The luck of the Irish. Apparently I was the recipient of it, when I stumbled upon these lovely machines early in the evening on March 17th. I had no idea a car show was even taking place, so it was a truly pleasant surprise.
Earlier in the evening, myself, my buddy Chris, and Chris’ mom all celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at Finn McCool’s, a popular Irish pub and restaurant in the city of Santa Monica, not far from the border with Marina Del Rey. While there, we all ordered traditional Irish faire. We also took a moment to make a toast to our late friend Johnny, an elderly neighbor who had recently left this mortal plain to collect his eternal reward for a life well-lived. We also got to hear traditional Irish folk music, being played by a real Irish band. Imagine that!
After dinner, we went for a walk to burn it off. Chris doesn’t drink at all, and his mom barely touches the stuff. I was the one who had just pounded down two whole pints of Guinness, so a walk in the cool ocean air definitely did me good. Good thing too, or else we never would have discovered this automotive treasure trove.
First up is this incredibly rare 1959 Peerless GT, which is one of less than 300 built. Up until the day I found this one, I had never even heard of these before. I know nothing of these cars’ specs, but a neatly printed sign in the back window gives the rundown on the cars’ specs, as well as this one’s individual history:
Seeing that it came with a 2-litre Triumph engine, I can only wonder if a spare case of engine oil was standard equipment 🙂 .
While the front and side view are quite lovely, the view from the rear is slightly… awkward. At first glance it looks a little like a Sunbeam Tiger that’s been rear-ended by a London Cab. If the rear deck were raised a few inches and the trunk extended outward a few it would have looked better, but that’s just my opinion.
This car means business, as evidenced by its spartan interior. Not a single unnecessary geegaw or gadget anywhere. The elegant wood dash panel normally found on classic British sports cars is conspicuously absent on this one. Also note the master electrical cutoff switch discreetly mounted in the glovebox- always a good idea when dealing with British electrics.
Next up is this lovely Alfa Romeo GTV6, exact year unknown. I apologize for the picture being slightly blurred. By this time that second pint of Guinness was kicking in, piggybacking on the first, which might explain my slightly unsteady hands. Even with a less than crystal clear pic, this Alfa’s gorgeous lines and brilliant red paint shine through. Is it my imagination, or have the Italians always built the best-looking cars on earth, regardless of size, category, or price range?
The view of the Alfa from the rear, with its tight and toned little rump. The dinged rear bumper with its faded chrome would indicate that this is an honest driver rather than some pampered garage queen. I say “good”. Cars like this were meant to be enjoyed, not stuck in a climate-controlled room behind a velvet rope.
The Alfa’s office, with the trademark Alfa high-mounted gearshift lever and pod-style instrument panel. Grabbing that shifter, while listening to that little high-revving Alfa 6 singing soprano, must be pure joy.
Behind door number 3 is this flashy Porsche 911, clothed in a brilliant orange-yellow hue that’s about as subtle as a punch in the face. The small bumpers peg it as a ’73 or older, and the chrome factory Fuchs wheels provide a pleasant contrast for the screaming yellow paint.
This screaming yellow zonker looks just as sharp from the back as it does from the front, but I don’t remember the large “PORSCHE” decal on the rear decklid being factory issue. Can any 911 experts out there clear this up?
The 911’s interior- clean, stark, and functional. The aftermarket racing seats with their custom color scheme are clearly visible. The radio is most conspicuous by its absence. But with the lovely music being made by that air-cooled flat six, who needs a stinkin’ radio?
We conclude the European segment of our St. Patrick’s Day automotive exhibit with this slick BMW 2002tii. As bad-ass as this Bimmer looks on the outside, it’s what’s inside that really counts.
The jungle-gym roll cage, five-point harnesses, heavily bolstered racing seats, and video camera mount indicate that this car probably sees some serious track time on occasion. I think that’s great, although I must admit that the thought of this gorgeous vehicle being stuffed into a tire wall makes me cringe a little.
Another view of the 2002’s interior. Note the carbon fiber steering wheel with billet mounting hub, drilled aluminum pedals, and finally the neck brace laying on the seat. This car means business, and so does its driver.
The heart of the beast. This thing is chock full of hardcore racing parts- dual carbs with foam filters, braided stainless steel fuel line with external fuel pressure gauge, silicone radiator hose, large-capacity aluminum radiator with billet aluminum puke tank, and electric pusher fan. Also visible is the aftermarket strut tower brace. Not visible from this angle is the polished stainless steel header dumping into a big-bore exhaust system. With this level of hardware, the owner of this car clearly isn’t mucking around. I don’t know the size or specs of this motor, but I’m guessing that this is the view most commonly seen by those pesky riced-out Hondas:
I have many more cars to share, the rest of them all from the good ol’ US of A. It’s getting late, and I have to work tomorrow, so I’ll showcase those in a second installment.