about the Concours they had for 3-4 years at Crane Castle in Ipswich? It was becoming the Pebble Beach of the East Coast. It was a shame that they stopped having it due to Ins. liability. I could literly hear the cars doing the Hillclimb (closed to the public) up the drive to the Castle from my house. Went to it every year What a site! a couple of links:


Here's one to Paul Russel& Co. Shop I spoke of.

05-07-2004, 08:42 AM
Way back in the early 70's, while comming back from vacation with the family, we cought up with a fleet of 47 Bricklin's driving west along Hwy. 401 in Ontario. We drove along side them for quite some time, long enough for my mom to get out the ole super 8 camera.
That, to a 12 year old, was somthing I will always remember.

05-07-2004, 09:35 AM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr> KLUTZ said: Way back in the early 70's, while comming back from vacation with the family, we cought up with a fleet of 47 Bricklin's driving west along Hwy. 401 in Ontario. We drove along side them for quite some time, long enough for my mom to get out the ole super 8 camera.
That, to a 12 year old, was somthing I will always remember.

Pictures around still?

I doubt there will ever be that many Bricklin's ever together in one place again...

05-07-2004, 12:09 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Sherlock:

Pictures around still?

I doubt there will ever be that many Bricklin's ever together in one place again...<hr></blockquote>

Probably in the same box my dad said he was going to dig out a year ago with the Mosport pictures.
But... He retires in two years, so THEN he will have the time I am sure !!! graemlins/nonod.gif

05-07-2004, 02:45 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Sherlock:

I doubt there will ever be that many Bricklin's ever together in one place again...<hr></blockquote>

Sure, it's called a junkyard! images/icons/wink.gif

I remember loving Bricklins when I was young, and then seeing one for the first time in 15 years or so a few years ago and saying to myself "why did I ever think these things were cool looking?"

Something about the colors being Safety Green and Safety Orange with those HUGE bumpers.

05-09-2004, 08:40 AM
Similar line to the Lambo and Bricklin posts above:
I live near the old DeLorean estate in Mendam, NJ. He used a nearby defunct NJ car dealer lot for storage of his Deloreans at one point (this was the east coast US distribution point). At any given time you could see 400 DeLoreans in that lot as you drove past on Route 287. Sadly, I never took a picture of this, but I bet some did...it was a remarkable site. Nowadays, I can see a similar "sea" of cars in Elizabeth, NJ (but it's all Nissans!).

Also: yesterday I was at Pocono Raceway (our first race of the season). We also have Time Trials for street cars and sometimes this attracts the gold-chain set (mostly a good bunch, in my view). At one point, I saw (all parked next to each other) two Porsche 996s, five new-ish 911s, a classic 930 Turbo, the new "baby" Lambo, a Viper, and a Ferrari. Probably close to a million bucks (USD) worth of harware...best part is seeing these guys beat on these cars.

Another neat place to see exotic cars in the esatern USA (especially British) is at The Stable in Gladstone NJ (also near me). They run adverts in Road & Track every month

[ 05-09-2004: Message edited by: aeronca65t ]</p>

05-10-2004, 10:15 AM
Friday on the way home from work I followed a beautiful '68 Saab Sonnet down the Interstate. It was dark green and I could see the driver working the column-mounted shifter when we slowed and then accerlerated in traffic.

[ 05-10-2004: Message edited by: UltimateQuestion ]</p>

05-16-2004, 01:34 AM
Tonight I saw a '67 Ferrari 275 GTB/4. The owner was the fourth to own it. It was originally purchased by James Coburn. It was gorgeous.

Bruce Bowker
05-16-2004, 11:28 AM
"event called "The Running Of The Bulls" which is a rally for Lamborghini owners that happens in California"

There is also one on the East Coast.

05-17-2004, 06:18 PM
East Coast USA Lambo run:


Super 7
05-18-2004, 01:43 PM
I'm currently visiting in So. Cal, and there are a lot of exotics around here. This weekend, I took my neices and nephews camping in Newport Dunes. I was surprized to see a Motor Home in a campsite with a Diablo SV, a new Viper, a ratty Delorean, and a new 500SL AMG. They were 2 campsites down from my 1984 VW camper bus.

I have sen lots of real Cobras, a Vector, the TV Batmobile, and other wierd stuff at the Adams Ave Donut shop on Saturday morning.

Years ago, in the early 80's, I saw 2 Toyota 2000 GT's in the lot. The dealer owners personal cars.

There used to be a Formula 5000 single seater on the road around here, and a McClaren Can Am too.

At a dealer on Herbor Bl. last year I saw 2 Jaguar XK 220's. Not as ugly as in pictures. He had the open wheel Elise variant there too, and other stuff

tony barnhill
05-19-2004, 04:10 PM
Well, I've driven 5,000+ miles from Alabama to Washington state just bumming around back highways...have only seen 3 MG's other than those of friends with whome I've visited...found lots of dead old American iron, a few Italian ones, and lots of Jaguars up &amp; down the road

...what happened? Didn't the northwestern states get any British cars? (WY, MT, SD, ID, OR, WA)

05-19-2004, 05:50 PM
Strangely enough, my parents' condo complex has an antuque car show in it! The complex has a great first floor garage with about 60 spaces in it.

In this garage are a perfectly restored 1949 Packard; a nice '80 MGB; a perfect 1977 Datsun 280Z; a very nice 1955 Chevy and a correctly restored 1948 Dodge pickup.

Often, I'll pause in the garage for 10-20 minutes before I go up to my parents' unit just to ogle at the cars!

Most folks who live here are retired and more than happy to discuss the cars with anyone who asks. I've been promised a ride in the Packard and the '48 Dodge. The Packard is my favorite, it's HUGE and the interior looks like it just came off the factory floor.

You never know where you'll see vintage cars. . .

05-21-2004, 06:16 PM
I bought a new trailer today and they had a fellow pull it out and hook it up to my truck. During this process, he asked what I planned to haul.

[ Note - he had no front teeth and his last haircut was probably in 2001. You learn to ignore appearances around here because people will surprise you. ]

I told him it was primarily for an old British car I have.

He asked "MG"?

I told him it was for Berkeleys, figuring that would end the conversation - it usually does in Maine.

His response was "A 3 cylinder? 2 stroke? What year?".

This surprised me. [I'll skip the ensuing conversation and get to the point.]

He then told me he has a Fiat Tolopino &amp; offered to show it to me. Turns out it was in his truck about 20 feet away. This was an old bread truck (looks like Nial's) converted to carry the Fiat. It (the Fiat) had a bit more power than the original (about 650hp, he said) and was, naturally, fiberglass. [When he opened the rear doors, some surprisingly loud music and lots of cigarette smoke was emitted. There may have been someone in there. ]

Not as exotic as most other cars mentioned in this thread, but it made my day.

05-22-2004, 11:33 AM
Saw a Ferrari two days ago and could not decide what it was. Very low very sleek and brand new out of the box and still had a temporary sticker. Nothing I have ever seen before and I don't think the Enzo is in the US yet.

05-29-2004, 12:39 AM
Here's my latest encounter... Kind of cool actually. Came out of a shop to see this "other" car parked beside mine.

Umm... Guess which of the two cars is mine? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif


Simon TR4a
05-31-2004, 10:53 AM
Sherlock, I gues someones doing alright in the oil industry!

I saw a Studebaker Avanti on Saturday, a spectator car at a race track.

Graham Lyons
06-05-2004, 04:35 AM
I was told of a group of Bristols that were touring our area so we went off to meet them. There were 4 as it turned out; a 401, two 402's and a 404. All very nice and rare enough here in Aus. and travelling with them was a very nice SS100 (the forerunner of the Jaguar). But the really rare one was a Monza red Iso Grifo in mint condition and just oozing testosterone.