Autoworld, the Brussels automobile exhibition hall, is back with a couple of exciting exhibitions, one about the celebration of the first hundred years of the famous Belgian race track at Spa Francorchamps, and another which displays a spectacular number of “super cars”.
On the race car front, there are a few cars from the seventies on display.
This was also the occasion to revisit one of their crown jewels, epitomy of the over-the-top, gas guzzling, American boulevard cruiser.
But the most interesting part was the one devoted to the “Supercar story” side.
The display starts with the prime brand of sports cars until World War II, famous for its horseshoe radiator, and this model is an absolute classic, both for the brand and of all times.
This color version complements the first shot.
Incidentally, as close observers will have no doubt noticed, these are two different cars…
The collection of vehicles goes on to the early 1950s, with this Alfa Romeo Disco Volante, whose front is quite spectacular especially for the period.
Next one selected is arguably one of the most famous models featuring the prancing hose, the 250 SWB.
Whether you look at it from the front or the back, it is one of a kind.
This car was introduced both in a race and road versions. The race type competed in the very early 1960s at the Le Mans 24hour race, and is the predecessor to the most coveted car of all times, the Ferrari 250 GTO whose price hovers in tens of millions of Dollars/Euro whichever currency you may prefer.
Contemporary to that car, coming from the UK, is of course an Aston Martin, this one featuring an Italian body made by famous “carrozziere” Zagato.
Moving on, you will find another Italian thoroughbred, that one a road car from the late 60s.
I could not escape from featuring it since it is the favorite of one of DS’ regular contributors.
To close the chapter of the 60s, nothing could be more suitable than a brand not yet featured, which started a revolution by introducing the mid-engine concept to sports cars.
When one recalls that Ferruccio Lamborghini was originally a tractor manufacturer, one realizes that the brand has come a long way. Tired of what he called the unreliability of his Ferrari, and after chastisising Enzo Ferrari a number of times about it, he got fed up and started his own manufacture.
The Miura is his second attempt at the “Super Car” segment after the 350GT; it created a big stir since, again, it was the first super car to feature a centrally placed engine, like contemporary racing cars.
He did not stop there, and come the 1970s, launched a car which, today, still looks like a spaceship.
All Lamborghinis bear the name of a famous bull, in line with the brand’s emblem.
Come the 1990s and things really took off (or became totally crazy, depending on your appreciation of the matter).
As a for example is this model, of which one belonged to Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson).
The McLaren F1, while over thirty years old, has performance which is quite comparable to that offered by modern siblings.
But not all the safety trappings, which meant that Mister Bean had one bad experience too many, leading to his disposing of his McLaren.
The F1 has one amusing feature in that there are three front seats, and the driver sits in the middle one, avoiding the development cost for both right and left hand drive versions.
Access to said driving seat is another matter…
The response from Stuttgart was not long to arrive as they introduced the simply named GT1.
This is no longer a road car but a wolf in sheep’s clothes, a race car made street legal for homologation purposes.
The exhibition also features a number of show prototypes.
If you care for a drophead, or rather an all-season open car, this one is for you.
Another interesting prototype also comes from Italy, where, unfortunately, so many famous design studios have disappeared (Pininfarina, Bertone, Giugiaro…)
Remember the Aston Martin Zagato featured above: these people now offer this car…
I could not end this display of very special cars without showing the one that, at this moment and time, closes the case as to which one is the fastet. This is THE one. Period.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is a beast, a monster.
Now owned by the VW group like Lamborghini, Bugatti has produced the most radical car to this day, the Chiron, with 1.500 BHP, all coming from a petrol engine. No hybrid.
Whether you are interested in cars, or not, this car looks the part, as if coming straight from some kind of sci-fi movie.
I wonder what they will come up next??
Due to its success, this exhibition will now remain open until February 27th instead of January 23rd should anyone be interested.
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