Speedfest 2013

The night before the first big car show of summer always brings with it a sense of childish anticipation. What cars will I see? Will I get to sit in any of them? Why am I, a grown man, reduced to a cheesy grin whenever I see a Lamborghini?

This year’s Speedfest – a supercar show held in by the Grampian Transport Museum in Alford, Aberdeenshire – promised a massive turnout of cars from virtually all facets of car culture. The inevitable vintage British sportscar range seen at any UK car show was nicely offset by a number of local dealer displays, pedigree Italian supercars and, for the first time ever in this show, a substantial collection of modified Japanese coupes. Despite not having many other modified cars on offer, it was refreshing to see an established event open its doors to the modified world.

Armed with my buddies and my Sony, the first car to really capture my attention was a carbon-clad 997.2 911 GT2 RS . As Aberdeen is slathered in oil money, it’s no surprise that the city has an official Porsche dealership.

Porsche - GT2 - RS - Aberdeen | www.motormessenger.co.uk
The Porsche crest is a weight-saving sticker
Porsche - GT2 - RS - White - 997 - Turbo - 993 | www.motormessenger.co.uk

Nevertheless, my eyebrows were raised when I saw this locally-registered beast blasting by on the track. Making over 600bhp, the characteristic 911 rasp is overlaid with a bizarre-sounding noise; almost as if it was hoovering its way through the air. Have a look at the video I took below so you can see what I mean.

Nissan - R34 - GT-R - BBS - LM | www.motormessenger.co.uk

The ‘Modified Parade’ was full of loud Nissans and Toyotas, with an Evo VIII as the safety car. Pick of the bunch for me was this Bayside Blue R34, as it was full of simple little touches that just accentuated the swagger of the standard car. In my eyes, this is just so much nicer than the R35. Every time I see one of these, I reconsider owning a supercar. You can do so much to these to make them insanely fast!

The dealer displays were well worth a walkaround too, as I managed to get some seat time in an R8 V10 Cabriolet, the new MY2013-spec R8 V8 Coupe, an R35 GT-R and the new BMW M6, no less. John Clark Motor Group and Aberdeen Nissan were both very welcoming, despite the unlikelihood of me placing a deposit that day.

Audi - R8 - V8 - Coupe | www.motormessenger.co.uk
I suspect this would be a pain to clean.

BMW - M6 - Interior - Scotland | www.motormessenger.co.uk

Once behind the wheel, it was interesting to see the differences in interior design between the halo models of rival manufacturers. The stylish, yet restrained look of the M6 contrasted with the low-slung and curvaceous beauty of the R8. Both, however, could not be further removed from the buttonfest that is the R35 GT-R. Whilst it is a car of immense technical capability, I didn’t feel that the interior warranted the £70k price tag.

Nissan - GT-R - R35 - Nismo | www.motormessenger.co.uk
Buttons ahoy!

A sad fact of the day was that very few of the cars on show had traditional manual gearboxes. Nissan’s Nismo-specced 370Z sported some Nismo additions and, crucial, had a three-pedal and stick combo. The huggy, bolstered seats were firm. It definitely looked like a car worth taking out for a blast, and the cool numbered plaque did make you feel that you were sitting in something a
little rarer than most.

Nissan - Nismo - 370Z | www.motormessenger.co.uk

A short walk over to the display paddock read like a shopping list of some of the rarest, fastest and outlandish supercars of the last fifty years. Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Nobles, BMWs, Porsches, Jaguars, Mercedes and Ariels were all spread over the grass in front of me. The growing crowd gathered around something particularly low and spectacular parked proudly at the front of the display. Through the mass of people, I caught a glimpse of one unmistakeable Rosso Corsa flank and realised that I was in the presence of supercar royalty:

Ferrari - Enzo - Flank - Rosso | www.motormessenger.co.uk
I’m still struggling to scrape my jaw off the floor
Ferrari - Enzo - Dino - Scotland | www.motormessenger.co.uk
The lucky owner also owns this ’72 Dino and an R35 GT-R
Ferrari - Enzo - Rosso Corsa | www.motormessenger.co.uk
Remarkably, this Enzo was not the rarest Ferrari there – a 1957 Ferrari 250 GT Elena shared tarmac space with a 599 GTO. Seeing them side-by-side really showed the differences in design, construction and the dimensions of the sporting coupe over the decades. The sheer variety of supercars on offer was incredible even for a show veteran like me. For now, I’ll let the pictures do the talking…

BMW - M6 | www.motormessenger.co.uk

Ferrari - F355 - Berlinetta | www.motormessenger.co.uk

Ford - RS200 - Group B - Scotland | www.motormessenger.co.uk
Only 1700 miles from new!

Scotland - Gallardo - Arancio Atlas - Spyder | www.motormessenger.co.uk
Pretty much the best colour combo on a Gallardo

Lamborghini - Gallardo - Superleggera - Verde Ithaca | www.motormessenger.co.uk

Ferrari - 360 - CS - Challenge Stradale | www.motormessenger.co.uk

Jaguar - XJ220 - Silver - Scotland | www.motormessenger.co.uk
Ferrari - 308GTS | www.motormessenger.co.uk
14″ wheels… back in the day

BMW - M5 - E39 | www.motormessenger.co.uk
I want one.

Ferrari - F430 - Scuderia | www.motormessenger.co.uk

Porsche - 993 - Turbo | www.motormessenger.co.uk

Ferrari - 599 - gto - scotland | www.motormessenger.co.uk
 | www.motormessenger.co.uk
Grandmother and daughter

Hard to believe this Diablo VT is 12 years old.

Emerging out of nowhere was a very special, race-proven old muscle car. I never thought I’d type this, but even my lifelong love of Italian exotica was masked by this ridiculous, three miles per gallon 1970s Chevy Camaro Z28 stock car. As a past winner of the International Race of Champions at Daytona, this old beast was certainly agricultural. The kind owner let me sit in it – shimmying through the window felt very NASCAResque and pressing the comically heavy clutch was a real effort. How he manages to drive this thing, I’ll never know.

In fact, how anyone managed to race it is a mystery to me. Throughout the 1970s, superstar drivers from racing disciplines worldwide were invited to compete in the championship. I was effectively sitting in the same car that Mario Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jody Scheckter and even James Hunt had raced in. This particular car was campaigned with much success by NASCAR driver Richard Petty, which is why his name was still emblazoned across the windscreen and door of the Camaro.

By the end of the day, I’d sat in several amazing cars, seen some amazing on-track displays and got a suntan to boot. This particular Chevy stole the show for me, and when it took to the track we were treated to the full V8 aural experience. What a noise.

Some sponsors were still intact

Tilted gauges ftw!

No Radio 1 in here

This 4-speed helps the driver tame the 450bhp, 6-litre small-block Chevy V8 up front and is geared for  over 180mph

//www.youtube.com/get_player

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