Exotic Cars

Posted: 5th December 2013 by ToadHollowPhoto in Photography, The Toads At The Gathering
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One of the reasons we love to stroll around the local car shows in the summer is how we get to meet some of the neatest folks who are very passionate about their personal vehicle.  This love and passion almost always comes shining through in the car on display, even if it’s not in perfect condition.  I tend to move around pretty quickly when shooting these venues, grabbing Mrs. Toad by the flipper as she puts up with being dragged around checking out the exotic cars.  Compositional challenges are found everywhere with extraneous elements to work around.  These are highly dynamic environments to shoot in, and they are fun!  Thanks for joining us again on our running photoblog series “The Toads At The Gathering” as we meander the grounds checking out a few great cars.

Lotus Esprit - Queen Alexandra Hospital, Victoria, BC, Canada

Lotus Esprit – Queen Alexandra Hospital, Victoria, BC, Canada –

Here in Canada we just don’t see that many of these cars.  My first discovery of the Lotus Esprit was when it suddenly appeared on my TV screen in the James Bond movie “The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)“.  It instantly became a favorite of mine, one of those cars you find as a child that never leaves your imagination.  Great sporty styling with crisp, fast lines and a low-slung chassis, they looked like they were breaking the speed of sound even when parked.  The first few generations had inline 4 cylinder engines in them that put down some pretty good power numbers, making for a fast and nimble car.  By the time they were building the 3rd generation Esprit’s in the early 80’s, they were including a turbocharged version of the engine as an option.  This really woke the platform up and it started to really take on an image that transfixed it as a serious sports car in the enthusiast community.  The last generation of Esprit saw a turbocharged V8, one of those ultra-rare cars you just don’t see many of these days.  Apparently it was fast enough to wake you right up, sort of like that proverbial 3rd cup of coffee in the morning.

Ferrari - Queen Alexandra Hospital, Victoria, BC, Canada

Ferrari – Queen Alexandra Hospital, Victoria, BC, Canada –

Ferrari - Queen Alexandra Hospital, Victoria, BC, Canada

Ferrari – Queen Alexandra Hospital, Victoria, BC, Canada –

Who doesn’t love a bright red Ferrari?  I do, that’s for sure!  At the show we found several great models and examples of this iconic Italian fire-breathing sports car on display, and naturally they were surrounded by onlookers.  Compositions are very tricky in these circumstances, forcing you to focus on specific details or lines of the car to capture a great shot.  These finely tuned exotics emanate dulcet roars that are so sweet to hear, truly this is the sound that a million dollars would make if it could.  Even just being around them tends to raise your heart-rate.

Mercedes Benz 300 Interior - Queen Alexandra Hospital, Victoria, BC, Canada

Mercedes Benz 300 Interior – Queen Alexandra Hospital, Victoria, BC, Canada –

These classic Mercedes-Benz 300 SL’s are favorites for the avid enthusiast and collector.  It’s not unusual to see one of these models sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars when in pristine condition as this one was at the show.  I have met one of the worlds premier restorers of these cars who just happens to live here on Vancouver Island quite a few years ago.  I am not sure that this was one of his restorations, but it does bear the hallmarks of an exquisite car meticulously restored and maintained.

Fiat Abarth - Queen Alexandra Hospital, Victoria, BC, Canada

Fiat Abarth – Queen Alexandra Hospital, Victoria, BC, Canada –

Even newer generation sports cars had a great presence at the show.  With the release of the new Fiat 500 the company also released a sports version, aptly named Abarth.  This model takes the modest 100hp engine and cranks it up quite respectably into the 150+hp range, completely waking the car right up.  I love the little details that we see here that set this car apart from others.  In particular, the red trim on the seats and the stripes on the side really make the sporty aspect of the car pop to life.

Datsun Z - Queen Alexandra Hospital, Victoria, BC, Canada

Datsun Z – Queen Alexandra Hospital, Victoria, BC, Canada –

Another classic, and another car that remains forever firmly in my list of favorites.  The Datsun 240Z and 260Z models were iconic in their times and to this day remain crowd favorites.  Powerful inline 6 cylinder engines with some pretty cool intake configurations, sometimes having a triple side-draft carb setup, made this more than just a hot looking car.  It could hold its own on the track quite easily, due in no small part to the advanced independent suspensions they had underneath the beautiful bodywork.  This particular car was absolutely meticulous with no attention to detail spared.

No matter what your personal taste in cars is, strolling around a local car show in the summer is a great way to spend some time.  The people you meet are genuine and friendly, leaving you with a feeling that you’ve not only had a chance to see special cars you just wouldn’t normally have a chance to see, but that you’ve also made new friends.  It’s a true community experience.

Thank you once again for your kind visit to The Hollow!  We really love to hear from all our visitors, so please feel free to leave us any comments that you might like to share.  Until next time, my friends!!




  1. I’ll take an order of one of everything please Toad! And what the hey, throw in an extra side order of Ferrari!

    What a wonderful setting for those amazing cars. I’m in love with the reflections on the Lotus. Where does one drive those on Vancouver Island? I guess you have to turn more than we do here in the desert west. As always just amazing work my friend.
    HOward

    • HA! Great comments here, Howard, I’ve just got off the phone with FedEx and they promised to have your order to you in 24 hours! 🙂 We have tons and tons of twisty roads here on the island, perfectly suited for the sports car enthusiast. You just have to come visit sometime! 🙂 Thank you so much for your kind visit and comments here today, my friend!

  2. avatar Jimi Jones says:

    Great series of shots, Toad.
    I agree, thee are challenging venues but so much fun to be around. You have nicely captured some true classics here.

  3. avatar Edith Levy says:

    Very cool Toad. Need to show this to my husband 🙂

  4. avatar Rick Louie says:

    Oh so nice! I’ve always wanted a Lotus and definitely remember it from Bond!

  5. Great post my flippered friends! I love a great car show, although I usually see my dream car and get jealous, great shots as always

    • Thank you so so much there, Mike, that means so much to us. It’s always such a huge highlight for us when you pop by and see us, good sir, best wishes to you and The Empress for a terrific weekend!

  6. avatar Taygan says:

    I’m a bit of a broken record when I comment but I really love your work, you know how to capture everything we need to see to feel like we are there. Love that Lotus!!!!

    • We just cannot tell you how much we appreciate your support and encouragement here, Taygan! Thank you so very very much for taking the time to come visit us here at The Hollow, and for your wonderful comments! You’re definitely the best friend a pair of Toads like us could have!