Hooniverse Goes to Monterey (Day 1): Aventador, Jackie Stewart, Laguna Seca

0 I can report to you that Day 1 of my Monterey jaunt was a smashing success. I got to drive a V12 Lamborghini, saw three-time F1 champion Sir Jackie Stewart, and spotted hundreds of rare and lust-worthy automobiles. It was a perfect day. Make the jump to see why Monterey Car Week is every car nut’s dream destination. We started off the morning at The Quail. While the 1%ers were sipping champagne at the poshest of car shows, there were plenty to see and do just outside, for us 99%ers. Just the public parking lot, on the greens, rivals any of the official shows in Monterey. Here, you will see the rarest of the rare, a 2006 Volvo V50, in Arctic White, with a manual transmission. I snapped the shot after I asked security to clear the crowd gawking at it. There happens to be a Siata partially obscuring my ride. 1 Up until Friday, I had not seen a BMW i8 in the flesh. On Friday, I saw three. For (a skewed) perspective, I just saw two Z8s. 2 This six-piped Ferrari was my favorite car of the day. The driver tried to park in the Porsche lot and was denied. 3 I had a test drive of a Range Rover Evoque 5-door scheduled. While waiting, I saw an old man with a flashy green hat and pants. “Is that Jackie Stewart?”, I whispered loudly to the Land Rover rep. “Yes.” I was so starstruck, I failed to take pictures of the Evoque. We took it to an off-road course, and got to use the Hill Descent Control (HDC) system. The entire drive was drama-less. I learned that due to miscegenation with BMW and Ford, the HDC system is shared with BMWs and Volvos. 4 Through 1 part connections and 7 parts dumb luck, I scored a drive in the 700-horsepower Lamborghini Aventador. This was a childhood dream come true. A proper V12 Lamborghini. Usually, at these events, a manufacturer’s rep sits shotgun and gives detailed instructions on how to operate the gearbox and different drive modes. In this instance, I got to drive solo. 5 I suffered a mini freak out. I had just signed a waiver, accepting full responsibility for any damage to the car. And we were going to drive briskly on very curvy roads, with ditches and cliffs on either side. During the 30 minute ride, my giggles and cackles were even louder than the engine behind me. The car was surprisingly refined with just a hint of menace. Of course, I hardly unleashed 15% of its potential. 7 We drove down Carmel Valley Road, and climbed up the Laureles Grade to the summit at 1,200 feet. Though brief, I got a taste of automotive nirvana. I will never forget the experience. 6 After a Modelo Especial and a fish taco lunch with friends, it was time to walk back to the car for the next destination. It took us the better part of half an hour to walk back, because we stopped to look at all the cars in the parking area. These two Rolls-Royce Wraiths were very imposing, especially when juxtaposed with that mundane Prius. 8 Bentley Mulsanne S. Behind it is a Touareg Dakar edition. Does anyone know what the Dakar edition has? 9 Porsche 918.   10 280SL Pagoda. 11 Something that might be more appropriate at the Concours d’LeMons, a Chevy Cosworth Vega. 12 BMW 2002 Turbo. 13 This is for Jeff and Kamil, an Icon FJ Land Cruiser. 14 Next stop. Laguna Seca. Maserati was celebrating its 100th anniversary and had a wonderful display. Here we have a 5000GT next to a Fiat renntransporter. 15 Birdcage. 16   17 Gulf-liveried 917, with another 918. The VW support truck was a trip too. 18 Japanese racers are rarely seen at the Monterey Historics, but here is a Skyline GT-R. I also spotted a 240SX stock/touring car in action. 19 An Alfa Romeo Matta. It was the only thing that could possibly pry me away from the Quattroporte III parked behind that RV. 20 I stopped by to say hello to my friend’s dad, who has been bringing his yellow Sunbeam Tiger to the Historics for years. Usually, it’s just him and another fellow with a white Tiger. But this year, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the model, nine Tigers were admitted. 21 The car is based in Southern California and makes regular trips up and down the state, from Sears Point down to Coronado. But recently, the car was raced in Watkins Glen and Lime Rock. 22 This year’s Historics had a number of 1980s race cars, like this Mustang. 23 The McLaren F1 got more love than that DB6 next to it. 24 Talbot and Austin, in green. 25 Another 1980s racer. 26 Here is a close-up shot of that Ferrari in the lede photo. On the other side of the car, there was a frustrating and heated discussion over the proper way to take out a screw. 27 A couple of Bugattis. 28 Engine bay of another Bugatti. 29 More reports to come. On Saturday, I will attend, inter alia, the Concorso Italiano. 30 Images source: Copyright 2014 Hooniverse/Jim Yu

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