When Peter Mullin’s 1934 Voisin C-25 Aerodyne won Best of Show at the 61st annual staging of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance last Sunday (below), it was the climactic conclusion to a long week of related collector car events and auctions. While many of those events have recently been covered on these pages, including the Quail Motorsports Gathering, the Gooding & Company Pebble Beach auction, and the Concours d’Elegance itself, little attention has been given to the event that kicked off the whole shebang.
Held on the Wednesday evening prior to the Pebble Concours, Gordon McCall’s Motorworks Revival features the same spirit as the highly acclaimed uber-luxury Quail Motorsports Gathering, and that’s with good reason. McCall happens to also be the driving force behind the Quail. The Motorworks Revival offers the same guiding principles as the Motorsports Gathering – all-you-can-eat gourmet dining and drinking, luxury sponsors with demo booths, and fantastic cars – but framed in a slightly different setting. Staged in an open hangar and its adjacent tarmac at the Monterey Jet Center just northeast of the wooded Pebble Beach peninsula, the Motorworks Revival is a bit of a mood setter for the events that follow, offering a smattering of very high quality classic racecars with an equal number of brand new exotic supercars.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, this year’s Motorworks Revival offered glimpses of the following stunners:
Lotus Evora GTE
Making its world debut was this new racecar from Lotus, based on the standard Evora but ultimately intended to bring the manufacturer a win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (we’re assuming the “E” stands for endurance). Developing 420 horsepower and featuring extra weight savings that likely make the regular no-frills Lotuses appear luxurious by comparison, the svelte new Evora GTE turned more than a few heads with its taut lines and aggressive new spoiler.
After a soft debut for journalists, customers, and students at the Art Center College of Design a few weeks ago, the new Huayra finally enjoyed a coming-out party among the Monterey jet set. The 700-horsepower Italian hypercar was mobbed most of the night as guests navigated the gullwing doors to experience an interior awash in polished aluminum shift gear and wheel-mounted buttons.
Out on the tarmac, Pagani’s prior reigning supercar, the 750-horsepower Zonda R, looked lonely by comparison.
Aston Martin V12 Zagato
Making its North American debut after premiering at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in May, the V12 Zagato duly impressed in person with numerous features that are easily missed in photographs. A spartan racing cockpit, non-glass polymer windows, impossibly deep fender scoops, and a strip of xenon lights along the front fascia are just some of the details that leap out at the eye during a live viewing of this instantly collectible British/Italian racing hybrid.
A number of privately owned vintage Aston racers were displayed nearby, including this aluminum-skinned 1959 DB4.
Lamborghini’s replacement for the Murcielago lives up to the billing, lower, meaner, and somehow more extreme than its predecessor. Capable of 700 horsepower, 2.9-second launches to 60 mph, and a top speed of 217 mph, the Aventador was more at home on the runway than in the hangar, seemingly challenging the F/A-18 Hornet Navy training jet from the “Flying Eagles” strike fighter squadron that sits behind it.
Hennessey Venom GT
Texas tuning legend John Hennessey started with a Lotus Elise and ended up with this poisonously fast supercar. How’s this for performance? 1,200 horsepower, 2.5 seconds from 0-60 mph, and a top speed of 275 mph. That’s Bugatti Veyron territory. In addition to installing a twin-turbocharged 6.2 liter V-8 engine, Hennessey obviously reworked the chassis and body dimensions, which look far more Porsche Carrera GT than Lotus Elise.
Morgan Eva GT
Nothing new here, as the Eva GT was first shown well over a year ago. But with such delicate curves and artful finishing, I rarely pass up the opportunity to celebrate this car’s elegant 1930s-style proportions, which offer a nice counterpoint to the hyper-wedge designs that characterize some of the other goodies on hand.
Breitling for Bentley
While Bentley displayed its new second generation Continental GT, as well as other current lineup offerings, watchmaking partner Breitling made a splash with its booth offering guests a chance to try on the Breitling for Bentley collection of wristwatches. A longtime veteran of the McCall Motorworks Revival, Breitling not only claims a corporate partnership with Bentley, but as a pioneer in aviation timing and pilots’ timepieces, the manufacturer couldn’t be more at home in a setting like the Jet Center. The Swiss horology company used this year’s event to debut a brand new piece, a limited 1,000-piece edition of the Supersports Light Body watch, this one featuring a face finished in Bentley Racing Green.
Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Best of Show winner photo © 2011 by Kimball Studios, used courtesy of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. All other photos © by Mike Daly.