When I go to a first rate car show, collection or museum, I often vacillate between “but of course” and “what a surprise”. There are cars that you know that you’re going to see, cars that naturally belong in that environment, and then there are unexpected but undeniably special cars that turn out to be one of the highlights of the event for you. The Concours of America at St. John’s, formerly the Meadow Brook Concours, is not only at the pinnacle of Detroit area car events but it’s also a world class event, in the rank of the Amelia Island and Pebble Beach shows. The 2012 CoA was held last Sunday and as expected there were plenty of “of course” moments, but also a few very pleasant surprises, including this McLaren M1B, what I consider the ultimate anti-trailer queen. After McLaren sold the car to Kar Kraft, someone installed enough lights to make it street legal. Though most cars at the concours were driven no farther than from the parking lot where their trailers were sitting, Cory Becker and his wife Teresa Antonelli drove the McLaren, owned by her father Tom, about 30 miles to the Concours. It’s the first M1B that was raced (by Bruce McLaren, Phil Hill, and Chris Amon) and the first McLaren with a Chevy engine. The car is worth more than a million dollar and literally can’t be replaced. Driving a car like that on public roads puts Antonelli and Becker in a special class of car enthusiasts. My hat’s off to them.
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