- The Bridge, an exclusive, annual car and art event in Bridgehampton, New York, features impressive displays of rare and expensive cars.
- Author Steven John drove a loaned Ferrari GTC4Lusso T to the event and documented 14 of its stand-out vehicles.
I was recently fortunate enough to land an invitation to The Bridge, an exclusive annual automobile-centric event. Though only in its third year, The Bridge is already one of the world’s most impressive displays of rare, expensive, immensely powerful, and simply beautiful motor vehicles.
I spent the weekend with a lovely Ferrari GTC4Lusso T, borrowed from Ferrari. It’s a grand tourer that packs 680 twin-turbocharged V8 horsepower into an elegant, curved body. It has an all-glass roof, seating for four adults, passes 60 miles per hour in less than 3.4 seconds, and tops out around 208 MPH, according to Ferrari. And it sells for a mere $US298,000 MSRP.
On normal roads in normal neighbourhoods, the car is an absolute head turner, something I experienced myself multiple times with a mix of awkwardness and glee. At The Bridge? My Ferrari blended right into the crowd and frankly took a back seat to most of the stunning cars on display.
But that’s no knock on the Lusso. Rather, it clarifies the calibre of the 150 vehicles gathered together on a clear mid-September day with a cool offshore breeze that curled around tens of millions of dollars’ worth of automobiles.
The event also featured 12 world-class art galleries, erected in temporary buildings and displaying an eclectic mix of artwork both modern and generations old. The common theme there, too, was rarity and price.
From The Bridge’s car-studded fields, here are 14 of the most amazing, powerful, gorgeous, rare, and downright weird vehicles I saw:
1. Ferrari 365 California
The Ferrari 365 California debuted in 1966, and the vehicle is as much of a stunner today as it was more than half a century ago. Getting a look at this 4.4-litre V12 convertible is a lot more likely than getting your hands on one, though even spotting one in person is rare: only 14 were built.
2. McLaren 600 LT
According to McLaren’s website, “an LT is the most extreme expression of a McLaren you can get. Pushed to the edge, pushed as far as it will go in terms of performance and exhilaration.” So yeah, this is a fast car. According to McLaren, goes from zero to 62 mph in about 2.9 seconds. That figure is conservative. It’s almost certainly faster.
3. Alfa Romeo
An antique right-hand drive, the Alfa Romeo was perched prominently on a high point of The Bridge golf course and drew a constant stream of admirers. The 1930s-era convertible was in pristine condition, though I couldn’t help thinking I’d hate to be in the car if it rolled over.
4. Terrafugia Transition
Yes, that’s a flying car. Or really, more of a plane that can safely drive on roads. The Terrafugia Transition has folding wings that allow for easy storage and, of course, make it fit onto a roadway. It flies for up to 400 miles and drives at up to 100 mph. Get yours when production commences in 2019!
5. Chevrolet Chevelle SS
Chevy’s Chevelle SS was the automaker’s flagship muscle car. The first Chevelles hit the scene in 1964, but the high-water mark for style and performance arguably came with the 1970 Chevelle SS 454, that number referring to its 454 cubic-inch engine.
6. Maserati MC12
Only 50 Maserati MC12 race cars were ever produced, with 25 coming off the line in 2004 and 25 more in 2005. Its maximum recorded speed is 205 mph, and it goes from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. Also, an MC12 will cost you a couple million bucks today.
7. SGC 003
The Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG 003 looks more like a rocket ship than a racecar and arguably performs that way too. The car comes in both competitive track varieties and a street legal configuration, and in the latter arrangement, it can achieve a maximum engine output of 700 horsepower. Which is more than you need for most streets, really.
8. Ferrari 488 Spider
I had the pleasure of driving a Ferrari 488 Spider for a few days in the summer of 2017, and let me tell you, this 659 horsepower machine is as finely tuned as a concert grand piano. Case in point: The door handles are angled perfectly to channel extra air into the rear intakes, adding a bit more might to the naturally aspirated engine.
9. Aston Martin Zagato
This two-seater V12 speed demon would make James Bond himself proud, were he not a fictional character of page and screen. The Aston Martin Zagato is very much real, however, and real fast. But from what I understand of this 580 HP, 6.0-litre, V12 work of art, it handles like a ballet dancer, not a beast.
10. 1958 Volkswagen Deluxe 15 Window Bus
Some well-maintained older vehicles look great today simply because of their age and historical interest. Others, like this 1958 VW Deluxe 15 Window Bus, look great in any era. Can’t you picture the pioneers of American surfing loading into this gorgeous vehicle? Clearly the curators of The Bridge could, as many period-appropriate surfboards lay near the van.
11. Cadillac DeVille
The 1961 Cadillac De Ville was one of the most luxurious, gorgeous, and simply massive variations of the vehicles often known as Land Yachts. This car measures an astonishing 222 inches in length, which comes out to eighteen and a half feet. Most weighed nearly 5,000 pounds.
12. Air Cooled Porsches
Along one long ridgeline, nearly a dozen air-cooled Porsches glistened in the sun, a rainbow of classic vehicle engineering. While often underpowered compared to more modern liquid-cooled engines, air-cooled cars have great appeal among the car enthusiast community for being lighter weight, more nimble, easier to maintain, and for producing a hearty rev noise.
13. Dino 246 GT
Ever heard of a Dino sports car before? They were produced by Ferrari for fewer than ten years, from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s, and were intended to be (sort of) lower cost sports cars than the supercars the brand was known for. Later embraced as full-on Ferraris, the Ferrari Dino 246 GT was (and remains) a handsome and capable vehicle.
14. “My” Ferrari GTC4 Lusso T.
Turbo power is in at Ferrari.
Look, maybe the Lusso I drove around in for a few glorious days wasn’t as notable as the flying Terrafugia Transition or extremely limited cars like the Maserati MC12, but here’s the thing: I don’t think there were many other 680-plus horsepower cars at The Bridge into which I could secure both of my kids’ car seats, have my wife join in shotgun, and still have some trunk space for a few errands. And when push comes to shove, I’ll take a family Ferrari over a two-seater track racer any day.
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