The night before the CF Charities Supercar Show, I was preparing at my friend Sam’s (YouTube: 6th Gear Auto) house in Philadelphia. The two of us had been anticipating this event for a long time. It would be my first time attending, with Sam having been there the year before. While we were preparing for the show the night before, we were getting Snapchats of the cars at a hotel garage. I was told that CF Charities takes over the garage and hotel for the show. At that point, I knew it was going to be a good one.
The next day, we got up at 5 in the morning, and arrived to the show at 7, well before the actual start time. Media pass distribution was to begin at 7, though it was a scramble to find where the actual location of the passes would be. After a waiting period of seeing if we were approved for passes, we got our passes, and started exploring the nearby area. Most of the supercars for the cruise (later) had not yet arrived, but the handful present already impressed everyone. It was almost like my local cars and coffee, except there were more supercars. The LaFerrari owned by Yellofly did not completely steal the show, perhaps because there were already two McLaren P1's. Or it was possibly because everyone was already in a constant state of excitement for all the cars rolling in. Among the cars that arrived was a grey wrapped BMW M3 E90, and that car may have provided the most fun experience of the day for a very exhilarating and audible reason.
One of the top organizers for the event summoned everyone together for a briefing. After the briefing, Sam and I walked over to the BMW M3 owned by Anthony of NS2 Media. For those who do not know who NS2 Media is, it consists of duo Anthony and Nick, who design wraps and specifications for high-end cars. The team rose to fame after their design was selected for notorious charity-givers Team Salamone in their Lamborghini Aventador SV. Anthony had driven out to the event and wanted photographers to ride along as an excuse to get to the front of the pack. Thanks to Sam’s requests earlier, we found ourselves in the back of the M3 for the police-escorted cruise around the city of Philadelphia. The setup was about a 15 mile loop in and around the city. Police were to close off some intersections and road entrances, while one police car clears the way at the front, and other police cars mark the end of the pack. All cars participating in the drive needed a windshield banner so that the police could differentiate from any potential ‘sneakers’.
Once everyone was in their cars, anticipation was building. We saw the first line slowly moving out. Then the second line. Then we look out on the road and see the frontrunners roaring down the opening road, devoid of any traffic. Excitement in our car grew as we started moving. We made an attempt to get past a Ferrari 458 Spyder in the Wells Fargo Center parking lot, but it was to no avail. At least we would hear part of the flat-plane crank naturally aspirated V8, a dearly missed relic. However, that was short-lived. Once we entered the road, the M3’s naturally aspirated S65 V8 outsang everything else, as the gears were being rowed through down a first stretch of road. Everything was going by quickly, and we could only imagine the surprise other people were going through as they waited at intersections while blocked off by police. After entering the downtown area, the police-escorted part was temporarily over, and we were in a parade-like state of slower city driving. This was when I could truly see the reactions of other people. As we crawled through the city, stopping at red lights, we got to see passer-bys turning their necks towards each car passing by. Our M3 was louder than most of the cars in the pack, so the rev-matched downshifts caused a lot of extra noise that bounced between the buildings. Of course, there were a few people who did not bat an eye towards anything. At one point, a Miura-edition Lamborghini Aventador (another participant) pulled up next to us and asked how we were so loud. Perhaps he was a tad jealous.
The red-lights presented a bit of a challenge, as we did not know whether we were supposed to run them (with caution) or stop. Those of us mid to rear of the pack chose the latter. We got concerned that we would not know which direction to go, as it was a case of follow-the-leader. We had plenty of people on sidewalks taking photos and asking us what was going on. Some families, others being owners of tuner cars with their mates. Eventually, we gave up on hopes of getting to the front of the pack, until we made it to a large fountain situated in a roundabout, where police were rounding everybody up. We decided to leave cars like the green 458 Spider behind and use one of the outer lanes to get a bigger jump after the break. Then, we parked.
I couldn't help but to say that line after we hopped out of the M3. A Ford Explorer got behind us, the driver and passenger clearly being confused as to what was going on. I took the opportunity to look around, attempt to vlog, and take some photos. I also noticed the 599xx was at the very front. To the left of the M3 we had a Lamborghini Huracán with decorative Polizia livery, lights, and sirens. A quadcopter was flying above, showcasing what surely looked like a spectacle from above. Our driver hoped to use the restroom, but that changed after someone shouted “Everyone to your cars!” The stop was used to rendezvous everyone, and we couldn't disrupt the traffic for too long (we used up 3 of 4 lanes in the roundabout). Suddenly it was a mad-dash by everyone to their vehicles. I almost got lost, but I made it back just in time. I wonder if the drone pilot was able to land in time.
We set off again, this time in more of a pack. Sam recorded the Polizia Huracán next to us with lights and sirens on. (To clarify, the lights and sirens are not the same specification as that of American police.) We circle around the roundabout and cut our way closer to the front of the pack. Then we hit the highway section, which was devoid of any traffic thanks to the work of the Philadelphia police and state troopers. We made the most of the stretch, roaring underneath underpasses and working further until we got to almost the very front, where there was the 599xx, McLaren P1, LaFerrari, a Mustang with a photographer hanging out, and a few more cars. I attempted some rollers of the P1 and LaFerrari, but being the novice I am, all the photos were out of focus. In an attempt to quickly switch my mirrorless camera between photo and video, I left the camera in full auto. Sadly that effort failed, as the memory card write speeds were too slow to handle video and the many photos I was taking. However, I didn't realize any of that as we were all enjoying the moment.
The highway seemed to end quickly, and we were soon directed into the show area at the Wells Fargo Center. It all almost felt like the opening scene of season one of The Grand Tour, where we roared by other cars before stopping in the presence of many other epic cars. Mosler, Saleen S7 Twin Turbo, another LaFerrari & 599xx, a new Spyker, and the other cars we drove with. Someday I would love to get a movie sequence of all of that, but until then, I have the memories. That's what More Than Motoring is about - going on adventures and experiencing amazing things in the world of cars.
Quick compilation from the police-escorted parade around Philadelphia.
the rest of the show
We got out in the heat (93 degrees Fahrenheit, 34 Celsius) and started walking around. I called my dad to tell him how awesome the ride was, and then I went back to looking at all the other cars that were rolling in, such as an AMG GT S, Nissan GT-R, Lamborghini Huracán, and more. The founder of the event has a large car collection, and on many of the cars he has a license plate with the top speed. A couple cars did not have license plates. One was a brand new Spyker C8 Preliator, the only model in the US. The other was the only Lamborghini Centenario in the US. To see the Centenario in all of its bare-carbon glory was nothing short of amazing. And thanks to the media pass I had, I was able to get close to the car. It was around that time when I heard a familiar engine roaring in the background.
I looked towards a different parking lot, and I saw Anthony autocrossing in his BMW M3. Doing lap after lap, the car made the course marshal cover his ears as each launch made a mix of motor and tire noise. Anthony, the owner of the car, drove pretty well, setting a time within a second of a 2014 Dodge Viper ACR driven by a relatively experienced driver. I went for a ride with Anthony, and while his lap with me wasn't the best, it was still cool to experience the car be driven like it was stolen. Also, the rear end stepped out a little. I can see why some people prefer drift over grip.
Drive it like you stole it!
After autocross rides, it was a cycle between admiring the cars and going for a cold beverage. The heat was a lot to handle, but the cars made it bearable. I looked at another section of the show, where there were other cars like a rocket bunny Porsche 911 930, and even some muscle cars. I got to speak to a Spyker representative about the car, but my conversation was interrupted as the Lamborghini Centenario started moving, and all the photographers following. I got some exhaust clips, but I had already missed an earlier part where it was in a rev-battle with a Ford Mustang GT350R. The real reason why the car moved was for photos. The handler of the car parked the car in a picturesque way so that we photographers can get cool shots. Every photographer was courteous, making sure they were not blocking another person's view. Unfortunately we only had a few seconds for completely unobstructed shots, as a few oblivious people who weren't photographers soon started walking towards the rear of the vehicle (the front was facing us) and recording for their Snapchats. Despite many of us waving at them to get out of the shots, they wouldn't oblige. Photoshop was not much of an option. Photographers know that photoshopping objects out of a shot could compromise the quality, and nobody wanted compromised quality of a rare vehicle like this, especially since many of us may not see one again.
When the action with the Centenario subsided, I talked with the representative of Spyker. He had already let me sit in the car, and being that he was very kind, I got to talk to him about the car. The car is very old school (V8, manual, no ugly navigation screen, just a heads-up display), and Spyker aren't into the horsepower wars. I will jump at the opportunity to experience Spyker at other events. Even before the event ended, surprisingly many cars left early. I caught a few acceleration runs, including that of a Lexus LFA. People were hoping to catch a run of the Centenario, until everyone saw the car was being trailered away. Despite that, everyone gathered around to watch the car be secured and locked up. And from there, the show started to close.
about the charity
In some ways, the show is a mecca for car enthusiasts. However, in the name ‘CF Charities Supercar Show’, the words ‘CF Charities’ are present, and that is where the big meaning lies. CF Charities’ Mission Statement reads:
The organization focuses on turning certain high school youth into leaders and provide them with college access and exposure to the all-the-rage STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) field. The organization works with schools and provides internships and scholarships to exemplary students to help offset uni costs. It appears to be a great program. While not to say that the students benefited are in poverty, it appears that the students are gaining opportunities they otherwise would not have. And with the supercar show benefiting the charity, everyone wins. Supercar owners get a chance to meet up, automotive media personnel get a chance to get epic shots (with or without photobombs), the public gets a chance to see supercars that are hardly seen by many, and high school youth get better opportunities. A message to the Facebook page Moms Against Cars: as shown by the superior reasoning in the last sentence, your efforts hinder the success of the future workforce.
The event was a load of fun, and I am already looking forward to next year’s event. However, there are a few desires I have. Unfortunately, being the photographer novice I am (I mostly focus on video), my rolling shots of the P1 and LaFerrari were messed up, so hopefully next I can try again. Then again, riding along in a very loud BMW was fun, but perhaps it would be more fun to drive the route. My attainable dream car is the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, so if I can work my butt off and buy one before next year’s event (even though I am a full-time college student), that would be epic. Of course, my awesome friend Sam who brought me out to the event will be riding shotgun. However I get around, there is still one more wild wish: as we were passing other cars in the M3 during the escort, and as all the cars paraded back to the Wells Fargo Center, I kept thinking of the opening scene of Amazon’s motoring show, The Grand Tour (Season One, Episode One). It would be awesome to somewhat recreate the scene with the parade in and around the city. At the very least, maybe the live band that plays during the show could perform the song “I Can See Clearly Now” by the Hothouse Flowers, just like the show. To the event organizers who will surely read this article, you know what to do!
The full YouTube video from my CF Charities adventure can be watched here: