April 2012 Festivals of Speed in St Petersburg, Florida

In April, St Petersburg, Florida hosted the Festivals of Speed, a traveling Concours d’Elegance-style show with cars, boats, and aircraft laid out for display on the grass of a swank country club. I didn’t make it to this particular festival, as at the last minute I realized that my dad was coming down for a visit on the same weekend. So, my wife volunteered to go and shoot it for me. Special thanks goes to her for that. I did get to go to the one in Orlando a month later, and I should have the photos from that event posted very soon, but this one had some pretty amazing and special rides that didn’t make it to Orlando, cars that I’ve never even seen in real life.

The Lamborghini Jalpa is one such car. These were the Gallardo to the Countach’s Murcielago, or Aventador, more currently speaking. It was a less expensive, easier to drive, V8 powered, more accessible Lamborghini. Well, as close to accessible as Lamborghinis can be.

It doesn’t get more ’80s than white leather seats, the white jeans of car seats. By their spotless appearance, not many butts have met those hides in the past 26 years.

Another great supercar from the ’80s, the Ferrari Testarossa. From the square opening in the front, you can tell that this is one of the original pre-512 TR and M red heads. Personally, I think that the square fits with the rest of the design than the later car’s more rounded openings.

This is the top dog of the Gallardo Spyders, a drop top Superleggera whose name length is only rivaled by my coffee order at Starbucks. Take a deep breath before saying “Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Spyder Performante.”

This will have to serve as a teaser as I have more photos of this car coming up in a future post, from when I shot it a month later.

Another ride I’ve yet to see in person, a Koenigsegg CCXR!

The Bugatti Veyron is my wife’s current favorite car, the one she would daily drive if we ever won the lottery.

This Lotus is more of my speed. That being cornering speed, rather than straight line. I really do hope Lotus gets bought out again before those future models can see production. Otherwise, I’ll miss the Coke bottle shape of the Elise and Exige.

The Spyker C8 Laviolette came out better than when I previously shot it at Cars & Coffee. That orange really shines in the Florida sun.

This matte red GTR was one of the big stand outs of the show. According to my wife, despite it’s matte texture, the GTR was so bright that it was almost painful to look at directly. You can even see some of the red/orange glow on the guy’s arm in the photo below. Difficult to look at, difficult to shoot, but so worth it.

On the other end of the matte color scale was this incredibly beautiful Maserati GranTurismo.

A little something you don’t see every day, or hardly ever, a Messerschmitt KR200 bubble car. This kid knows what’s up. He’s pointing it out to his mom in the background of the photo below.

It’s a shame that cars like this are so rare. They really have a precious quality in their details.

This one took some research. I knew it was a Can-Am car and from the information I’ve been able to find online it’s most likely a T160 Lola chassis and from the orange color, most likely McLaren powered. This design replaced the T70 in Can-Am in the late ’60s (the T70 is the white car below the engine shot). Cars like this had very few rules, so it was not unusual to see 900hp+ and tires as wide as 24″ in the back to deal with all of that power. I hope to one day see these run on a track, because it’s from one of those amazing and dangerous times in auto racing history when the only thing holding people back was what technology they could come up with.

I have a HotWheel of the T70 somewhere in my collection that I’ll have to find.

And next to them, one of the famous “Batmobile” BMW 3.0 CSL.

Box flares need to make a comeback.

There were also some Mopars that you may have seen on here before, from my previous trip to Cars & Coffee at duPont Registry.

The Backdraft Racing Shelby Cobra replicas were also out on display at this show, just a month before Mr. Shelby’s passing.

I have photos which I’ll post in an upcoming article of a Tojeiro Jaguar D-type (1 of only 4 produced), designed by John Tojeiro who would go on to design the AC Ace, which would eventually have a hard thumping Ford V8 dropped in it to become the AC Cobra.

The Fiat 500 recently made a return to US shores with Fiat’s partial purchase of Chrysler. This is a crazy customized 500 Abarth of the previous generation. While the new 500 is small, it’s seems large compared to the old version. I guess it would since the original began production in the late ’50s and was discontinued in the ’70s.

I see similarly styled Ferrari 308 and 328 somewhat regularly at events like this, but never a 512 BB! This is the predecessor to the Testarossa mentioned earlier in this article.

I hadn’t seen an Alfa Romeo Montreal in a while and I really like it in this color.

The definitive Cadillac, the 1959 Eldorado Biarritz convertible.

The owner of this VW Beetle had a different take on vehicle display with a nice absence of those creepy hiding still life kid dolls.

With a little dog taking a wiz…

…and a live parrot! My friend Stelios will like that, I’m sure.

There was also a nice selection of sport bikes both new and old, including this Ducati 1198S from a couple of years ago along with a whole lot of cafe racer bikes.

That’s all I’ve got to show for now. The full set can be seen on my Flickr and the slideshow can be viewed here. I hope to have the Orlando, FL Festivals of Speed set posted soon along with some down on the street sightings. Until then, happy hooning.


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