Day 7 – “More, Please” at Red Rocks and CarsLand Vegas Style.

Today we’ve got the option of the Mob Museum, a couple of art galleries, or the Auto Collection at The Quad (used to be Imperial Palace). Which one do you think Mike chose?

If you’re guessing the art galleries, you’re tuned into what I was hoping he’d select, but of course he went with the cars. It’s a good thing I like this stuff or my alcohol budget for this trip would be through the roof.

We decide to splurge a bit beforehand and head to Red Rocks for another awesomely inexpensive and completely delicious luncheon buffet. I did take a few photos of our food, but apparently I don’t have Josh’s magic photo filter that makes good food look good. Everything I shot looked worse than mess-hall food and I’m decently certain Red Rocks would pay me to NOT post them.

You’ve probably noticed a lack of gambling going on during our time here in Vegas. We’re not big gamblers, although Mike does enjoy playing Blackjack occasionally, and I will play the nickel Poker machines (one hand at a time, slowly so I don’t “waste” my money), but neither one of us ever really feels the need to gamble when we’re in Vegas, there’s tons of other things to do. This place isn’t for everyone, but it is definitely possible to have a great time without ever stepping up to a table or pulling the arm of one of those electronic bandits.

However, when we went to Red Rocks yesterday we signed up for their Players Club for the two dollar discount on the lunch buffet. Of course you also get a $3 credit to use at the machines. After lunch today we hung around to use up those credits. We ended up playing for maybe 45 minutes and I actually came away a couple bucks to the good! Walking out to the car was when we really hit the jackpot though. What do we find parked nearby but a group of high-end sports cars! Oh my goodness, what a batch of Italian deliciousness!

Better yet, the owners were getting ready to leave so we got to hear them start up and drive away. There is nothing like the sound of a European sports car, unless it’s six European sports cars!

I guess it’s a fitting start to our evening, which we’ll spend looking at everything from Fatty Arbuckle’s private car…

…to a Rolls Royce built for a Mahrajah with a snake-shaped air intake and rear-seat gun rack.

Imperial Palace always had a pretty awesome auto display including some of the most over-the-top cars to ever come off an American production line, the Duesenbergs. Since Harrahs bought out the Imperial in 2005, those grand old girls have moved on to (hopefully) greener pastures and they’ve brought in a different batch of cars.

One thing that’s a bit unusual about this auto collection is that many of the vehicles are for sale. Although anything they accept has to go through a pretty strict vetting process, so it’s not like you’ll see a bunch of crummy old Toyota Corollas here or anything.

For instance, the Maharajah’s car I mentioned is nicely appointed and can be yours for the princely sum of $750,000. Guns not included.

I love looking at the details on these old cars. There is such beauty in the design of many of them. Even things as simple as a radio antenna can be made into a work of art:

Speaking of hood art, I love the amazing array of hood ornaments.

He looks like he’s being electrocuted.

Why is she wearing a chicken on her head?

Leave it to BMW to be completely boring:

But what sweet lines on this little cabriolet, produced in 1936. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pre-war BMW car before, and I’m amazed at how adorable it is.

Okay, I know it’s probably not appropriate to label a $100,000+ car adorable, but the little thing only made 80hp. Good grief, my Ducati 620 has more oomph!

Am I boring you yet? I saw you nodding off there. I’m pretty sure I’m boring you. Hmmmm. How about just a few more cool cars and I’ll wrap this up?

Like this 1939 Alfa Romeo, I thought it was a Jaguar with its swoopy lines. Love the art-deco-inspired cars of this era.

Mike’s imagining the electrical and carburetor woes this thing probably has.

So, those are too girly and cutesy for your liking? How about this burly Stutz that raced Daytona in the 1930’s?

This is actually one of my favorite cars here. If I won the lottery and needed to buy a car from this collection, I’m thinking this might be the one.

Mike said he’d go for the Maharajah’s Rolls, or this fire truck for the sheer fun of it:

Speaking of fun, I think the car that’s closest to looking like a car-toon is this silly thing from France called the Panhard:

It looks like a roly-poly baby that’s sticking its tongue out at everyone.

Car creations were so fantastically varied in the early years, even the wild excesses of the 1950’s were pretty amazing. Unfortunately people started getting angry about being dead after minor fender benders, and began thinking crazy things like maybe cars should be safer, and automobile design began to homogenize into what we have today. I’m not saying there aren’t good-looking cars now (the Italian parade from this afternoon proves that), but I think we’d all be hard pressed to pick out many cars made in this decade that we can imagine coveting in 30 years. Of course, the curmudgeons of the 1970’s probably said that about the muscle cars and look at how many of those are being lovingly restored today.

Speaking of curmudgeons, of course I had a good time today looking at cars. I love them. But I love actual art that you hang on walls too, and I wish someday I could get Mike to agree to spend at least a few hours in a museum that holds things that were painted with oil and not likely to drip oil.

We both dream of traveling Europe, but now I’m imagining Mike’s dream is full of swap meets and motorcycle museums, when mine is full of soaring cathedrals and Renaissance masterworks.

Cars are cool, but so are Monet, daVinci, Caravaggio, and Michelangelo. Maybe I can tell him these guys are really early Italian designers? Well, some of them sort of are, right?

These are the things I should have pushed harder for when we first got married. We settled into a comfortable groove that gets tougher to jump out of the longer we’re stuck in it. I mean, he should be grateful I don’t take him clothes shopping or make him buy me frilly lingerie, right?

Oh heck, I’ll get out of this funk when we can start riding in the spring. I’m just all out of sorts because I don’t feel like we’re working well as a team. Such a First World Problem sufferer am I. Why talk like Yoda, hmmmm? Good grief, it’s time for bed.

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