Ace Cafe Petrolhead Nirvana – September 2014

Over the years that I’ve been popping along to evening meetings at the legendary Ace Cafe, I’ve learned that they can and do vary quite a lot. Some have far more appeal to me, and others are strictly off limits, with neither the sort of vehicle, nor, if I am being brutally honest, the sort of enthusiast to resonate with me. Heavily modified elderly Saxos and BMW M3s are really not my proverbial cup of tea, so I am quite selective in the events that I do attend, even when the diary is otherwise free. One of the more appealing themes is one called “Petrolhead Nirvana”, which takes place on the second Monday of the month, and is to some extent co-ordinated through the Pistonheads forum. It typically attracts a wide variety of high end, fast and exotic machinery, with more than a few super- and hypercars making regular appearances. With an empty evening diary, and the prospect of some welcome evening sunshine I popped along to see what was gathered up for the September 2014 meeting.

I arrived at around 6:15pm, and was surprised and not a little disappointed to see that the main forecourt was largely empty. The clock ticked on and on, and little else turned up. By 7pm, I had concluded that this was going to be another disappointing turn out,  but in need of food, went inside to get one of the rather tasty burgers and a mug of coffee, both of which were well up to scratch. When I emerged, there were quite a few more cars to see in the now fading light, but this was far from a well-populated event, so once I had reviewed what was there, taking a few more photos, I left, hitting the remains of the evening rush hour traffic on the North Circular as I headed towards my hotel.


This Atom arrived a few minutes after I did, and seemed very much in accord both with the theme of the evening and the weather.

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Most striking car evident was also the largest a vast 1964 Cadillac de Ville. Mildly customised, with graphics on the roof and rear C pillars, as well as air suspension that allowed the height of front or back to be lowered, this car was attracting a lot of attention, and that’s no surprise, as it also turned out to be the “rarest” car of the evening.

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Not one, but two Vipers, the red one of which I have seen at this event before.

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Sole Ferrari was this 348ts.

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This Escort RS Cosworth was parked up before I arrived.

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As was an example of the about to be superceded Mustang.

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Just as I was about to depart, a young lady arrived in this Focus RS.

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Just one Lamborghini as well, a Gallardo Spider

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A nice example of the second generation Esprit was joined by the more recent Elise.

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Liveries like this are usually applied by manufacturers when they want to take a prototype car out into public spaces, but this was an otherwise very familiar Mitsubishi Evo, so I assume the owner simply wanted it to look this way.

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“Knight Rider” special, a Firebird Trans Am.

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A brand new Boxster was later joined by a couple of 911 models.

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There are usually several TVRs at an event like this, but on this occasion, there was just one, a Cerbera.

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The VXR8 GTS, one of those very low volume rebadged Holdens that Vauxhall bring in to the UK from time to time.

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A Baja style Beetle, which I have also seen at this venue before now.

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That was it. A disappointing event, for sure, and I don’t know why. There does not seem to have been any significant dialogue about it before or after on Pistonheads, so I wonder if by this point in the year, everyone has just had enough of car events? It surely can’t have been because everyone was fixated by the England v Switzerland football qualifier that was going on that evening?

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