Rarely do I stray from baseball on this blog, and more rarely still do I venture into auto racing. But I am compelled to share the great experience I had yesterday visiting the Canepa Motorsports Museum and showroom in Scotts Valley, Calif.
Planning a day with my son and a friend in Santa Cruz, I stumbled onto the Canepa website a couple of nights ago. It was an easy choice to stop there, as it was on the way down magnificent California Highway 17 on the road to the coast from the San Francisco Bay Area. Admission is free, too, so how could I resist?
I’d scouted a number of the cars we’d be seeing on the website’s virtual tour, but I wasn’t prepared for the impact of walking into the place and seeing a showroom full of classic and exotic cars for sale. A perfect E-type Jaguar was at the front of the showroom, and I struggled to pull myself away as we headed upstairs to the museum.
There, front and center, I stopped slack jawed in my tracks at the 1969 Porsche 917K racer shown above. I can’t tell you how much I love this car. To me, it’s the peak of automotive racing design, when the sexy curves of the 60s were about to give way to the Bauhaus angles of the 70s and beyond.
And check out that color scheme, the bold Gulf orange shimmering atop the elegant, powder blue body. Absolute perfection.
The well-lit museum shows off a number of other classic racers. There are open-wheeled sprint and Indy cars, a bevy of Porsche 911s, a fabulous Fiat Abarth and even a few motorcycles and an unmistakable Richard Petty team Ford Torino emblazoned with No. 43.
Downstairs, anyone with a hundred grand or two to spare can have his pick of some awesome classics. Fancy a Ferrari? Covet a Corvette? This place is for you.
You can check out the photos I took at this link. If you’re down Santa Cruz way and love cars, you owe it to yourself to check out the Canepa complex.