Car Builder>>welcome To The World Of Canepa

In my journeys as a Speedhunter, I’ve had the chance to visit all sorts of car collections and shops. From gritty Hot Rod builders to factory collections with floors so clean you could eat off them, I’ve seen just about everything.

There was nothing, however, that could prepare me for what I saw last month when I visited Canepa Design.

You’ll find the Canepa facility nestled along Highway 17 in scenic Scotts Valley, California – just outside of Santa Cruz. Just pulling up to the Canepa building, you know this isn’t your typical car shop.

Before we venture inside and take a look around though, how about a little background on Mr. Bruce Canepa and his company?

Bruce grew up in nearby Santa Cruz and became a speed nut from an early age. When he wasn’t wasn’t working on and learning about cars at the family dealership, he was cutting his teeth in motorsport behind the wheel of go karts and quarter midgets.

He later moved on to IMSA and Trans Am racing where he made a name for himself driving cars like the Porsche 935. Just racing on pavement wasn’t enough though, as Bruce was also an active participant at Pike’s Peak – first in an open-wheel buggy and later in the Big Rig class where he set numerous class records.

Speaking of Big Rigs, in the early 1980s Bruce broke ground by introducing aero modifications to make big tractors more aerodynamic and thus more fuel effcient. If you know anything about the trucking buisness, then you know just how important fuel mileage is. Needless to say, the buisness took off.

In addition, Canepa also produces custom race transporters through it’s Concept Transporters division. If you are looking for something that can carry several race cars to the track and then be converted to a bitchin’ mobile lounge and viewing platform, these are the people you go to.

Silver Porsche 959

But what you are probably most interested in is the automotive side of Canepa Design. John, the marketing manager at Canepa was nice enough to take me on a guided tour around the massive facility.

Oh, were to start? This is the view you are greeted with when you walk through the front doors of Canepa Design. It’s a showroom full of exotics, classics, and historic race cars from all over the world – and yes each and every one of them is for sale.

From there you can head upstairs to the Canepa Motorsports Museum – an amazing collection of vintage race cars that’s open to the public and free of charge.

Next, John walked me through the “shop” area. This is where the magic happens. From ground up restorations to race car maintence and detailing, there isn’t anything that the team at Canepa isn’t prepared to do.

If that wasn’t enough, there’s the “storage area” – which features race cars and classics literally stacked a few stories high.

It’s an incredible collection of historic race cars – and each one of them is in track ready condition. I’m sure you’ll recognize a lot of these cars from my coverage of events like the Rennsport Reunion.

There can’t be too many places in the world where you’ll find the Bob Akin Coca-Cola Porsche 935 LT1…

…sitting alongside a completely original Shoebox Ford.

American Hot Rods and Customs actually make up a sizable part of the Canepa collection. As you’d expect, all of them are high quality builds – many with historical significance.

Now here’s something you might not expect to see a – a ’71 Chevelle Convertible which held many NHRA SS class records from the early ’70s all the way to the early ’90s.

Porsche L&M 917/10

The George Follmer L&M Porsche 917/10 Can Am car is just one of the many legends that call Canepa Design home.

This lime green beast is one of a few 911 RSRs I spotted during my magical tour.

Perhpas you noticed the Porsche 959s in the earlier photos? Bruce pioneered the charge to get 959 legalized for use in the United States, and at any given time there are half a dozen of them spread about the Canepa facility. Quite amazing when you consider there were only a few hundred produced for the entire world.

If you are familiar with sports car racing then you’ve probably heard of Group 44 Racing and their famous Jaguar race cars. What you might not know is that Group 44 also tried their hand at NASCAR with this Pontiac Grand Prix. The team only did one season of Winston Cup racing in 1989, but the car proved to be very competitive – especially on the road courses.

Nothing sums up the extravagance of 1970s IMSA racing quite like the Greenwood GT “Supervette”. This is the second of only two chassis ever built, fully restored and ready for some vintage racing.

I wonder how many people would be willing to strap into this 950 horsepower monster and then try to tame it around Laguna Seca?

I quite liked this IMSA 240Z, and I’m sure a lot of you vintage Japanese cars fans will dig it as well. Keep an eye out for a full spotlight coming soon.

Frankly, it doesn’t get more extreme than this 1972 Shadow MkIII Turbo Can Am racer.

Again, this car has been fully restored and is in race-ready condition. All you need to provide is a little race fuel and a lot of courage.

White and Blue Shelby Mustangs GT350

Elsewhere in the storage area, a pair of Shelby GT350 Mustangs sitting side by side. Tasty.

Gray Porsche 930 1980s

A genuine Slant Nose 930 in all of its over the top 1980s bravado.

Say hello to CSX 3360, also known as the last 427 Cobra built by A.C. cars in 1967.

To get an idea of just how thorough the restoration on this car was, John told me that about $3,000 was spent just on making sure the windshield washer reservoir was completed to factory spec.

I’m just getting started with my detailed tour of Canepa Design.

Make sure you check back tomorrow as I continue my journey through this overwhelming place of automotive goodness.

-Mike Garrett

Canepa Design



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Awesome coverage!! It looks like you had a blast there, great shots.


Absolutely breathtaking, some of the most iconic and revered cars ever produced. Truly one of the greatest automotive collections on the continent. Those 959's are stunning, full chub right now.


I'm more than willing to take the Supervette out for a lap around Laguna. Able, maybe not so much.


I was easily pulled into this one, seeing as how i am half canepa myself. love the photos.


Great coverage Mike!! Thanks :)


pictures of the greenwood vette made my day!


man i so wanna job in a place like that



9 all I can


Holy shit. Just wow.


That Looks so amazing. I would be entertained for days there.... I am so jealous LOL


I grew up a block away from the family dealershiP and his other small shop that seemed to always house a 935 or 2. Bruce was actually at the dealer one day as I (8 years old)was looking at the white countach and got the keys and let me sit in it and fire'd it up. I talked about the day for years. Super rad guy and his veins are full of race gas. Guy is top notch and a staple in car history. Much love to him and his family.


OMG! Please do a full feature on CSX-3360! The last production 427 cobra??!


This is a goodness torture, it's exactly the place l dream of visiting, l would wash their cars free and gladly!


I've got three words for this article:



That IMSA "Supervette" reminds me of the aero used in the R30 skyline silhouette formula race cars. Pure and unbridled awesomeness!!!


But does that Cobra have the 427 in it?? Almost all of the later "427's" had the 428 engine instead which was much cheaper. The 427's are all side oilers for racing. Very very few non 427SC's made it out with an actual 427.


There are just so many amazing cars at this place. This is one of your best articles yet. We need some spotlights on these!


the Supervette and Shadow MKIII immediately screamed "TIME ATTACK" to me


love the 959`s...


"The team only did one season of Winston Cup racing in 1989, but the car proved to be very competitive - especially on the road courses." what is that suppose to mean? The car did well BUT they decided to quit racing? Who does that? If a car/ team is competitive and wins races, nobody quits.

Mike, there are a lot of grammar, run-on sentences and mis-spelled words errors.

A piece of advice, either proofread before you post stuff up (especially late at night) or don't write anything at all. Just post pictures.

Great place nonetheless.


The old NASCARS look so much better than the current ones.....


Wow, I would take a job sweeping floors there for the rest of my life...I would need benefits of course...cough cough.


@JDMized - You forgot to capatalize the W after the quotes if you are going be a stickler. Also the "What is that supposed to mean" is not pertaining directly to the sentence you are asking about, I mean really guy, why would you point out gramatical errors and type that sentence. Instead of that you should use this, then we would be able to tie it to your pointless statement.

The team only did one season of Winston Cup racing in 1989, but the car proved to be very competitive - especially on the road courses." What is this suppose to mean? (fixed)


I wanna live there!!!


omg heaven in the USA!!!


I will take one of each please. thank you.


Can heaven have a roof ?? Yes :D


Let's get some close ups of that VW Bus sitting high in the sky!!


im pretty much a japan car dude but i think i would faint looking at the cars there


What is that green car # 50 ? I don't know what it is but I want it !



No one said the car won a race, He said the car was competive.

The results for the cars were

Group 44 NASCAR Record in 1989

Bud at Glen, Watkins Glen International — 9th

Champion 400, Michigan International Speedway — 23rd

Peak 500, Dover International Speedway — 12th

All Pro 500, Charlotte Motor Speedway — 40th

AC Delco 500, North Carolina Speedway — 33rd

Autoworks 500, Phoenix International Raceway — 17th

Atlanta Journal 500, Atlanta Motor Speedway — 21st

These were pretty good results for a first year car & team.

"The team’s road racing background paid off when Jim Sauter drove the car in its first race to a spectacular ninth place finish at Watkins Glen. Sauter and Group 44 competed in seven Cup races in 1989. At the end of the season the team decided not to continue with its NASCAR program and the car was put into storage. Tullius had proved his point by not only creating one of the very best road racing stock cars of the era but also a very good oval race car as well."

At the time NASCAR was not the hillbilly monster it is today. Most of american thought it was nothing more than a bunch of rednecks turning left. ( much like the rest of the world still see it now)

Why would Bob Tulius carry on in nascar aswell, when you have a full SCCA Trans Am program & some imsa races to run. carryingon with nascar would have been a strech on funds.At the time Sponsership was at a preimum after the 1987 stockmarket crash

Plus they had the new Group 44 Audi 200 Quattro Turbo SCCA Trans Am.

As for bitchin about the Grammar and Mis-spelled words . You A*****E!!!

Go troll somewere else . You should be glad the there are people willing to work on site like this .

Work being the word,As most of the people who add to sites like this do it for free.

So F*** Y** sir , F*** Y** very much.


slantnose 930 is too awesome


Wow, Ive lived in the bay area all my life and this is the first time i have heard of this place! I need to come and take a look at this place. Thanks for the awesome coverage!


In yesterday's post I introduced the magnificent Canepa Design facility in Scotts Valley California, and shared just a few of the iconic cars which can be found inside. Now let's continue the tour with a detailed look through the workshop area


In yesterday's post I introduced the magnificent Canepa Design facility in Scotts Valley California, and shared just a few of the iconic cars which can be found inside. Now let's continue the tour with a detailed look through the workshop area


OMG!!!So much win in one place !!!!


Now that we've had a look at the repair and restoration facilities at Canepa Design, it's time to take a little browse through the main showroom. As you've probably gathered by now, this isn't just any car showroom. It's one filled


For the fourth and final part of my visit to Canepa Design, I want to share some of the historic machines that can be found upstairs at the Canepa Motorsports Museum. It's a collection that quite frankly puts a lot of dedicated auto museums to shame


PLEASE! DO A SPOTLIGHT ON THE SUPERVETTE!!! That is such an incredible & rare machine!! I bet many car fans did not know there was anything like it until this article!! Id really love to see some more up close shots of it... or at the very least a desktop!


Awesome facility!


Awesome facility!