Friday, May 25, 2007

Rolling Sculpture. Red Ferrari Enzo Upstaged!

This is part of the journey of Jay Rolfe From Starving Artist To 21st Century Picasso. You can see some completed expressions of Jay Rolfe's unique artistic idea on his website at

It’s not often that a red Ferrari Enzo gets upstaged! Yet it happened and I witnessed it on Saturday morning, April 21, at 7:00 a.m. at the weekly Cars & Coffee show in Irvine CA, the successor to Crystal Cove Car Show in Newport Beach CA.

I go to southern California about twice a year from my home in West Chester PA, and I make it a point to get up early Saturday morning and go to the car event. This time I took my daughter and she loved it. The last time I went, last October 14, happened to be the last time at Crystal Cove, as the landlord of the Crystal Cove Promenade strip mall pulled the welcome mat.

The same red Ferrari Enzo was the most photographed car that Saturday at Crystal Cove. And there were some even rarer cars that day. There was beautiful silver Saleen S7 (just like the one I saw last week at the Saleen showroom at the Irvine Spectrum Mall). And Henrik Fisker brought a beautiful blue Fisker Tramonto with all the Kleeman engine mods (610 hp, 650 lb-ft) for an Illinois owner, and talked up his cars. Fisker told me it was the latest one and only number 11 off the production line in Milan Italy. Both Fisker and Saleen have HQ’s in Irvine.

You’re probably wondering what could upstage the red Enzo. It was another spectacular red Ferrari, a 2003 Formula 1 race car, S/N F2003GA/R16. The F2003-GA is the model that won Ferrari’s 5th straight Constructor’s title and earned Michael Schumacher his 6th Driver’s title. I’ve seen them at the racetrack and on TV, but I’ve never done the pit walk at Monaco or Indy, so the closest I’ve been is in the grandstand. Up close they are even lower, narrower, and more fragile than they look on TV. The wheels are only 13” and the cockpit looks so small it’s a wonder the driver can fit in at all, let alone move his hands and feet. The race commentators talk about the carbon fiber suspension, but I never imagined it was so delicate. A beautiful work of art!

There were about 100 cars exhibited, although the regulars said it was a light day, and it certainly would have been light at Crystal Cove. There was a black Ferrari F430, silver F430 Spider, and a number of Ferrari 355’s and Ferrari 308’s. There was a stunning black Lamborghini Diablo with a dramatic black and yellow leather interior. Porsche was represented by a black GT3, various Carrera 4S’s, Carrera 4’s, 911’s, 356’s, and even a beautiful mid-50’s Speedster with a nifty hardtop.

A big hit was a new Audi R8 which looked beautiful in medium gray with a silver accent panel. And seeing the new Audi TT in the sheet metal shows that the TT really has grown up. BMW was well represented with a Z9, and lots of other beautiful cars. Two Ford GT’s attended, an all black model and a white with blue stripe model. There were several vintage Cobras, both 427’s and 289’s, and lots of Mustangs. There was a Maybach, the family car carrying the wife and kids of the Enzo driver, and a Bentley Continental GT equipped with 2 car seats in the back. There was a classic Jaguar 150 coupe, a classic finned Chrysler 300, a classic Dodge Charger R/T, several old VW Beetles, a new Lotus Elise, and many more too numerous to mention.

What was missing because it was a light day? If it was your first time there you wouldn’t notice that anything was missing. It had rained hard the day before, a rarity for this area. Maybe that’s what kept away the dozen F430’s and 360 Modena’s, a couple of 360 Challenge Stradale’s, and the 3-4 Lamborghini Murcielago’s and 6-8 Gallardo’s that graced each Crystal Cove event I attended. Hopefully it was just an off day, not the 20 minute drive from Newport Beach or the lack of Starbucks’ cappuccino that kept them away.

Cars & Coffee features whatever shows up, but mostly exotics, foreign, and classic cars, at 7905 Gateway Blvd, Irvine CA. Up the coast in Huntington Beach (Surf City USA) there’s another event at the same time which features, so I’m told, mostly muscle cars, hot rods, and classics. So there’s a lot for car buffs to choose from on Saturday mornings in Orange County CA!

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