Think ‘supercar-spotting’ in the UK, and you’re likely to imagine hoards of smartphone-wielding teens following an Aventador SV in traffic on London’s Sloane Street. Thanks to YouTube personalities such as SeenThroughGlass and Shmee150, you’d be forgiven for thinking that London is the go-to location to see some of the rarest and spectacular cars on the planet.
But while London does have its charms for the supercar spotter, Aberdeenshire offers a more natural environment in which to spot hypercars and supercars – the open road.
Seeing and hearing the world’s only Zonda GJ, or one of a handful of Veyron World Record Editions catapult past you in the opposite direction on a B-road is undoubtedly a more visceral experience for the petrolhead than hearing an F40 rev in neutral at a city centre traffic light.
So what is it that makes Aberdeen and the surrounding areas so compelling for supercar fans?
The Granite City, as it is nicknamed, has been the official oil capital of Europe since the 1970s, when oil was discovered over 120 miles offshore in the North Sea. For a city that historically made its living from fishing and granite quarrying, the oil boom brought with it a taste for big houses, new restaurants – and performance cars.
As a result of over four decades’ worth of engineering expertise, an established infrastructure has been set up to support petrolheads based in the North-east. As well as glitzy offerings from Porsche, BMW M Performance and Audi Sport to name a few, there are a host of specialised local firms offering performance car services in the area.
So whether you want your weekend toy serviced (try Motorwerks or Wallace Performance) or detailed (the internationally-renowned Polished Bliss is only a few miles out of the city), the level of support for car culture far outstrips any preconceptions you might have for a city with a population of approximately 230,000 people.
With its remote location away from the Central Belt, Aberdeen is also lucky to have stunning roads to the south, west and north of the city. The Old Military Road – as featured in evo magazine – is a personal favourite of Motormessenger thanks to its serpentine corners, isolation and the sheer vastness of the scenery.
Heading west, car fans can soon reach the Cairngorms and travel the routes made famous by Skyfall, which are a formidable test of both a car’s suspension setup and mechanical grip.
With these obvious benefits, it’s unsurprising that Aberdeen has a varied car scene – and due to the city’s compact size, it is relatively simple to stumble across some real gems while going about your daily business. Where else can you see out on the open road a mix so varied as to include a metallic brown Renault 5 Turbo 2, a yellow production prototype McLaren P1 and a CLK63 AMG Black Series?
You can keep up with the supercar scene in north-eastern Scotland by visiting GT Scotland for more, or by making it along to one of the meets held in Midmar, Aberdeenshire.
Let Motormessenger know which cars you’ve spotted locally in the comments section or by catching up on Twitter.