By Andrew McCredie
Visitors spinning the turnstiles at the 97th annual Vancouver International Auto Show have as many motivations as there are vehicles on display. Some come with their next new car in mind; some come to see what the future holds; and some come to dream a little dream. From consumer cars to concepts to supercars, the six-day show spread out over two levels at the waterfront convention centre has something for everyone — and then some. Elsewhere in this section, we’ve covered all those bases so here we’ll highlight five vehicles that I’ll be sharpening my elbows to see. As much as the shiny new supercars attract attention, I’ll take a classic collectible anytime. And these two offerings from Ferrari Maserati of Vancouver — by way of a private collector — are about as classic, certainly as collectible, as you’ll find not just at this show, but at the greatest car shows on earth.
We’ll start with the big-ticket item, the 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competition Coupe. This short-wheelbase, left-hand drive beauty has a long competition pedigree, campaigned right out of the box by its first owner, Dr. Alberico Cacciari of Bologna, Italy. Top results include a second overall at the La V Coppa Sant Ambroeus at Monza and third place in the Mille Miglia. The current owner still races it, most notably at Laguna Seca during the annual Monterey Historics. All the more impressive considering it is valued between US$12-14 million.
As beautiful at the 250 GT is, this Maserati outshines the Prancing Horse. One of just 32 200 Si’s produced between 1955 and 1958, this stunning racer was worked hard in SCCA events in Florida in the late-Fifties, then tucked away for many years until a factory rebuild brought it back to its original glory. As with its stablemate, this open top racer is still rung out on the track, with a win in the Ferrari Historic Challenge to its credit.
The Ford GT nameplate harkens back to the golden era of motorsport, most famously with four-straight 24 Hours of Le Mans outright wins between 1966 and 1969. This all-new model pays hommage to its GT40 heritage, but is as 21st Century as its futuristic and aerodynamic looks. The carbon fibre, mid-engine two-seater is powered by a 600-plus horsepower EcoBoost engine, one that is surprisingly fuel efficient given its monstrous output. The Vancouver show marks the first-ever showing of the new GT in British Columbia.
This all-new mid-size crossover is also making its maiden B.C. appearance at the show, and in fact was just unveiled to the world earlier this month at the Geneva Motor Show. Though it shares a number of components with the Jaguar F-Pace, the Velar is all Range Rover, and heralds an all-new design language for the Rover brand. This is particularly true of the interior, which features three touchscreens and boasts the lowest driver seating position of any Rover ever.
Finally, some hometown love. Vancouver-based electric vehicle manufacturer ElectraMeccanica made its home show debut last year with a display that featured a running chassis of a soon-to-be-built single-seater called the Solo. This year the company returns triumphant with a ready for the road production model, built at its New West assembly plant. With Solo orders in excess of 500, the company is well on its way to its stated goal of building the ultimate commuter vehicle, and final approval to sell the Solo in the United States should happen very soon.
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