One of our favorite social media folks in the automotive sphere is Aimee Shackelford. Every interaction we’ve had with her has been a good one and she seems to never have typed a single disparaging thing towards anyone with differing taste in cars, which is as rare in the automotive blogosphere as an unmolested S2000. When she posted the lineup for this year’s goldRush Rally we were ecstatic! The Bugatti EB110SS and TWO Pagani Huayra? Plus a half dozen Bugatti Veyrons, a dozen or so Lamborghinis, and everything else under the modern automotive canon of awesome! She had our attention.
Early Friday morning we parked near the Omni and squinted away the sun glinting off what could only be the Panda Veyron sitting out front the Hard Rock Hotel. Sure enough, dash recently visited by the parking fairy, front wheel arches wrapped in gold, we could hardly believe it survived the evening in the heart of the Gaslamp. Keeping Panda company were a pair of Ford motivated supercars, the Saleen S7 and Ford GT. Taking them all in, it’s immediately apparent how small the Veyron actually is. Sure it’s not as low slung as the Ford GT or Saleen S7, but it doesn’t look any larger than either. We grabbed a few pics and headed off to tackle Friday before returning to Petco Park in the afternoon to catch the entire phalanx of cars assembled.
goldRush did a great job with the participant showcase. Spectators were encouraged to wonder up close to the assembled hypercar royalty and everyone handled questions about their machines with patience and enthusiasm. We learned a bit about the cars we’d previously only read about, and had a chance to take in some very new ones like HG’s Mercedes AMG GTS, previously only seen the week before at Supercar Sunday. Below are shots of some of our absolute favorite cars assembled.
Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, especially in this color combination, is easily the most elegant of the current Ferrari lineup. The long bonnet, integrated active vents up front, and floating bonnet flares are nothing short of breathtaking. We were surprised to see how few folks were clamoring to get a shot of it, though given the other heavyweights its not that unexpected. There’s no replacement for a massive 6.3L Italian V12 up front decimating tires with 731 HP and directed by an incredibly nimble chassis setup. Glorious.
The Pagani Huayra, probably the stars of the show for most folks. So incredibly rare, and the single most focused production car to exist after the McLaren F1. Every detail perfectly hewn and rendered in light weight metals and carbon. Its the definition rolling art, and doesn’t disappoint at any level. Just look at the engine, expertly hand assembled by the folks at AMG, have you ever seen a more beautiful engine in a road going car before? The Ferrari F40 has a charm to it, the McLaren F1 certainly looks the business, Pagani just elevates the engine to an entirely different level all together. Much thanks to Pagani Automobile for bringing theirs out to play with @salomondrin’s.
We’re inclined to give Benjamin Chen @8bc8 the award for hottest pair of cars. His Bugatti Veyron Panda is well know to automotive enthusiasts, and that Bugatti EB110 SS in white really took our breath away. The styling is totally early ’90’s but also timeless in the way the BMW 8-series manages to avoid fading into obscurity. Covering the cars natural silver hue with a more matte finished white helps to soften the curves and highlight the center greenhouse. @8bc8 hung around to discuss the car, sounding as eager as the kid he was when he first laid eyes on the car two decades ago. It’s that kind of passion that really sets this group apart. Can you blame him? With a 3.5L QUAD turbo V12 producing over 600 HP and motivating less than 3500 lbs the EB110 SS was laying down numbers it took Ferrari a decade to match with the Enzo
Mercedes certainly has achieved an “Audi R8” critical mass if you will, producing a car that stands toe to toe with the Porsche 911 variants while retaining its own character and beauty. HG Motorsports brought their new AMG GTS out, and a friend to play along as well. We constantly found ourselves taking pictures of these cars, on the road, at checkpoints, everywhere. They just looks so new and down right beautiful in person, with a lot more going on than the SLS, yet more restrained than the SLR. And the noise? The award for the best, angriest, most guttural-ist turbocharged V8 from Germany definitely goes to Mercedes. No need to apologize for the sound of your german super saloon here and quickly follow it up with a promise you’ll be trying to find an aftermarket exhaust. Nope, Mercedes did it right the first time, all of it!
You can see our coverage of the goldRush stop over at HRE Open House 2015 here. We were fortunate enough to spend some time trying in vain to keep up with the Panda on the freeway. It’s pretty much impossible to fathom the speed of the Veyron until you attempt to keep up with it at about 7/10ths and it just obliterates everything around it at 3/10ths. Insane. Our thanks to Aimee and the goldRush team for concentrating a great few days of automotive heaven in Americas Finest City.
Check the full event gallery below.
Here’s a drag race video from @salomondrin