Incurable car collector Kathy Cargill has found a new favourite way to explore her automotive passions. She’s the proud owner of four McLarens.
‘Years ago I could tell the sound of a McLaren coming from almost a mile away, it made the hair stand up on your arms, it was fantastic.’ Kathy Cargill is sitting in front of two of the latest models in her growing collection – an Azores Orange 720S Coupe, and a stunning McLaren Senna.
That’s how her love affair with McLaren began, and by the time we meet she has just finished putting the final touches to a new garage to house her rapidly expanding supercar collection. The building itself is a paradise for anyone with a passion for cars, but especially for McLaren fans.
Bespoke, and built to Kathy’s own exacting specifications, this place feels like a life-size version of a ten-year-old’s toy box. The gleaming row of colourful McLaren supercars are lined up in front of the electric doors like torpedoes waiting in their silo. Waiting to be taken out for a drive on the magnificent Colorado mountain roads nearby.
The garage is also home to a museum’s worth of automotive memorabilia, a high-tech cleaning bay with membraned walls and its own de-ionized water supply, an ultra-realistic Vesaro driving simulator (fitted with a McLaren racing seat) and an immaculate set of tools.
‘I absolutely love my vehicles and memorabilia that I have, so everything was designed for ease. I knew I wanted a very special spot for these cars,’ Kathy tells us. Yet no matter how impressive this building is, it plays a distant supporting role to the truly extraordinary landscape which surrounds it. Deep blue skies are framed by steep-sided rocky canyons in Martian red, themselves bisected by the rushing torrent of the Eagle River.
In the winter, the high mountain passes here are often rendered impassable in any vehicle without ski tracks, and even in the spring, hail storms and rock slides can be hazardous. However, when the snow has melted and the sun comes out, there are few better places on earth to experience the thrill of driving a car as rare and highly capable as the McLaren Senna. We were there to film Kathy on one such trip, driving to the highest incorporated city in the US – Leadville.
‘When you’re behind the wheel of that vehicle, and you have spectacular scenery no matter which way you look, it’s like driving into a postcard, you feel the car underneath you, feel the road, see the scenery, and you just cannot believe how lucky you are to experience this.’