Auto shows are really strange events. Under one roof (sometimes two), an incredibly diverse cluster of automakers and industry figures converge into a living, breathing microcosm. It’s the ultimate melting pot of consumerism, nationalism, and corporate braggadocio, all in the hopes of impressing potential customers and media personnel. It’s a lot to take in, especially since automakers spend big bucks to make sure the focus is on their auto show debuts. If you tune out the static and take your time, there are some captivating “Easter eggs” to appreciate. Here are our favorite “hidden” delights of the 2016 Los Angeles auto show.
Ford’s Le Man’s winners, together
Sure, you don’t have to hunt very hard for Ford’s GT stand, but while a large chunk of attention was focused on the debut of the new Ford EcoSport subcompact crossover, I was crawling all over the two motorsport heroes in the corner. The old-timer on the left (pictured above) is the indomitable 1966 Ford GT40 Mk. II chassis P/1046, driven to an overall victory at Le Mans by none other than Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon. This was the car that gave Ferrari a black eye and set the GT40 legend in motion.
Facing the opposite direction on the stand is the No. 68 Ford GT that took home the top laurels in its class at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. Ford is so proud of its recent victory, it hasn’t even bothered to wash the dirt and grime off the car, allowing No. 68 to commemorate the occasion with battle scars.
Costumes from the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Film
Much to the delight of many of us Star Wars fans, Nissan partnered with Lucasfilm to create a large marketing campaign surrounding the Nissan Rogue (get it?) and the new movie. The partnership spawned a special edition Rogue crossover and gave Nissan a reason to deck out its show stand with all sorts of SW signage and memorabilia.
Patrick Long’s Vintage Porsche 911
Make sure to stop by both Pirelli stands at the show. One has a McLaren 570S and the other has this fabulous Porsche 911E. It’s owned by professional Porsche wheelman and GT3 veteran Patrick Long, so we’re guessing it rarely stays still for this long.
Volvo’s Oh-So-Swedish Moose Statue
We can’t make this one up. To celebrate its longstanding heritage and position at the forefront of Scandinavian design, the Volvo stand is dominated by the presence of a large moose sculpture. It’s not stuffed to one side, either – it’s right next to a Volvo S90, our 2017 Design of the Year.
Despite the U.S. love for overpowered track weapons, we don’t hear much from specialty firms like Caterham, Ariel, and KTM. BAC is trying to change that and put up shop in-between the Western and Southern show halls. The track-hungry Mono is incredibly menacing, offering just a single center-mounted seat for the driver. Power comes from a dense 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine, sending 305 hp and 224 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels. Performance is staggering, with a 0-60 mph time of just 2.8 seconds and a top speed reaching up to 170 mph. It’s hardly suprising given the Mono’s featherweight construction, which tips the scales at a dry 1,278 pounds.