Elite Exotics! Revs High at Redmond Town Center
Story and photos by Chris Shelton
There’s a curious thing about Northwesterners: they’re sometimes painfully humble. As a general rule, they’re totally willing to let their neighbors way down Interstate 5 take the limelight if it takes the spotlight off the upper-left corner of the country.
But don’t think for a minute that the Northwest will be outdone. That last blockbuster you saw? We wrote the code that made it possible. The last plane you flew in, we probably built that too. In fact, we grew, harvested, and cut most the lumber that built this country if not a good part of the world.
As a result, the Northwest has stuff. Cool stuff. Lots of cool stuff. And come the first guaranteed rain-free Saturday of Spring it all gets dusted off and driven to a mall in Redmond, the town just east of Seattle, where it happens that way, weekly, weather permitting, until fall. Elite exotics are on full display
Elite Exotics at Redmond Town Center draws cars that most people will never see in person. Last year a LaFerrari showed up. This year a new Aperta, fresh off the boat was one of the elite exotics. In fact so insane is this display that a F12 TDF had to share space with common rabble like Ariel Atoms and a RAUH-Welt Begriff 911. Yeah, this is an event where Akira-san’s builds are just another face in the crowd.
Oh, but what a crowd it is.
Though Exotics at Redmond Town Center draws the largest weekend-morning car gathering north of Los Angeles (more than 450 and some say this year possibly 500), its promoters are quick to point out that this gathering of elite exotics isn’t a Cars and Coffee event. It’s obvious why. The crew is made up entirely of very avid enthusiasts, volunteers the lot of ’em, putting on a full-fledged show every Saturday morning…for free. We’re talking event shirts, walkie talkies, and the authority (and expertise) to say what stays and what goes.
The rules are pretty loose but it’s obvious what the organizers are after. This isn’t an event for the typical car-show suspects. The occasional ’57 Chevy and ’65 Mustang get in but it’s sort of in a, “Well this isn’t what we’re after but you’ve already made the trip so go ahead this time.” It isn’t entirely about six- and seven-digit hyper-cars cars, either. Case in point, two Subaru 360 vans—probably the antithesis of exotic by all definitions—get center-court seating. And for good reason: You probably haven’t seen one since the seventies…if ever.
And that’s the kind of paradoxical humility consistent with Northwest culture. After all, this is a show where the occasional blue-jean billionaire isn’t above taking a knee in order to take a peek under a car. Not that we’re bragging or anything….