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Monaco Grand Prix, Indy 500, Coca Cola 600 & The Bugatti 400 Drive

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Three automotive events rich in history dominated the month of May.  But a new exclusive event, centered around the Bugatti, was held at a venue that’s out of this world.

More about the secretive Bugatti event later, but first, Memorial Day weekend was a dream come true for motorsports fans.  From the die-hard car fan to the casual car collector to millennials who swear by public transportation, Memorial Day weekend shows us why it’s the biggest weekend for auto racing.  It’s not just the racing but the history of the venues and cars that also stand out. 

Monaco Grand Prix 2023

monaco grand prix 2023

First up was Formula 1 in Monaco.  Founded in 1929, the course, the city and even the spectators are virtually the same.  Racing cars running down narrow streets lined by historic buildings watched by the ultra-rich is a difficult reality show not to watch.  It hits every demographic but especially the young and newer enthusiasts, an incredibly important demographic as we look to the next generation of car collectors and enthusiasts.

107th Indianapolis 500   

indy 500 2023

Within hours of the Monaco Grand Prix, the Greatest Spectacle in Racing enters the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  The first Indy 500 took to the track in 1911, and like Formula 1, has changed little over the last 112 years.  The exception is the crowd.  Although no official records are released, it’s estimated about 300,000 spectators attended the race, making it the largest one-day sporting event in the world.  And like Monaco, the demographics of those watching skewed younger, once again showing the strength of the sport in bringing new car enthusiasts to the front.  

Coca Cola 600 2023

coca cola 600 2023

Lastly, NASCAR presented its longest race of the year, the Coca Cola 600, at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  On a normal Memorial Day weekend, the 600 ended the Sunday line up late in the evening.  For 2023 rain had other ideas and the race ran into Monday.  The 600 is the youngest of the three races, started in 1960, but its connection to the American centric crowd is unbreakable.  The idea of turning left for 600 miles on the oval for many is a mind-numbing experience.  But for true fans of the sport there is nothing better.  Also, the connection to car enthusiasts could not be stronger.  NASCAR fans are some of the most ardent car collectors and focused heavily on American Muscle cars, street rods and all the collectibles that surround the hobby.  

Historical events like these, held over the last 112 years and viewed on a worldwide scale, continue to attract a new audience. They welcome everyone with open arms, both in person and online.  But this year, an exclusive event emerged that slipped under the radar.  Literally.  

The Bugatti 400 Drive

Bugatti invited 18 owners and their cars to participate in what will hopefully be an annual event. Held at NASA’s former Space Shuttle landing strip in the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, it was the height of exclusivity.  The event was so secretive, most of us didn’t hear about it until May, one month after it took place. Each of the owners had the opportunity to drive their supercars at speeds in excess of 240mph on the 3-mile space shuttle landing strip.   

There’s no doubt the newest collectors are attracted to performance and speed.  Any show you attend the exotic cars are the stars.  The 16-cylinder Bugatti could be seen as the alpha male in the competition for the best performance and appearance in the supercar genre.  As more events like these take place, and are publicized, the demand for more will continue.  While at the same time, those who watched the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indy 500 and the Coca Cola 600, maybe for the first time, will look forward to the day when they can take their own collector car around a historic city, a historic track or even a historic runway.   

Keeping our hobby feeling new and exciting is the basis to its long-term success.

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