Photos by Hovik Gevorgyan, Tim Iverson Photography & Jamey Price
Just when the Lamborghini Club Monterey Gala seemed as god as it could get in 2014, the Lamborghini Club team took a chance and changed up their winning formula with some refinements to the venue for the 2015 event. The changes worked, creating a more intimate event, and a perfect representation of the brand we celebrate. This year’s event was made possible by the support from corporate partners, including Automobili Lamborghini, Lamborghini Los Gatos, Lamborghini San Francisco, Swissvax, Comatica, Sterling Collision Center, MACarbon, Compari, Xpel, and Tim Iverson Photography.
The gala was held again at the Pasadera Country Club inside the Pasadera gated community, arguably the nicest venue in the Monterey area for such an event. Arriving to the community, we felt immediately welcomed by the Lamborghini Club flags along the roadway. We were greeted by Karlton Spindle at the entrance of the parking lot, where he was directing cars and handing out very nice Swissvax car care kits (this stuff is the best of the best!) to those who drove their Lamborghinis to the event.
After parking and walking up to the gala, we were greeted at the registration table with elegant cloth fabric wrist bands, a nice touch that immediately set an elegant tone for the evening. From there, we saw an awesome display of special Lamborghinis in the courtyard, the focus being the Asterion LPI 910-4 hybrid concept and the Aventador SV roadster that Automobili Lamborghini factory brought. What an amazing presence at a club event! The Asterion stood on its own in a separate area so that guests had plenty of room around the car. The SV roadster and a beautiful 1969 Miura S flanked the country club entrance. As if the site could get any more special, there was a 1966 Lamborghini 350GT engine on a stand and prepared just like the original Lamborghini V12 engine from 1963! Bob Huber did an amazing job preparing this engine to be shown at the event.
While in the courtyard mingling with new and old Lamborghini friends, we were greeted by the Automobili Lamborghini corporate team, a truly exceptional experience. What other event and with what other brand do you have complete access to the top brass of the automobile company? The relationship between the owner’s club and the Italian and American corporate teams at Lamborghini is truly special. I had the unique opportunity to spend time talking to Filippo Perini, the company’s design director since 2006. Filippo was warm and very excited to talk about the fabulous designs of the Asterion and Aventador SV roadster that the corporate brand displayed at the event.
After what seemed like ten minutes, well over an hour had passed, and it was time to go into the venue for the dinner and presentation by the Lamborghini Club. After entering the main ballroom, we immediately noticed the elegant stage area. Next to it was the 350GT engine that we had just seen outside! Bob Huber somehow moved it in right ahead of the guests, and he mounted a display surface on top of the engine. In this form, it served as a table next to the stage for the Best of Show and People’s Choice trophies – a genius display of functional Lamborghini art! And this was not regular display surface; it was a Lamborghini bull laser cut from a stainless steel plate that Bill Scott had constructed!
Once seated, we were served a perfectly timed multicourse dinner along with an excellent presentation by Lamborghini Club America president, Andrew Romanowski. Andrew’s program for the evening was fun and concise but he covered much ground. He opened with the highlights of the Lamborghinis that had been auctioned the previous couple days in Monterey. Then he recognized the team from Lamborghini Los Gatos and Lamborghini San Francisco who have been excellent supporters of this event, which has become the highlight of the weekend for most Lamborghini owners. Lindsay Luna, the marketing manager for the two dealerships, did an amazing job with the dealer presence at the event, and fellow owners noticed this strong dealer support.
After a few words from Lamborghini San Francisco, Jason Chinnock of Automobili Lamborghini took the stage and spoke about the brand in America. He told us how America is the most important market for Lamborghini and reiterated corporate’s commitment and loyalty to modern and vintage Lamborghini owners. Jason also spoke about the current position of the brand, what innovation the current line-up brought to the market, and what they will continue to bring in order to keep the Lamborghini experience as exciting as it has been since day one.
Xpel, another premium product supplier that has been supportive of Lamborghini owners and the club, offered up a full protective film kit to the most deserving owner. The club decided to go by distance driven to the Monterey event, making Rick Schue the clear winner. Rick had recently purchased a new Huracán and made the drive from Indiana to California for the Monterey events! So Rick was recognized during the presentation for his high use of his Lamborghini and presented this package from Xpel.
During dessert, Andrew again came on stage and shared the news about the passing of Jim Heady just a few weeks prior to the event. Jim and his wife Joan had run Lamborghini Club for almost 25 years, doing a job that no one else was up for. Jim was a president and leader of the club and dedicated countless hours of his life to keep the club going. During the last few years of Jim’s life, his illness presented tremendous emotional and financial stress on Joan. With the Monterey Car Weekend being shortly after Jim’s passing, Jim Fox proposed the idea of an auction at the club Gala with the proceeds going to Joan to help ease some of the financial stress. This came through three generous donations to the auction:
– Jay Leno offered a group tour of his garage with himself as the tour guide.
– MR Collection Models provided a 1/10 scale Asterion with a special drawing and signature from Chief Lamborghini Designer Filippo Perini.
– Automobili Lamborghini provided an Aventador SV drive experience with a champion Super Trofeo driver as passenger.
These three items did well, together raising $20,000 for Joan. The gift was a nice honorarium for Jim and Joan’s decades of work for the betterment of the Lamborghini community.
Michael Palmieri and Roger Wiersema then took the stage to speak about the Lamborghini class judging at Concorso Italiano that took place earlier in the day. The two big winners, the People’s Choice Award and the Bull Award (given to the best Lamborghini from the group of Lamborghini class winners), had yet to be announced to the group. Michael and Roger both commented that each of the Lamborghini classes were full of nice examples and that judging was very difficult. However, when the points were tallied, there were clear winners in each of the five classes, even though some were just one or two points ahead of second place. Roger Wiersema took the People’s Choice Award with his unrestored white 1974 Espada Series 3, and he also was the winner of his class. Jeff Meier, also an owner of an unrestored Lamborghini, won his class and had a score just good enough to beat the other four Lamborghinis and take the Bull Award for the best Lamborghini at Concorso. Jeff’s car was the near perfect 1969 Miura S that flanked the entrance of the country club.
Before concluding the evening, Andrew again thanked fellow members and partnered companies for their solid support of the event. He thanked Joy Loo and Ian Ray of Comatica for making the planning and execution of this event near-seamless for the Lamborghini Club. The planning for the 2016 event is already in the works, so make your Monterey plans early if you hope to attend because the event typically sells out several months in advance.
For full gallery photos, video, and information on the 2015 event, please visit SerataItaliana.com