The Rare McLarens Of Chicago’s Toy Drive, Drive


It’s the holiday season, which means 2023’s car events are coming to an end. In Chicago, the finale was Lowend Garage’s annual Toy Drive, Drive.

The event stretched from Midwest Performance Cars in Fulton Market to Burdi Clothing in Hinsdale, providing participants with an opportunity to take a short drive, and for spectators to get up close and personal with some very special cars at multiple locations on the route. This fact alone makes the Toy Drive, Drive a must-attend event for me.

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Like the event name suggests, the organizers collect toys from all the participants, which are then donated to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, who do a great job helping out disadvantaged children at Christmas time.

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As soon as I saw this huge panda on a Porsche GT4, I immediately felt the festive atmosphere.

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Early on in the day, cars like this Lamborghini Murciélago set the tone for the 2023 event.

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But at the second location was an even bigger surprise. Its position right next to a rail line meant I had to slow my shutter speeds right down every time a train passed by.

Clean Ferraris in bright colors are always crowd winners.

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And what’s a Christmas party without the Grinch. I caught him as he attempted to steal a Huracán Roadster.

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Apart from the multiple locations, what makes this particular event so special is the involvement of Illinois’ most famous car collections. The Hamilton Collection brought out a Porsche 918 Weissach and the #76022 Pagani Huayra Roadster. I have to say, the grey on the Huayra looked amazing in person.

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But the cars that Mouse Motors displayed blew everyone away. They probably have the largest car collection in Illinois, and it was their McLarens that really stood out to me. The black Senna GTR is number 11/75, and was converted for road use by Lanzante. With carbon fiber wheels and a gold exhaust it’s an absolute piece of art.

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If I had to choose just one car though, it wouldn’t be the Senna – it would be this McLaren P1 GT, which was inspired by the McLaren F1 GT #058 owned by ZENT founder and CEO Yoshio Tsuzuki. The P1 GT was originally finished in Volcano Yellow and British Racing Green, but has been changed to burgundy and also road-converted by Lanzante. The finish is flawless.

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When the two McLarens fired up to leave, I knew I could just watch them drive away. I joined the crowd of teenage car-spotters and other photographers and chased the cars down the street for a block.

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It was my first time seeing a Senna GTR on the road, and to be honest, I hadn’t felt this level of excitement for decades. It was pure happiness.

For the the past few years, I’ve seen so many cars that I’d almost become numb to them. I didn’t think I could feel any car excitement again, but the 2023 Toy Drive, Drive brought the youthful spirit deep inside me back to life.

Shawn Zile Huang
Instagram: shawnhuang721

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