Article and photos by Melanie Meder, Melanie Meder Photography
“Vanishing Point” is definitely one of the best car gatherings I’ve experienced so far. It’s a unique mixture of kind people and hypercars that leaves you unbelievably sad after it’s over.
The first day after the event, I woke up with the plan in my mind of having breakfast as fast as possible and heading out for another ride to follow the bunch of Pagani cars through curvy roads. But then I realized that I woke up in my bed – back home. And I didn’t see or hear any Paganis.
But aside from the cars, the love of Vanishing Point is also about the people; I really love Italians. Not that they have only great food and wine, but their passion for cars is truly amazing! Wherever we drove by, Italians got excited, took pictures and videos and were screaming things like “Forza” to encourage us to make some more noise. Sure, everywhere are people who might not feel the same way, but in Italy they’re definitely a rarity. Then there are the Pagani owners themselves, who are open-minded, funny and warmhearted. This warmth is a tad unusual compared to other events, where hypercar owners use to tend to be more distanced. But not at this one. Not at all.
Then there is the italian countryside. The roads look like they’ve been painted, too beautiful to be true. Though it rained a lot these days, we got to know the sunny side of the “Piemontese” area in the end as well. As soon as the sun came out and through the clouds, it drowned us in golden light and revealed the pure, green and wild countryside of Piedmont. Everywhere we could see vineyards and little farms producing their own goods; it felt like being in another world. Cypress covered avenues lead through curvy roads and lush grass wherever your eyes were looking.
It was incredibly peaceful during the weekend, only birds and grasshoppers singing while the wind was rushing through the fields, until the Huayras and Zondas arrived. Then you heard nothing but the engine sounds. V12 ones. Handcrafted by Mercedes-AMG.
And they were loud.
It was such an experience to stand on top of the hill and hear the engine sounds reaching you through all of the vineyards. Whenever it was La Monza Lisa, LaNera or the beasty LMs, nothing, no wall of high-grass or cypresses, could stop the cylinder-music from reaching you on this speck of land.
Every down-shifted gear was carried to me by the wind, intense and strong as if I stood closer to the four exhaust pipes than I actually did. It was like to be in clover! The fresh air, clear and clean after all the rain, the golden sunlight warming my skin, the wind rumpling trees and then the high-pitched V12-sounds filling the atmosphere. It was such a contradiction; on the one hand, this unusual high-toned Formula 1-esque engine sound disturbed the peaceful scenery, but on the other hand, it has been a wonderful supplement to this so naturally beautiful piece of land.
Nothing seemed to be so disturbing and perfect at the same time as the LM Toadster did when driving through the Piedmont countryside. Passing by it not only left an echo of noise, but also an echo of movement: the wind brushing down the meadow, ripping leaves off the ground up into the air and leaving a taste of petrol in my nose. What it might have been like for the driver? Sitting INSIDE the LM?
Some might say being inside in the driver’s seat is more fun because you drive the car… But standing outside has many advantages as well. You hear and feel things the driver does not, because they almost literally fly by, going too fast to notice. The driver does not see what kind of wonderful and devastating things they leave behind.
The sound inside is breath-taking, no doubt about it. But standing outside, hearing the echo bouncing off the hills might cause you more shivers running down your spine than sitting inside will. That fact might be even the secret receipt of the perfect hypercar – when it’s not just satisfying the driver’s senses, but also everyone elses; those who are outside of the car and getting only the chance to see a fly-by of it, like I did.
And afterwards, when everything is over and the last noise dropped off, you start yearning for more… But here is the video, above. Try and hear it for yourself, and see if you feel the same way as I did!
To see more of Melanie’s work, be sure to visit and “like” her Facebook page here: Melanie Meder Photography