We know it's Christmastime in the LA-area when our buds Sean Lee and the Purist Group hold their annual Winter Drive, a car enthusiast-centric holiday toy donation drive that's bounced around a few places in SoCal before landing at its current home, the Industry Hill Expo Center. The parking lot of the tree-enshrouded equestrian center hemmed in by suburbs and a golf course/resort is the perfect size for this kind of meet, although you wouldn't know it if you had come to last year's Winter Drive, which turned out to be an unexpected success and created a bit of a traffic nightmare around the venue. Not this year, as for whatever reason (we heard the rainy weather was the main theory) the vibe was decidedly more chill.
Like a cars and coffee, an eclectic slice of the local car modifying community rolls through for the Sunday-morning affair, many attendants probably coming from meets earlier in the morning or even weekend. It's not just the usual car show crowd; a number of Itasha machines were on hand, which if we're being honest isn't all that common, as were rare breeds like the Blitz R34 Skyline GT-R and a meek little Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution II!
For this week's lesson in sport compacts you don't see too often in SoCal, we submit Exhibit A from Winter Drive 2019, the Lancia Delta HF Integrale brought out by Will Wattanawongkiri Racing. The 4-wheel-drive five-door hatchback model was homologated for rally racing in the late 1980s and early '90s, winning multiple WRC titles, and sports a 2.0L turbo inline-4 under hood. Think Italian STI.
Amid a sea of Huracan at Winter Drive, we would say this Lamborghini Diablo SV has us feeling Miami Vice, but that wouldn't be period correct as the show was on in the '80s and this car was produced solidly in the '90s. It's not just any SV, either, as it boasts a custom twin-turbo V12 mid-ship, custom Work Equip 05s at the corners, and tasteful Marcello Gandini badges in front of the rear wheel wells, honoring the designer of the Diablo. Still, this car isn't winning any prizes for subtlety.
By noon it had started raining again, but luckily we were there early enough to catch a lot of the standout machines at this year's toy collection. Jump into the gallery to see what else came out for the Purist Group's Winter Drive 2019