This 1 to 3 November, the fourth edition of the Robb Report Ultimate Drives will return in full swing. It will convene the most discerning gear heads for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to test drive the latest luxury cars, sedans and SUVs. And in addition to all that, a showcase of 80 classic cars
After a year’s hiatus, the classic car showcase returns to this year’s edition of Robb Report Ultimate Drives 2019 presented by Tayrona Capital.
Nearly doubling the 50 classic cars from the 2017 edition are a veritable galaxy of 80 vintage and modern classics from some of the most storied carmakers around. From England to Germany, Italy and even from Japan, visitors to the classic car showcase this year certainly won’t be short of eye candy.
From the spiritual home of the sporting automobile – that is, Italy – comes the Alfa Romeo Montreal. If you’re thinking that the strakes on the C-pillar and its profile looks strikingly similar to the famed Lamborghini Miura, it should, because both cars were styled by the same designer, the legendary Marcello Gandini when he was still working for Bertone.
Gandini would also go on to design the Carabo concept car for Alfa Romeo, and the car’s two biggest design features, the wedge-shaped profile and scissor doors would also be the hallmarks of the Lamborghini Countach.
But Alfa Romeo, while makers of fine sporting automobiles, aren’t exactly manufacturers of thoroughbred exotics. And the Italian carmaker that first springs to the minds of most people when you say “sports car” is without a doubt Ferrari.
It will be represented this year with a clutch of exotics from its exceptionally rich history. The 308 and Testarossa from the 1980s will no doubt tickle the fancy of TV shows of the era such as Magnum PI and Miami Vice respectively. Representing modernity is the 599 and California, which only serves to reinforce the fact that Ferrari is still as relevant today as it ever was.
Still coming from Italy, but far from having the sporting reputation that Ferrari has is Fiat, who are more known for making utilitarian city cars than exotics. Still, what it did to the Abarth 850 TC is nothing short of legendary.
Built to go racing, it took the body of the humble 600 compact hatchback shoehorned an engine into where the boot should have been, the size of which necessitated it being propped open, and bolted a monstrous oil cooler to the front bumper. To look at, it looks cobbled together and therein lies its charm.
Italy’s northern neighbours too have a big representation at the showcase. Among the Teutonic luminaries gracing the hall is the Mercedes-Benz 300SL, the mythical ‘Gullwing’ that is arguably the world’s first supercar. In addition to its striking design (those doors, mostly), its top speed was unmatched at the time of its launch in the mid-1950s.
Fast forward a decade or so and you have the Gullwing’s successor, the 280SL, that gained the affectionate nickname of ‘Pagoda’ owing to its removable hardtop that resembled the roof of a pagoda.
And of course, what classic car event is complete with a wide selection of Porsches? Highlights include, of course, a gaggle of air-cooled 911s and its predecessor, the 356.
Moving across the pond, but still in Europe is fair Albion, or England, as most people know it. From there, key attractions will no doubt be a pair of Jaguars. The first being the heart-melting lines of the E-Type, widely considered as one of the most beautiful cars ever made. The other Jaguar is altogether different, though no less impressive.
We’re talking about the XJ220, a car that until the McLaren F1 dethroned it, was the fastest production car in the world. Incredibly rare, fewer than 300 were ever made between 1992 and 1994. Its twin-turbocharged V6 produces 550hp, a towering number in its day, and a direct result of it being essentially a road-legal version of the same engine Jaguar used in its Le Mans endurance race cars.
So, what are you waiting for? Mark your calendars for 1 to 3 November 2019, because Ultimate Drives 2019 presented by Tayrona Capital will be happening from 9.30am to 6.30pm.