2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: Visiting Heaven
November 01, 2011
Bruce Canepa was a guy I used to read about in car magazines. Bigger than life. I was kid in New Jersey. He was a big time Porsche racer.
Thirty something years later I know Bruce personally. We've hung out at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and we have more mutual friends and aquaintances than I can count. Is he a friend of mine? Not even close. But we're not strangers either.
The last time I spoke to Bruce I admitted that I had never been to his store Canepa Design in Scotts Valley, CA, which is near San Jose. Instead I just drool over his inventory online and in his car mag ads. He, of course, said to come up and check it out. That he would personally give me the VIP tour.
I instead took the low key approach. A couple of Saturday mornings ago during the Porsche Rennsport Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca I noticed a several hour break in the action, so I suggested to my dad that we drive the 50 miles north to Scotts Valley to check out Canepa's place.
"But Bruce is here at the track racing," my dad said. "He won't even be there." "So what," I said. "That way I don't have to bother him. Plus, if we hussle, we'll be back before the good stuff hits the track this afternoon."
With no more discussion we fired up our long-term Mitsubishi Outlander Sport and we went.
It turned out to be the highlight of our entire weekend. The place is like heaven and the young women at the front desk could not be nicer. We toured Bruce's showroom (pictured above), which is filled with cars for sale in what can only be described as a museum setting. Hell, my living room isn't that nice. And the cars are fantastic. He has anything you could want, from hot rods, to new exotics, to original Shelby Cobras, to classic Corvettes, to sports cars and trucks. All detailed to perfection. Basically, it was one of the best car shows I have ever been too.
Then we went upstairs and toured his personal collection, which includes classic stock cars, sprint cars, hill climb motorcycles and, of course, Porsches. Again, each one is a perfect example, but remember, Bruce is a racer so they do get used. In fact, all of his Porsches were at the track racing that weekend, including his Gulf 917.
And then when we thought we had seen it all, we checked out the state-of-the-art shop, which handles everything from full restorations to vintage racecar prep. It's spectacular. Surgically clean and filled with some of the world's greatest cars getting repaired or updated, including a real GT40 and several Mercedes 300SL Gullwings.
Canepa is also the go-to place to get your Porsche 959 US legal, so there were more than a few examples of the iconic supercar hanging around. We even did an article about that part of Bruce's business back in April of last year.
So, if you're ever up in the central/northern California region, make the drive to Scotts Valley. You'll like what you find.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief