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Waking up before sunrise for a car show has never paid off as much as it did today. I had no idea what I was in for when I arrived and parked but as cars started to arrive and the sun started to rise, the horizon began to glow vivid shades of orange, pink, and deep purple. This made for a great backdrop to watch the show cars roll in.
This was the last MN C&C event of the year and with clear skys and a cool breeze, I knew we had all of the makings for a great show. I don't think anyone left disappointed.
It wasn't long before more cars started to arrive and AutoMotorPlex began to fill up.
Morries and Luxury Auto arrived bright and early with this stunning Aston Martin DB9 and later, a beautiful, brand new Bentley Continental.
It was almost painful to look at the mangled front splitter of this sinister looking Aston Martin V12 Vantage. The owner caught it on the end of his driveway on his way to the show this morning.
Barely audible over the rumble of the blue Ford GT40, I could hear the high pitched mechanical wail of a flat plane V8 that could only be in a Ferrari. I saw a red snout poking out from behind a garage and immediately recognized it as a 458 Italia! This car has been to other C&C events this year but I've managed to miss it. This was my first sighting in MN and hopefully not my last.
Not far behind the Ferrari, I could hear the unique rumble of the supercharged German iron. Hot on the 458's heels was a stunning blue Mercedes McLaren SLR followed by a silver Mercedes AMG SLS!
Leighton Reese, the former Grand Am racing driver and current Grand Am team owner, was in attendance with his Porsche 911 track car.
Watching this interaction between an Alaskan Malamute and this Dachsund puppy, I couldn't help but chuckle.
Less than 250 of these Shelby Series 1's were ever built so it was incredibly cool to see one in person. I never would've guessed there was one in Minnesota!
The local Mercedes 280SL Pagoda club showed up after their annual fall cruise.
As I was chatting with some friends, I could hear and see a helicopter flying around, circling the AutoMotorPlex. Joking with my friends, I said "I'll make sure to wave to you when I'm up there", not actually expecting to have the chance to do so. About 10 seconds after saying that, my phone started ringing. It was Bruno from the MotorPlex, calling to tell me to keep an eye on where the helicopter landed and to start heading that way because I'd be going up to take pics!
It took a little while to find a good place for the helicopter to land that didn't kick up a ton of dust but we eventually ended up in a vacant parking lot across the street. This wasn't the first time I'd gone up in a chopper to shoot a car show so I knew the drill as I hopped in, buckled up, put on my headset. Making sure to keep my knees clear of the controls as the R44 lifted off, I really enjoyed both the feeling of take-off and the great view of everything below and on the horizon.
In this shot, you can see downtown Minneapolis in the background.
Seeing the fall colors and all of the cars from up that high was a real treat! Once we landed, I stopped by the entrance to the MotorPlex to watch the cars leaving.
Having a Merkur XR4Ti myself, I was drawn to this car, which has been retrofitted with a turbocharged 302cid Ford V8 and AWD. Although the owner hadn't tracked it lately, he's expecting it to make high 11 second passes in the 1/4 mile when he takes it to the strip next weekend.
This 1700 hp monster Camaro was actually driven to C&C! An oil leak kept it from driving home.
On my way out, I stopped to talk to my friend Joel who was getting ready to leave in his mint Nissan 300ZX. While we were chatting, the Shelby Series 1 came rumbling by and parked next to one of the garages. As we finished up our conversation, I snapped a few pics of Joel's car and the Shelby before leaving to grab some lunch.
I'm being completely honest when I say that this was the best C&C I've ever been to. The amount and quality of cars was mind boggling. The only thing I would've liked to see more of were some vintage European cars like the Ferrari 250 GTBs and Lamborghini Miuras that occasionally attend, but I'm not sure where we would've found room to park them!
Check back next April for more C&C coverage.
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