Luxury and Supercar Weekend 2016

Nostalgia and speed.

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The father is perhaps pushing 40, the son maybe 10 years old. “Wow,” the younger one exclaims. “This is SO COOL!” And they have not even gone beyond the Tesla Model X SUV, which is the first thing you see upon entering the grounds of VanDusen Botanical Garden during Vancouver’s Luxury and Supercar Weekend.

As president of the event, Craig Stowe is pretty much as ecstatic as that kid, smiling broadly as he explains that they “want this event to really grow, to be something on the must-do list for car enthusiasts of all kinds. I think it is heading in the right direction.” Fair to say, since the grounds are teeming, both with fabulous automobiles and throngs of fans at every level of appreciation.

There are several series of cars, such as BMWs through the decades to commemorate 100 years, and Studebakers from the mid-1960s, and Corvettes. Continuing the amazement is the Bentley Bentayga, an Aston Martin DB11, a 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL, the Rolls-Royce Wraith, and a McLaren 675 LT Spider; Audi launches the A5 Coupe, and Bugatti shows off the Chiron—all 1,500 horsepower of it lying in impatient, silent wait for the ignition button to be pushed. There is also the global launch of the single-passenger Solo, an electric, three-wheeled vehicle manufactured by Vancouver’s own Electra Meccanica, and a tribute display to the impeccable handiwork of Mercedes-Benz restorers Rudi and Company.

So many vintage cars it makes your head spin, and every single one seems to have an acolyte, above and beyond the owner, of course. Hawksworth restaurant brings a brick pizza oven, and the Dilawri Group of Companies serves a meaningful souvlaki from Bauhaus Restaurant’s Stefan Hartmann; there are excellent espresso drinks drawn at the Lamborghini Vancouver tent, and fashion shows put on by Oakridge Centre include Max Mara, Michael Kors, DKNY, and Blubird.

It could be a grand scene from a Seurat painting, almost surreal but not quite. This year features, for the first time, an auction run by ADESA, in which the guests bid on selected supercars—some of the most desired, hard-to-find automobiles on the planet, including a 2012 Ferrari Italia, a 2006 Rolls-Royce Phantom, and a 2012 Maserati Granturismo S.

It all adds up to a splendid two days on the grass at the garden…the only two days in which the metal, rubber, and leather-based flowers are more show-stopping than the actual botanicals.


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September 17, 2016