Drawn by futuristic, classic, limited-edition and specially modified vehicles, plus the chance to enjoy others’ company in the fresh – OK, sometimes exhaust-laden – air, thousands of aficionados flocked to “The Fast & the Flavorful” Car and Food Show on March 7 at Tysons Corner Center.
“Don’t touch the car!” one parent admonished a child – not bad advice, considering that many of the low-slung vehicles were worth at least six figures.
More than 3,500 people – never more than 1,000 at a time, organizers stressed – attended the three-hour-long show, which was held by the Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce and featured nearly 240 vehicles.
Most spectators gathered on Levels 6 and 7 of Parking Garage E, where the majority of vehicles were on display, but a few supercars also were parked between stores inside.
Ultra-sleek two-seater sports cars – including ones made by Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, Audi, Jaguar and McLaren – drew their requisite oohs and aahs at the show.
Mosea Kim displayed his 2014 Lamborghini Aventador, a 50th-anniversary edition that was the 64th of only 100 ever made. Its carbon-fiber shell, covered in dark-gray satin matte paint, has dramatic angles reminiscent of another classic Lamborghini, the Countach.
“This was my dream car since I was a little kid,” he said of the Aventador.
Its manufacturer’s suggested retail price is about $500,000 brand-new and about $350,000 used, said Kim, who has owned his for about two months. A sales team leader in the lucrative cyber-security field, Kim mostly drives his Aventador on Capital Auto Club cruises.
“I’m typically busy during the workday, otherwise I’d drive it more,” he said. “So I really only drive it on the weekends. I could take it to the grocery store, but it tends to attract a lot of attention.”
Some who came to the show were drawn to classic cars, such as a Shelby Cobra open-top racer and an amply curved white Porsche Super 90. Paul Nong of Philadelphia showed up with a red “VeilSide” racing edition of a 1994 Mazda RX-7, which he said had appeared in the movie “The Fast & the Furious: Tokyo Drift.”
“It pushes about 450 horsepower,” Nong said of the car’s rotary engine.
Drivers with whom the Sun Gazette spoke were cagey about just how quickly they’d driven their supercars, but most admitted having gone into the triple digits.
Bob Ziems of Falls Church brought his 2017 Dodge Challenger, which he’d jazzed up with headlamps that turned different colors and a satin-black vinyl wrap for the muscle car’s top section. Ziems said he planned to have the vehicle detailed soon, and was perfectionistic about the car’s finish.
“You can see all the little manifestations” of imperfections in the wrap, he said. “Most people don’t see it, but I do.”
Many exhibitors opened their vehicles’ hoods to let admirers marvel the engines’ intricacies. The owners of a tiny red 2008 Lotus Exige S race car went even further, removing many of its body panels to show how much equipment was packed into every crevice.
“At shows like this, you’ve seen all the expensive cars already, so it becomes nothing really that special,” said Welby Luk of Washington, D.C., who is affiliated with the vehicle. “But when you see a car like this – you’ve seen people crowding around it, taking pictures. They’re curious to see what’s underneath. It’s a pretty rare car to find these days.”
Event attendees had the chance to buy $10 raffle tickets to benefit Food for Others, said chamber chairman Andrew Clark. The prize: a free one-day rental of a Lamborghini Huracan, donated by GoExotics.
For safety reasons, organizers omitted planned food tastings and instead directed attendees to restaurants in the mall, some of which were offering special deals, Clark said.
The show also was sponsored by Northwest Federal Credit Union, Tysons Corner Center, Hurley Auto Audio, T&G Real Estate Advisors, Rev Tech Performance and Tailors on Tap and Seasons 52. Capital Auto Club and Tall Guy Auto were the main car clubs represented at the show and helped organize the event, Clark said.
“It was extremely gratifying to see how our organizers and sponsors came together to create this special event and support our retail businesses that have been so impacted during the pandemic,” Clark said. “Attendees said they were extremely impressed with the [event’s] size, safety and quality of the cars, and several exotic-car owners said this was the best car show they had attended in a long time.”
Organizers were “thrilled” with the turnout and resultant business boost for the shopping mall, and plan to do a similar event soon, he said.