California Dreamin’ At Canepa Cars & Coffee
Embarking On A Memorable Voyage

“I swear, it’s a really good idea. You hand me the keys to a $1.3million+ dollar car, and tomorrow morning I’ll drive it two hours south of San Francisco to Canepa Cars & Coffee.”

It made total sense in my mind, but the guys at Pagani were looking at me like I had just escaped from a mental asylum. The car they fondly refer to as Hanna had just been treated to a full body clear vinyl wrap and a special coating ready for the Pagani Raduno drive the following week, not to mention up-specced with the ‘Pacchetto Tempesta’ which adds an aero front lip spoiler and rear diffuser, as well as lighter and sexier wheels and an upgrade to the transmission. So why risk a potential stone chip or possibly something a little more serious?

But as daft as the idea sounded, I know the people at C&C would love to see the new upgraded Huayra, and after promising that I’d take good care of it, Pagani kindly handed the billet aluminium keys over. Score!

I had the Huayra to myself for an entire morning, and with the event kicking off at 7:00am it required a rather early rise, something that wasn’t an issue as I was extremely jet-lagged. That and the fact that sleep was the last thing on my mind – Pagani keys on the bedside table have that effect! So before 5:00am, I had left my hotel and was in my friend’s E34 M5 on the way to pick up the car – all of which you can see if you hit play on the above video.

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It seemed like I redefined what ‘arriving in style’ means; the kind guys at Canepa reserved the best parking spot in the house for me, and people swarmed over Hanna. It was cool that everyone could get up close to the Huayra and see firsthand the craftsmanship that goes into putting one of these things together. I left the doors open and began my walk through the car park, checking out what local enthusiasts had brought along.

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Ever since seeing Mike’s coverage of this gathering I’ve always hoped I’d have the chance to check it out, and in my sleep deprived, half jet-lagged state it almost felt surreal.

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I always rave on about how Japan has such a huge variety of vehicles at similar types of events, but the US doesn’t disappoint either.

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In fact, I’d say the variety is just as good. It’s different for sure, but very impressive all the same, and at this particular event – and probably due to Canepa’s speciality – it was quite Euro focused.

There was a variety of metal from Bavaria like the above pair…

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Right through to this old E28 524td of all models, running a rare Hella rectangular headlight conversion.

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It was hard to ignore this spotless E30 M3 on BBS wheels either. Check out the 1989 Munich export plates; I wonder if they really did come with this car?

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Of course, being in the good old US of A the domestic side to the gathering did not disappoint. My top pick would have to be this stunning Stingray.

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And much like the amazing selection of cars I got to see at Pebble Beach the following week, it was the older pre-war stuff that blew my mind. It’s something I’m rarely subjected to in Japan, so it was a refreshing to see, hear and smell this sort of stuff. Yes, smell is a very important thing. Regardless of the car or vintage, I always go in for a whiff of the interior when I can; it adds a whole different element to the way you portray and experience a car.

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GMC Cyclone? Hell yes! A performance truck is what GMC and other manufacturers should always have in their line-ups!

Hunting Out The Curious Ones
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Having grown up in Europe, it’s always particularly interesting to me to see the differences that US versions of the models I am so familiar with received. I’m not quite sure why the Mk1 Golf (Rabbit) GTI was dealt this rectangular headlight setup in the US, but it sure gave the model a totally different look to its European counterpart which featured simple round headlights. The roof rack on this particular car gives it such a Californian feel.

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And now for something totally different – a Triumph TR3.

During the two hours I spent at Canepa I think I saw three Ariel Atoms. It was quite cool, as it emphasised the fact that people in California love their corners, totally going against that notion that Americans only love straight-line performance. It makes sense too, as I got to experience some of the nicest driving roads I’ve come across during the Pagani drive event. I was baffled at the above kit car, which was kind of a mix between the naked look and feel of an Atom, but running a more Caterham-inspired front engine (and turbocharged) setup. Either way, it looks like a lot of fun, and I bet it slides nicely with a lot of the weight being up front.

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Following on from my post on the 911SC I spotted at the event, I can’t skip on posting more Porsche content.

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Here’s a rare one, and as the license plate rightly hints, this is no four cylinder-powered 914, but a ‘A Six’. It was a stunning machine, and I love the tightness of that rear fitment!

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Like the older stuff? So do I, and this 356 line-up had me conjuring up images of James Dean in his very own Speedster looking cool under the warm Californian light.

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If you didn’t already know, the 959 was originally not able to be sold in the United States as Porsche wouldn’t supply cars for crash testing purposes. Canepa was instrumental in helping lobby Congress for special legislation though, and that eventually allowed the 959 to be legally imported into the States without having to meet federal safety regulations.

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With that and the fact that Canepa offers some special upgrade packages specifically for this model, I knew I’d be seeing one or two examples at least, but I almost fainted when I went inside the workshop and found a few more! I’ll share that with you in the second part of the Cars & Coffee coverage. Trust me, it gets pretty wild once you set foot in the back of the shop.

Mmm… Donuts
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The great thing about this event is the endless supply of fresh-brewed coffee to help you wake up at such an early hour on a Saturday morning. Donuts work wonders too!

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By now, I’m sure all of you know that I like odd-looking Ferraris. The 400 and its various evolutions are some of my favourites, as the whole idea of having two extra seats in a car from Maranello makes total sense to me. It’s probably why I’m quite partial to the FF (and GTC4 Lusso), and why this particular car got a big thumbs up from me.

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Seeing this car easily provided the morning’s biggest WTF moment. A Fiat 124 sedan? In the US? This is what my uncle used to drive when I was a kid in Italy, and my father had the coupé version of the car, which was probably Fiat’s interpretation of the Mustang at the time.

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The way this Alfa Romeo 4C was parked alongside this Lotus Elise begs one to ask the question: which would you rather have? The more modern carbon-tubbed Alfa with a turbocharged engine and twin-clutch transmission, or the older and more mechanical Lotus?

We are great fans of sleepers here at Speedhunters and this Volvo wagon wins big with a nice and stealthy LS1 swap. Shut the bonnet and no one would know – until you crank the engine into life that is!

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And we have a rotary, one of two actually and a very welcome sight on this particular morning. I loved the fact that both cars were both running stock bodies too, as I sometimes forget how simple and pleasant the original shape is. In Japan, most owners can’t help but mess with the looks, so that’s become the norm for me.

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I also finally got to see a Focus RS in person. I’m not sure what to make of this thing; it certainly has the performance figures to impress, but I do wonder about that hefty curb weight. I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of one though…

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By the time I had done countless loops of the parking lot and visited the workshop and showroom it was cool to see that Hanna was still bringing in the crowds. This wasn’t the first time the car had been driven to Cars & Coffee, but it was looking pleasantly refreshed and positively angrier with the Pacchetto Tempesta upgrade.

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Eventually, the time came to say goodbye to the event and head back up to San Francisco.

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I had to get the car back safe and sound and give it a quick wash before its drive up to Napa Valley the following day.

Up next though is the Canepa workshop and all the glorious machinery within…

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino
dino@speedhunters.com

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78 comments

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1

That atom like "kit car" is from exomotive. It's called the exocet and it's a custom chassis for the miata drivetrain.

2

I loved the POV, head-mount video. Hope to see more like those! Great work as always, Dino.

3

That kit car is a Exomotive. It's a nice lightweight structure plopped on Miata bones: http://exomotive.com/

4

That 4C makes the Lotus look tiny!

5

In my mind the alpha and the lotus were more or less the same size, mind blows the alfa looks almost gargantuan. I guess I can scrap the idea of ever driving the lotus.  
also i'm all for seeing more videos made by the speedhunters. nicely made dino!

6

@speedhunters_dino here's a video of that white kit car. Its a turbo Miata with an Exomotive Exocet kit
https://youtu.be/QIG3ondmOU0?list=PL0NpLqqFBFSJmX9clrkdyQwmPl_9tPrPY

7
speedhunters_dino

oldworldgoods Thanks :)

8
speedhunters_dino

Wes_FD3S Thanks for that! Wonder how it drives...

9

Props to Pagani for actually letting you do it.  You truly are operating on a world-class level when a manufacturer has that level of trust with you.  Or you guys' insurance is truly next level shit.

10

Stop being like everyone else on the internet and posting a minutes worth of drivel before you show the content you actually promised to show.  No one cares about your hotel room.

11

That's an Elise, Dino! And I'm sure you know which one I'd have! The Alfa looks huge next to it

12
speedhunters_dino

noselunting Damn, the anger!

13

Great coverage....like the video!

14

speedhunters_dino noselunting Got a Pagani to drive all by yourself tends to make people very very jealous

15

That is definitely an Elise, not an Exige.  GEEZ!!!  :-)
Good write up DDC!
Cockpit of the pagani is my favorite pic.

16

I was never really a fan of 959's until I saw that grey one in person

17

Am I the only one who is not into Paganis?
I mean, yes they are rare and expensive and fast and have bizillions of horsepower but they look exactly like what they are made for: to please rich people with questionable taste.
Seriously just look at the last interior shot: sensory overload.
Still as usual a nice cars and coffee coverage and I understand that Dino wouldn't deny driving a Pagani.
My pick: the V8 Volvo!
The Fiat 124s are actually hard to come by in Germany these days Dino, since most cars offered are Polski Fiats haha.

18

Max @Ghettoporsche Yes you are..

19

Nice POV video Dino! Your maneuvering getting out of the garage is a bit like trying to get my 1.5-way LSD going in the morning ;)

Hey why is the check engine light on in the Pagani?

20

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21

That Pagani looks like an AK-47 in knife fight.
Back to the knives though, would pic that 4c over the Lotus in a heart beat

22

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23

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24

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25

My Uncle Eli got a nice 12 month old Porsche Cayenne by working parttime from a laptop... hop over to this web-site ......5newtime.comᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵ

26

Stop it with the douchebaggery. Nobody wants to listen to you whine.

27

my Aunty Alyssa just got an almost new gold Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet SUV just by parttime work from a computer... website here...........richway3.comᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵ

28

Lotus all day everyday over the Alfa. If Alfa chances the headlights and makes it simpler by adding a manual etc. i might reconsider depending on price

29

My dad had two cars while working as a Miami-Dade County corrections officer, he had a sweet '62 T-bird as his weekend car, and a little Fiat 124 just like that to save on gas during his commute. He bought it for $50 and all it needed was a starter and four good tires.

30

I'm stuck on the Alfa/lotus, whilst different to each other they are much the same ethos, I'd enjoy either.

31
speedhunters_dino

JohnTruitt Haha nice!

32
speedhunters_dino

MatsNorway Why change the headlights? The US cars (like the one shown) have the same units from the drop top version of the car (not those horrible ones they fit in Europe)

33
speedhunters_dino

Mahfoodh LOL nice analogy!

34
speedhunters_dino

V28VX37 Haha I was so paranoid! The car just had the new upgrade fitted and it just needed a reboot to get it fixed

35
speedhunters_dino

Max @Ghettoporsche V8 volvo is my top pick too probably...but so many other awesomeness there!

36
speedhunters_dino

Frozzy One of the best cars every made. Period:)

37
speedhunters_dino

koko san Thanks!

38
speedhunters_dino

EmmaMacki speedhunters_dino noselunting haha well sorry, I'll try borrow a Yugo next time lol

39

Seeing the Alfa and the Lotus next to each other is a bit of a revelation. I have seen several Elises in person but not yet a new 4C, and envisioned them being of comparable size. The Alfa's apparent bulk makes me wonder how that affects its road-handling capabilities by way of comparison. I imagine it's also more comfortable for a guy like me to sit inside of, being 6'1"... Maybe I'll find out someday!

40

my Aunty Julia just got Kia Rio Sedan from only workin parttime on a pc. Go Here
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41

gliebau The 4c is not enormous by any means, in fact it's tiny,
it's just that Lotus next to it is an infant cart with an engine.

42

speedhunters_dino MatsNorway Did not notice that. American headlights it is!

43

like Marjorie responded I am blown away that you can profit $5885 in 4 weeks on the computer . have a peek at this website

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44

my roomate's mother-in-law makes $64 /hour on the laptop .


http://tinyurl.com/jobss11

45

That kit car I think if i m not wrong is a miata/mx5 "skateboard" with a new body on top.

46

@Expert
afaik it only needs MX-5/Miata suspension bits , engine , transmission , rear differential , and that's about it ... I saw it a few time on Instagram , and some even went V8 swap (you know the drill , LS swap , old SBC , Ford V8) .

47

Dino,  great first person video.  love it.  If you haven't tried them, take a look at Pivothead.  They don't interfere with the roof and give a more natural perspective since the lens is right between your eyes...

48

My Uncle Alex recently got a six-month old Buick Regal Sedan by working parttime online. website here
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49

This was so much fun to experience through your eyes Dino - literally! Oh, and I'll take the Lotus.

50
Gianluca FairladyZ

Yeah Fiat 124!! Put a smile on my face :)

51

How I envy your work Dino! Nice job on driving Hanna!

52

RDS The kit car is called an Exocet (http://www.exomotive.com).  The one pictured is the same one that Matt Farah drove: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIG3ondmOU0

53

speedhunters_dino Its my car, come find out!

54

the red mazda got some lovin :'D

55

That 959 was in the paddock at Laguna all weekend. This was probably the fifth or sixth time I've seen Canepa bring some 959 to the Motorports Reunion over the years. And they are all different. He definitely is the Lord of 959's. I was also lucky enough to have it drive by me on one of the access roads all sinister burbling coming from its exhaust. 
Cross seeing a 959 actually driving in person off bucket list! take a gander at here at this point

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56

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57

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58

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60

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61

just as Carl replied I didnt know that anyone can earn $7424 in one month on the internet . visit homepage http://tiny.tw/3pnP

62

Definitely would take the Lotus over the Alfa Romeo, and I'm not really all that partial to the Elise/Exige but it wrote the recipe for the 4C.

But honestly, my pick of the litter would be the Syclone. That is minitrucking done goddamn right.

63

like James responded I cant believe that any one able to earn $6475 in one month on the computer . see it here=====net.pro70­­.Comllllllll

64

Max @Ghettoporsche  The Pagani is the car for the person who has everything else. The kind of owner will already have something simple. Something daily, something for the track... The Pagani is the height of engineering extravagance, something beyond 'normal'. It reminds me of an expensive watch. Generally they're far more complicated than the owner needs, they use materials that aren't required, are massively engineer and a lot of the time show exactly how it's all working. Pagani do the same with the cars. I love that level of engineering. The thought and the passion that's poured in to it. 

If you want an example of something made for people with too much money for no reason. Take a look at the lykan hypersport, or the Devel 16.

65

Ok I can understand and respect that opinion!
Maybe I just can't put myself in the position of "the man who has everything" haha.

66

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67

" spotless E30 M3 on BBS wheels" 
Those are actually BMW DS1 wheels for e36 M3's. They were only an option in Canada on the 45 1994 Canadian Edition cars or in the U.S. on cars from 1995 only.

68

My Uncle Thomas recently got an awesome six month old Infiniti FX SUV just by some parttime working online with a computer. look at here now

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69

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70

IRONWOLF RD  You know, I understand why they came only in automatic, I really do. Keeps it in boost properly, and was stronger than the manuals they had available... But I cannot help but wish for a three-pedal, 5-speed Syclone.

71

speedhunters_dino EmmaMacki noselunting  Is it wrong that I'd love to watch that video? Rather than the rush to get out of the hotel room, it's just you smacking the alarm clock across the room and going back to sleep. three hours later, your ride has kicked the door down and is dragging you, kicking and screaming from the bed. Later on, you 'mysteriously' can't figure out how to unbuckle the M5's seatbelt. "oh, well. Guess I'm stuck here and can't drive the deathtrap--er, I mean the Yugo." Takes two burly men to shove you in the driver's seat, and strap you in. then it breaks down in the garage, rather than being paranoia-inducing to shuffle it out. And last but not least, you ACTUALLY can't unbuckle the belt.

72

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73

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74

My Uncle Declan got a nine month old Mitsubishi Outlander SUV just by some part-time working online with a lap-top. check

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75

muse_coyote IRONWOLF RD I totally agree.

76

The car next to the Atom is an Exocet. Basically a tube frame Miata

77

I really want to know where it is you placed your gear/any items you'd brought with you. I'd have been dope to see you have to open the engine cover to get to the small cases, if that's what you used.

78

EddieScott lmao i was just coming to be a bimmer nerd, but you beat me to it!

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