Sunday, August 28, 2016

Marconi car museum in Orange County

Two Fridays ago, I flew down to Orange County to celebrate my step-nephew's graduation. Outwardly, he looks like a tanned, laid back, surfer. But he just received his doctorate in environmental science from Harvard. I'm still blown away.

His dissertation, by the way, looks at air pollution across the Middle East. Environmental protection and monitoring, as you can imagine, are non-existent over there. But they do measure the air quality for particulate matters in Kuwait. My nephew was able to match the air quality with Kuwait airport's visibility. Every airport in the world, no matter how backwards, measures visibility daily. So he was able to extrapolate the air quality of every Middle Eastern city with airports. So simple and clever! He hopes to use this information to help American contractors and military personnel make respiratory injury workers compensation claims based on prolonged exposure while abroad.

I had an hour before lunch so I went to the Marconi museum near John Wayne airport. It's the personal collection of a co-founder of Herbalife, a health supplement business based on multi-level marketing. I'll reserve my judgment, but just by saying that I am surely judging.

Nevertheless, dude's got a shitload of cars.

You'll note that when I go to car museums, I tend to gravitate towards the less loved cars. A line of Ferraris? No thanks. A Bentley Turbo RL with a Fastrak transponder and an Azure convertible? Yes, please.

I took these photos of the Countach and Pantera just to show you the atrocious 1970s US-spec bumpers.

The Cizeta V16 has, shockingly, a V16. That's two Urraco V8s, in a looong block. This is the second one I've seen in real life. A quick search on my blog shows I posted about this BMW V16 once.

Here we have a Jaguar XJ220S. I never liked the looks of the regular XJ220. Too long and narrow. But this is much better. No pop-up headlights. A wider rear end. The engine's output was upped from 540hp to 700hp. This is one of six made.

Was there a special name for these removable roof panels on the Jarama?

The Espada would definitely be on my Fantasy Garage short list.

There were several F1 cars. This was Senna's 1988 McLaren-Honda.

Schumacher's 1996 Ferrari.

Simtek-Cosworth Ford. MTV!

Keke Rosberg's 1985 Williams.

This was the highlight, the Ferrari FX created for the Sultan of Brunei.

Here's the project manager of the FX:

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