Shelby, Porsche Rinspeed, GTR1: What It Was Like Driving Extremely Rare Cars To The World’s Swankiest Car Show

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“I’m picking awesome cars for us to drive to Pebble Beach,” Autopian cofounder Beau Boeckmann told Jason Torchinsky and me. “They’re going to match our personalities, and they’re going to be a surprise,” he continued. Jason and I, longtime purveyors of sub-$1,000 junkers, looked at each other, shrugged, and proceeded to spend the remaining time before Pebble Beach vastly underestimating just how epic our rides were about to be. On Wednesday, we found out; Beau chose from his collection a one-of-12 Porsche Rinspeed 969, a one-of-one Galpin Ford GTR1, and a one-of-60 (or 30, or 80?) Shelby Series I — three extremely rare, and extremely bizarre-to-drive machines. Here’s what it was like piloting them to the world’s fanciest car show.

Beau chose the Rinspeed 969 for Jason Torchinsky because Jason is a VW Beetle connoisseur. And let’s be honest, the Rinspeed is just a Beetle except with more strakes, pop-up headlights, a hilariously-1980s interior, and a much more powerful turbocharged flat-six motor. These may seem like big differences, but the car does still feel rather Beetle-y to drive, per Jason. I agree.

The car Beau chose for me was the Shelby Series 1, and not just any of the 250 Series 1s ever built: This is a supercharged 450 horsepower version. One of roughly 50 ever produced. The motor is a blown version of the 4.0-liter V8 found in the Oldsmobile Aurora, the sibling of the $1 Oldsmobile Alero that has been ruining my life for almost five years now. Beau figured this vehicle would wash the foul taste of rusty brake fluid and GM-spec Dexcool engine coolant out of my mouth, and allow me to appreciate one of the best examples of Oldsmobile engineering.

Beau himself drove his company’s creation, the GTR1. It’s a Ford GT with significant changes to the bodywork, engine, suspension, and other chassis components. The thing puts out 1,069 horsepower through a six-speed manual, and the noise it produces is absolutely incredible. In fact, I could barely hear the beautiful sound from my supercharged Aurora V8, even though the GTR1 was 50 yards in front of me; it’s that loud.

Watch the video above to see the three Autopian founders drive priceless cars around Monterey.

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47 Responses

  1. David Tracy and my mom (RIP) share birthdays? First thought is that this puts to rest any thoughts of astrology having any value whatsoever. But then again, although Mom wasn’t a gearhead, she was smart and good-natured and generally found the best in people. So maybe the astrology thing isn’t all wrong after all? Anyway, happy late birthday, David!

    And what a great video…

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