Hey, that was me! I made a pit stop at the Jackson-Triggs winery on Old Stone Road in Niagara-on-the-Lake to pick up a bottle of their yummy 2006 Riessling and to snap some pics of this gorgeous automobile, of course.
My wife and I had driven here in a supercharged Jaguar XKR to scope out the joint. The very-modern-take-on-a-barn structure is architecturally brilliant; and, the guided tour was actually very interesting and informative. I had the beautiful Jag with me so I started taking a few test shots, but it was way too bright outside and the shots were just okay. I vowed to return here on Halloween with another vehicle also befitting of the venue.
That spooky day is tomorrow and today I pulled up in the R8, literally stopping people in their tracks (especially the ones that asked how much? – 160K).
Why Halloween, you ask? Well, the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) has converged in Ontario’s world class wine region once again for three days of hardcore vehicle testing and evaluations by over 70 Canadian journalists. You didn’t actually think the Canadian Car and Truck of the Year chose themselves, did you? In my third year as a voting member, my task this year will be to scrutinize more than 20 new models on and off the track.
Getting back to the R8, after taking a Subaru Advanced Driving refresher course this morning and after eating lunch, I snatched up the keys to Audi’s newest supercar and headed back to Jackson Triggs for what turned out to be a great shoot today. That’s all fine and dandy, but the R8 did leave me wanting more. I drove it but I really didn’t get to drive it. But, that’s okay because tomorrow the track opens up and the R8 will be put through its paces along with the XKR Coupe, Mercedes S 63 AMG and the Lexus LS600hL. All four vehicles are in AJAC’s “PRESTIGE (over $75,000)” class I’m responsible for testing.
My hands will be full the next three days with seven “SPORTS / PERFORMANCE (under $50,000),” including the new Dodge Caliber SRT4, Honda Accord Coupe, MINI Cooper S, Nissan Altima Coupe, Nissan Sentra SE-R, Subaru WRX and Volvo C30; as well as the Ford Escape Hybrid, Jeep Liberty, Jeep Patriot, Mitsubishi Outlander, Nissan Rogue, Saturn Outlook XE and Saturn Vue Green Line from the “SUV / CUV (under $35,000)” class. It’s not going to be easy but I’m up for it.
Today was a just a rehearsal for the big event, which starts tomorrow, and a chance for the shutterbugs to get the shots they have traveled far and wide for. I took out three vehicles today worth almost half-a-million bucks together and came away not only impressed, but also feeling a bit special. Then again, who wouldn’t?