Canepa is A Big Toy Box
Photography by Yoav Gilad for Petrolicious
As we’ve already extensively documented, Pebble Beach is a must-attend event. But heading up there also allowed for a quick stop into an amazing shop, Canepa, located about thirty miles north. I’ve known of Mr. Bruce Canepa, former Porsche racer, truck designer, and all-around car-guy for a long-time now. He’s famous for setting records at the Pikes Peak Hillclimb and finishing second overall, his first time out. He also spent the early 1980s racing 935s and 962s at tracks including Daytona and Riverside. He’s also famous for helping to pass the Show-and-Display 25 year exemption law (along with Mr. Bill Gates) and federalizing most of the Porsche 959s in the US.
But I’m more familiar with Canepa due to their regular ads in the back of Autoweek. The cars on offer always blow me away–they usually include a few Porsche Neunelfers (911s), a few hotrods, and amazing racecars. Further research revealed that, in addition to a massive, full garage, Canepa also has a Motorsport Museum in the building, which used to be a hard-drive factory.
Arrangements were made and on Tuesday following Monterey Car Week, I pulled into the parking lot. Through the gates I could see a Ferrari 275 NART Spyder and immediately inside the showroom floor was my dream car: a Lamborghini Countach (it turned out it was a twenty-fifth anniversary edition, which is why I didn’t buy it. Yeah, that’s why).
But really, the Ferrari and Lamborghini were just a taste of what lay inside. The showroom floor contained about thirty cars, each more enticing than the previous: a bright yellow Porsche 993 C2S with about 3200 miles, a silver 1974 BMW 3.0CSL, I could go on endlessly. Unbelievably, walking into the cavernous garage revealed seven (!) 959s (a couple of which were ‘S’ models), Canepa’s personal McLaren P1 (the only one built with the old McLaren bar logo), Outlaw 356s, Maserati Birdcage, and a Porsche 917. The facilities are extensive and include countless jigs for full racecar rebuilds. With the exception of some chrome and metal plating, Canepa does nearly all of their fabrication, maintenance, and repair work in-house. What was the best part? The car wall. Oh, you don’t have a car wall?
In the near future we’ll be featuring an interview with Mr. Canepa himself along with a story on the 959, but for now, enjoy these photos and make sure you schedule a stop in Scotts Valley, California next time you’re near Monterey or San Francisco.