Tag Archives: car

Sports Car Digest – Best Vintage Car Racing Photo of 2016

Ferrari 250 GTO and Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta at the Monterey Motorsports Reunion (photo: Victor Varela)

I was honored again this year to have four of my images, of the best 50 chosen, to be considered for Sports Car Digest’s Best Vintage Car Racing Photo of 2016. Since 2009, SCD has celebrated the photographs they publish by choosing the top 50 and having the readers chose from these.  Selecting the top 50 certainly isn’t an easy task for them, but with the list being narrowed down, SCD is asking for your assistance in picking the best vintage car racing photo.

Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing at the Monterey Motorsports Reunion (photo: Victor Varela)

To vote, simply visit the following page on their website: Best Vintage Car Racing Photo of 2016

You can find my 4 images on the SCD website here:  My Best Vintage Racing Photos for 2016

I have shared the four images here for your consideration and your vote for any one of them would be greatly appreciated!

Ferrari 412MI the Monterey Motorsports Reunion (photo: Victor Varela)

Simply vote by leaving a comment at the bottom of the Ports Car Digest website page, indicating which photo is your favorite image.  They will announce the winner in the January 21st edition of their newsletter and in the comment section.

Scarab Mk I left its mark on the Monterey Motorsports Reunion (photo: Victor Varela)

Sports Car Digest will randomly choose THREE winners from the comments to receive a SCD T-Shirt and sticker combo, so be sure to include your email address in the comment form so they can reach you. In order to win, you must also be a subscriber to Sports Car Digest Weekly, so sign up for their free newsletter if you haven’t already.

Good Morning

Good Morning

This image from a Ferrari 375 MM was captured at Cars & Coffee in Irvine, on October 3rd, 2009.

It can be purchased in print or canvas, by clicking the image or using the following link to the gallery: Cars & Coffee – Irvine 2009-14

Thank you for viewing this post.

Vic

[image copyright © 2009 Victor Varela. All rights reserved]

Cap & Mirror

Bonnet

This image from a Ford GT40 was captured at Cars & Coffee in Irvine, on September 12th, 2009.

It can be purchased in print or canvas, by clicking the image or using the following link to the gallery: Cars & Coffee – Irvine 2009-14

Thank you for viewing this post.

Vic

[image copyright © 2009 Victor Varela. All rights reserved]

GT40

Avon

These images of a Ford GT40 were captured at Cars & Coffee in Irvine, on September 05th, 2009.

Look

They can be purchased in print or canvas, by clicking the image or using the following link to the gallery: Cars & Coffee – Irvine 2009-14

Thank you for viewing this post.

Vic

[image copyright © 2009 Victor Varela. All rights reserved]

San Marino Motor Classic 2015

Vincent modeling Carpe Viam's excellent T-shirt for The Little Red Racing Car.

Vincent modeling Carpe Viam’s excellent T-shirt for The Little Red Racing Car.

This was the first year I covered the San Marino Motor Classic: Design in Motion.  In it’s 5th year, the event was held on June 14, 2015 at Lacy Park in San Marino, California.  It is the successor of the Los Angeles Concours d’Elegance.  Over 300 cars were displayed on the lawns of the beautiful 30-acre park, all gathered for the public to enjoy.

I spent the morning walking around the park, admiring and capturing the featured 34 classes of cars, which included examples from Ferrari, Porsche, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Packard, Cadillac, Jaguar, Bugatti, Hispano-Suiza and Rolls-Royce.

1957 Lotus Eleven (Tribute) - owned by John Holodnik & Vivian Woo

1957 Lotus Eleven (Tribute) – owned by John Holodnik & Vivian Woo

I found automotive icons and collectors like Bruce Meyer, Aaron Weiss, KABC 7’s Automotive Specialist Dave Kunz, Ed Justice, Jr., Peter Mullin & Bruce Meguiar – walking the park and talking candidly with visitors & fans who approached them.

My wife, Maria and my Grandson, Vincent, came along with me to enjoy the day at the park and to admire all the great cars on display.  Vincent even got to meet Barry Meguiar and a ride in a real fire truck!

Vic, Vincent and Barry Meguiar

Vic, Vincent and Barry Meguiar

My report and images were published online this morning at Sports Car Digest.  You can read and see all my images HERE.

1973 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spyder - owned by Robert & Anne Marie De Pietro

1973 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spyder – owned by Robert & Anne Marie De Pietro

Purchase Prints…
If you would like a print for your wall at home, office or race shop, I offer quality prints of the images you see here and others that were captured during this event. You can purchase them here: Photo Store

1985 Ferrari 288 GTO - owned by David Lee

1985 Ferrari 288 GTO – owned by David Lee

Vic

The unauthorized use and/or duplication of any editorial or photographic content from victorvarela.com:blog without express and written permission from Victor Varela, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to victorvarela.com:blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Friends of Steve McQueen Car & Motorcycle Show – 2014

Steve McQueen's 1956 Jaguar XKSS - D-Type. (On display courtesy, The Peterson Museum) ©  2014 Victor Varela

Steve McQueen’s 1956 Jaguar XKSS – D-Type. (On display courtesy, The Peterson Museum) © 2014 Victor Varela

The Friends of Steve McQueen held their “Thomas Crown Affair” themed car and motorcycle charity benefit on Saturday, June 7, 2014, at the Boys Republic in Chino Hills, California. The event is in it’s 7th year and is co-chaired by Chad McQueen and Ron Harris.  The event helps raise funds to support the Boys Republic and also pays tribute to the iconic actor and racing aficionado.

The day began with the typical “June Gloom”, which made the light very neutral, when I was hoping for some morning light to capture the cars being displayed.

1951 Vincent Black Shadow, owned by Mike Begley.  ©  2014 Victor Varela

1951 Vincent Black Shadow, owned by Mike Begley. © 2014 Victor Varela

The show didn’t disappoint as there was a great variety of cars and motorcycles being displayed.  As the theme was from McQueen’s movie, “The Thomas Crown Affair”, the original 1967 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow two-door sedan and the 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4S NART Spider were present and displayed.

This particular car shw is special for me as I have been a fan of McQueen’s, since I first saw the movie. “Le Mans” when I stayed up late one evening to watch it on the late, late, late show.  McQueen was one of a very few actors who could stand on his own in the racing world. Many have tried and failed, but Steve was the real deal and has the respect and admiration from both the film and racing world.

Kerry Morse's 1997 Porsche GT1 (chassis 101) ©  2014 Victor Varela

Kerry Morse’s 1997 Porsche GT1 (chassis 101) © 2014 Victor Varela

This year’s show featured many notable motorcycle and automotive entries, including a 1951 Vincent Black Shadow; a 1966 BMW R69S; a 1969 Norton Commando; a 1970 Porsche 911-6 GT; a 1997 Porsche GT1 (chassis 101); a 1993 Bugatti EB110 GT; the original “Mooneyes”, the “00″ 24T Ford Roadster – owned and operated by the Alcala family since 1953; along with several Ford Mustang “Bullitt” editions.

I ran into Urban Outlaw and Porschephile, Magnus Walker, who brought his custom 1972 Porsche 911 72STR as well as long time show supporter and artist, Nicolas Hunziker, creator of the official show paintings/ posters, displayed his 1968 Porsche 911T Sports Purposes as well.

1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4S NART Spider used in “The Thomas Crown Affair". ©  2014 Victor Varela

1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4S NART Spider used in “The Thomas Crown Affair”. © 2014 Victor Varela

My favorite car from this event has to be McQueen’s 1956 Jaguar XKSS, D-Type.  In 1957, Jaguar offered the remaining unfinished D-Types as XKSS versions. Their extra road-going equipment – which including a second seat, trimmed interior, side windows, passenger-side door, full-width framed windscreen and windscreen wipers, folding bonnet and bumpers – made them eligible for production sports car races in America.   Jaguar had 25 of these cars in various stages of completion when a factory fire destroyed nine of them.

The 2014 Awards List.

All proceeds from the 2014 Friends of Steve McQueen Car and Motorcycle Show, benefit the Boys Republic, 1907 Boys Republic Drive, Chino Hills, California. For more information, visit Friends of Steve McQueen.

Bonnet from Ben Maccabee's 1971 Jaguar E-Type.  ©  2014 Victor Varela

Bonnet from Ben Maccabee’s 1971 Jaguar E-Type. © 2014 Victor Varela

View the gallery of the images from this event here: Victor Varela Photographer.

A series of my images and a report were published at Sports Car Digest, the leading international online journal for sports, racing and vintage car enthusiasts.  You can view it here:  The Friends of Steve McQueen Car & Motorcycle Show 2014.

Purchase Prints…
If you would like a print for your wall at home, office or race shop, I offer quality prints of the images you see here and others that were captured during this event. You can purchase them here: Photo Store

[source: Friends of Steve McQueen]

The unauthorized use and/or duplication of any editorial or photographic content from victorvarela.com:blog without express and written permission from Victor Varela, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to victorvarela.com:blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

2014 Rodeo Drive Concours – 100 Years of Horse Power

1924 Bentley 3/8 Litre “Hawkeye Special”, the “3/8” number configuration - 3 litre chassis fitted with an 8 litre engine – 2012 Rodeo Drive Concours d'Elegance. © 2012 Victor Varela

1924 Bentley 3/8 Litre “Hawkeye Special”, the “3/8” number configuration – 3 litre chassis fitted with an 8 litre engine – 2012 Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance. © 2012 Victor Varela

For a few years now, I have attended a wonderful car show which is located in the world famous city of Beverly Hills.   The Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance is an exclusive display of luxury automobiles which is set against the backdrop of world class and ultra chic, Rodeo Drive. This unique event, celebrates the unique relationship between the automotive, fashion and the entertainment industries.  The event has been named one of the “300 Unmissable Events & Festivals Around the World” by top travel publisher Frommer’s.  The best part of this spectacular car show is that it’s free and open to the public!

What really makes this event special for me, is that every year, it falls on Father’s Day making this a really neat tradition.  It is a great way to celebrate the day and remember my father, Saul, who passed away last year from pancreatic cancer. This year, I will be covering the event as a contributing writer/photographer for Sports Car Digest and dedicating the article to him.

Along with SCD, I will be posting a brief write up here and several images – the majority being posted at my website, victorvarela.com and available for purchase.

Here’s the press release about the 2014 Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance.

 

 

The 2014 edition of the Rodeo Drive Concours will mark the City of Beverly Hills’ Centennial on Father’s Day, June 15 from 10 am to 4 pm featuring Maserati as the “Honored Marque”. Maserati also celebrates their Centennial in 2014. The Rodeo Drive Committee has selected the theme “100 Years of Horse Power” to honor this milestone with a one day museum quality installation of vehicles illustrating the city’s history. From the horse-drawn Wells Fargo Wagon to the present, this year’s show will feature cars owned by storied celebrity residents and those related to key historical moments and film and TV over the last century.

 

 

 

200 BLOCK
1. ZERO TO 100: 2014 Honored Marque Maserati joins Beverly Hills in celebrating its’ Centennial in 2014. In celebration of the first 100 years, the revered auto manufacturer introduces its GT MC Centennial Edition Model adding to the heritage of horsepower on display. To commemorate its milestone anniversary, Maserati has created unique designs of its top performance models GranTurismo MC Centennial Edition and GranTurismo Convertible MC Centennial Edition.
2. FORMULA 1-INSPIRED: Auto Gallery and McLaren Beverly Hills are the official licensed dealer for the McLaren MP4-12C in Los Angeles and offer the groundbreaking 12C coupe, the new 12C Spider as well as pre-owned exotic cars from other marques.
3. HELLO NEIGHBOR: Come and meet your newest automotive neighbor – Infiniti of Beverly Hills. Discover the 2014 lineup of award winning high- performance luxury vehicles.

 

300 BLOCK
4. CALIFORNIA, HERE I COME: Following a highly successful debut that set a new standard for the market, excitement is mounting for Auctions America’s 2014 California sale August 1 and 2 in Burbank, California. This year’s auction will present 400 collector cars handpicked for Southern California’s unique car culture. See some of the highlights of consignments from this year’s auction.
5. ORIGINAL HORSE POWER: This year’s show opens with an appearance by the famed Wells Fargo Wagon. Before the City was founded in 1914, J. P. Bruso moved to town in 1909 and operated the Wells Fargo express office out of his grocery store and butcher shop continuing to offer customers quick and reliable express shipments of money, goods, and valuables until 1918.
6. PONY RIDE: A rare public appearance of the new 2015 Mustang celebrating the brand’s 50th Anniversary in 2014. Introduced at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, the original Mustang helped define automotive youth culture in America and was so eagerly embraced by the buying public that it quickly shattered all sales records.
7. BEVERLY HILLS SPEEDWAY: This year’s Concours pays tribute to the Beverly Hills Speedway, also known as the Los Angeles Speedway, a 1.25-mile track for auto and motor cycle racing that attracted such racing legends as Barney Oldfield and Indianapolis 500 winner Gaston Chevrolet. Up to 70,000 spectators could attend races where world speed records were set and broken at the time. It was built in 1919 and operated until 1924 on 275 acres of land that includes the site of today’s Beverly Wilshire Hotel just outside the “Golden Triangle.” Make sure to see film footage of actual races on the track by noted Beverly Hills historian and author Robert Anderson.
8. PUTTIN’ ON THE RITZ: A holdover from the horse and carriage era, the 1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Town Car by Hooper was originally owned by Fred Astaire until 1950. Astaire used the car in London, New York and Los Angeles. This ultra-formal vehicle has a sumptuously appointed rear compartment complete with green brocade upholstery, silver plated fittings, his and hers English Silver vanity sets, silver bud vases, and two walking sticks, one fitted with a telescope, the other with opera glasses and a custom Louis Vuitton trunk on the back. Passengers could communicate with the chauffeur through a speaking tube.
9. BLOND BOMBSHELL: American film actress and sex symbol Jean Harlow owned this 1932 Packard 6-45 Dietrich Dual Cowl Phaeton. After being signed by director Howard Hughes, Harlow became a leading lady for MGM, starring in a string of hit films with frequent co-stars Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable. She was one of the biggest movie stars in the world by the late 1930s.
10. THE AVIATOR: One of the wealthiest people in the world, Howard Hughes was a maverick film producer, investor, engineer, philanthropist and aviator. Hughes was involved in a near-fatal aircraft accident on July 7, 1946, in Beverly Hills while performing the first flight of the prototype XF-11. Hughes purchased this 1924 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost and later, the car was owned by Gloria Swanson. Hughes also purchased this 1955 Packard Caribbean for wife and actress Jean Peters.
11. MUSCLE REVOLUTION: Watch-and-jewelry designer David Yurman has teamed up with muscle-car visionary Carroll Shelby, creator of the legendary Shelby Cobra, to create Yurman’s first limited-edition sports watch, the David Yurman Revolution Shelby 1000. It celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Shelby American brand, founded by Carroll Shelby, which produced the Cobra and other high-performance sports cars that tore up the worldwide auto racing circuit in the 1960s and early 1970s. See the new Shelby 1000 Mustang in front of David Yurman – the most powerful car to date – then check out the limited edition Revolution Shelby 1000 in store.
12. SIMPLY THE BEST: O’Gara Coach Company is an award-winning new and pre-owned retailer for Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. Stop by and see what the top automotive luxury brands have to offer for 2014.
13. NEVER MET A FIREMAN I DIDN’T LIKE: The 1928 Ahrens-Fox Fire Truck served the City of Beverly Hills for several decades and is owned by the Beverly Hills Fire Department. In 1925, actor, author and humorist Will Rogers declined to be nominated as Governor of Oklahoma, instead opting to become the first and only Honorary Mayor of Beverly Hills.

 

400 BLOCK
14. BEVERLY HILLS SPIRIT: Assouline Publishing presents their newest book “In the Spirit of Beverly Hills.” Meet the author and have your book signed by former Los Angeles Magazine editor Nancie Clare from 1 pm to 4 pm.
15. THE COLOR OF SUNSHINE: In 1967 Fred Hayman, “the father of Rodeo Drive,” opened Giorgio Beverly Hills, the street’s first high-end boutique with its signature yellow and white stripes. Mr. Hayman delivered purchases to customers via his yellow and black 1953 Silver Wraith Rolls-Royce and told the world that his favorite city was “the color of sunshine.” In 1976, Bijan opened a showroom on Rodeo, which helped to solidify Rodeo Drive’s reputation as a luxury shopping destination. Bijan touted his Rodeo Drive location as “the most expensive in the world” and parked his 2008 Bugatti Veyron “Bijan Edition” in front of the store daily – a tradition that continues to this day and now has its own special parking meter. Both Hayman and Bijan went on to create international best-selling fragrances “bottling Beverly Hills.” No surprise, but bright yellow is their favorite color.
16. SWIMMING POOLS. MOVIE STARS: “They loaded up the truck and moved to Bever-lee. Hills, that is.” See an authentic replica of the jalopy from the hit 60’s TV show “The Beverly Hillbillies.”
17. TV & FILM: The cars from HBO’s “Entourage,” “Gumball Rally” and the 1951 Academy Award Best Picture “An American in Paris” make a rare appearance. Of note, “American in Paris” star Gene Kelly lived on Rodeo Drive for more than 40 years and film composers George and Ira Gershwin lived on Roxbury Drive for many years.
18. TRANSFORM: Los Angeles-based artists Scrap Sculptures present ultimate pieces of art comprised of recycled scrap metal from car and motorcycle parts. Stop by and see their life-size sculptures of Megatron, Optimus Prime and BumbleBee. And, don’t miss the fourth installment of the robo-movie “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” opening June 27.
19. THE FUTURE: Take a peek into the future with URB-E,the world’s most compact electric personal transportation. Folded, it fits next to you on a train or bus and can reach 15 mph with a 20-mile range on a single charge. It is the winner of the 2014 Consumer Electronic Show’s “Best Personal Vehicle” Award and has been featured on “The Today Show.”
20. PETERSEN MUSEUM: Since its inception in 1994, the Petersen Automotive Museum has been regarded as the focus of automotive enthusiasm on the West Coast. Their current exhibit is “Mustangs Forever: 50 Years of a Legend.”
21. BLACK STALLION: There’s a reason the black stallion serves as the centerpiece to the logo of Ferrari: Horse Power. Ferrari USA and Ferrari Beverly Hills present the newest line-up from their collection that includes the Ferrari FF, California, 458 Italia, 458 Spider, F12, 599 and F430.

For more information, check out their website:  Rodeo Drove Concours

[source: The Donahue Group – Rodeo Drive Concours]

The Greatest Race

Book-Cover-Mockup-3

Every once in a while, you come across a special project that you immediately want to become part of. It could be the manner in which the person behind the project presents it. It could be the the idea behind the project and how it affects you. It could also be that the project has a noble cause attached to it that makes it something you want to be a part of. I found such a project last year when Dwight Knowlton’s Kickstarter project, “The Little Red Racing Car”, was being funded through Kickstarter. Dwight took one of the those wonderful scenarios of finding a treasured sports car in a barn and created a timeless father/son story.

With the success of his Kickstarter project for “The Little Red Racing Car” and the positive publicity and sales that it has generated since, Dwight was inspired to create other automotive story books. One is “The Little Silver Speedster” (currently on hold) and the current project he has on Kickstarter, “The Greatest Race“.

The Greatest Race is the story of Sir Stirling’s record setting 1955 win of Italy’s great race, the Mille Miglia.

From Kickstarter:

The epic adventure of Sir Stirling Moss’s record win of Italy’s great race, the 1955 Mille Miglia, in the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR.
The Story:

The Greatest Race is an amazing story. A TRUE story. It’s the story of Sir Stirling Moss and his navigator Denis Jenkinson in Italy’s great race, the 1955 Mille Miglia. It’s the story of their record-shattering run in the new Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR – an innovative and purpose-built racing machine. It’s the story of Sir Stirling sliding the SLR around blind mountain curves. Blasting through small villages at over 100MPH. Jumping a bridge at more than 150 – and flying 150 feet through the air! Even overtaking a twin engine airplane filming the race… TWICE.

In this race, Sir Stirling set the records for:
Fastest Time
Highest Average Speed
Fastest Brescia to Pescara
Fastest Brescia to Rome
Fastest Cremona to Brescia (winning the Nuvolari Cup)

As well as:

Winning the Index of Performance (normally held by the smaller cars)
And becoming the only British driver ever to win the Mille Miglia

Sir Stirling Moss:

One of the most amazing parts of this story didn’t happen in 1955. It’s happening right now. Sir Stirling Moss is collaborating with me on the book. I am sharing my research, sketches, and drafts, asking questions and sorting out conflicting information. Sir Stirling and Lady Susie have been amazingly supportive of the effort, and the product will be so much better because of it.

Mercedes Benz:

Mercedes-Benz is also on board, having given their permission to represent the 300 SLR and the star logo where needed – as well as providing me with incredible documents and photographs from their archives. They have given be an amazing look behind the scenes of the 1955 Mille Miglia!

With the involvement of Mercedes Benz and Sir Sterling Moss, important information, archival materials and the first person accounts by Moss, will make this a truly special storybook   Dwight will write and illustrate The Greatest Race in a style similar to The Little Red Racing Car, with some exploration of outline and added texture.   You can read updates on his progress through his blog and on Facebook.  The Greatest Race is planned for release in October of 2014.

Lastly, As Kickstarter did not allow Dwight to donate several hundred books to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, as he was allowed for his first project, he is doing following for this project:

Plan B.

I, Dwight Knowlton, hereby pledge that if this campaign successfully funds,
I will personally deliver 250 books to the kids at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

And, should the campaign hit the second milestone of $50,000,
I will deliver 750 books to the kids at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

The campaign reached the half way point of it’s pledged amount of $25,000 goal, just 2 days into the project! With 162 backers and $16,803 pledged as of this post being written, The Greatest Race is sure to be funded!

I am glad to once again, be part of Dwight’s storybook fundraisers.  Here’s to The Greatest Race reaching the $50,000 milestone!  To be a part of this Kickstarter fundraiser, click HERE.

Carpe Viam!

Vic