C’était un Rendezvous..The original.

If you’ve seen Jeremy Clarkson’s latest film ‘The Italian Job’, and the behind the scenes footage of that film, you’ll undoubtedly be aware of the clip below. You may not know a few things about it though.

The film was created in 1976 by Claude Lelouch, and depicts a car racing through the center of Paris early in the morning. C’était un Rendezvous translates to “It was a date”.

There have been a healthy number of references to this film in the past, as well as homages created to pay tribute. It’s an amazing film in and of itself, but there are some details that need be mentioned. From the director himself, the car was actually a Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9. and not a Ferrari. The soundtrack, or engine and tire sounds, were dubbed in from Lelouch’s own Ferrari 275GTB. From an interview, the director stated that he was in fact the driver, and that there was only one person posted at a blind intersection with a radio to aide him, but that the radio was not operable at the time the film was shot. He had stated that he received no instruction from that lookout, and indicated that he would have ceased should he find the run too dangerous. I guess that’s a matter of perspective. The length of the film itself was limited by the 1000ft capacity of the 35mm reel loaded into the camera.

What you’re watching is essentially the grand-daddy of ‘underground’ or ‘street racing’ films. I believe this is the remastered version that was re-released on DVD.

Same Difference, oddly enough….

I have always been more of a Lamborghini fan than Ferrari. Maybe it’s just the styling, maybe it’s the noises, I don’t know. From the Countach days to current The Bull always bettered the Prancing Horse in my books.

But I had a moment of clouded judgment when the 458 was released.

I thought the car was beautiful. I thought for sure that the Red team had finally started to win me over. The horsepower was epic. The power to weight was something to take seriously, and all the reviews and info I could find led me to believe that the battle was now very one-sided….

Then I crunched the numbers:

Now it’s all clear again.

There really isn’t much between the two. Far less that I would have believed when the 458 was originally released. Lest not we forget the Gallardo has been around the block a few times. It’s been tweaked and changed a bit here and there, but in many respects it is still essentailly the same car that got our attention some years ago. It’s got more power, a bit lighter, and more refined, but comparing it to a brand spankin’ new Ferrari, it’s still got what it takes.

Read more at Road&Track.com

September 2010 Cars & Cafe

I made my monthly sojourn to the AutoMotorPlex this weekend, in order to attend the Cars & Cafe for September. It was a great time, although it was a little chilly at 8am with fall fast approaching, but that was nothing a sweatshirt couldn’t handle. The turnout was great and I noticed many cars I had not seen before. I’ve come up with a theory after frequent attendance that about 3/4 of the cars that attend are regulars and only the remaining 1/4 are different each month. My theory was blown out of the water this month and it was a very nice treat as some serious machines I had not seen before were on display.

Continue reading September 2010 Cars & Cafe

Minnesota Cars & Cafe

I’ve been going to the local Cars & Cafe (the Cars & Coffee people in CA complained about the name) for a couple years and I’ve always enjoyed the variety of cars and enthusiasts that show up. It’s always a good time and the car count has grown exponentially in the time I’ve been going. It started at a coffee shop parking lot with 40 cars on a good day, and it’s now held at a sprawling automotive complex with upwards of 200 cars attending on a regular basis.

Make the jump to see the cars that showed up this month.

Continue reading Minnesota Cars & Cafe