For Xmas this year, Fuzz got me a seat on the Gotham Dream Car Tour – 6 spots are available during each tour, and they take you on a trip around the Bear Mountain area in NY driving 6 different high-end vehicles for about 30 min each. Lambos, Ferraris, Maseratis, the works. Fuzz was able to come as a passenger which was awesome.
Today was the day – we got to GDC at the NJ border at 7:30a to sign in, had breakfast, then had a drivers meeting to discuss which cars they were taking out and some “rules of the road”. Surprisingly, they were very relaxed about the plan for the day – don’t pass the pace car, try to drive safe, and don’t crack up the $250k cars . They then showed us a few pictures of people who cracked up some of the cars, including 1 guy who set a 360 on fire and a few others who totalled Lambos. Here’s a nice shot of one of the coffee tables they had in the shop, a leftover from one of the Lambo mishaps:
The lineup for the day included a Maserti GranTurismo, Ferrari 360 Spyder, Bentley GTC, Maserati Quatroporte, Ferrari 430 and Bentley Silver Spur. They took each driver and gave them a slot in each car for about 30 min. Each car had paddle shifters (except the Quatroporte) – the Ferraris were all f1 shifting, paddle with no automatic.
We started out in the Gran Turismo, which I was happy about – the first leg was mostly highway, and I didn’t want to waste the seat time in the Ferraris doing that. It drove quite well & was pretty comfortable – the motor was lacking and seemed a bit tame for a 400hp car. Very nice interior, very “italian”. I’d not buy one, but it was very nice.
Ferrari 360 Sypder
Next up was the Ferrari 360 Spyder. Wow. It’s everything you’d think it would be. Paddle shift was awesome and violent, and there was a strange lag as you upshifted, almost like there was a hidden little man pressing in a clutch and working the gears for you under the hood – until the next gear engaged and you were tossed into your seat. The motor was quite quiet with a great note, and it had some amazing power. Looking over at Fuzz, I realized I had to get her out of that car quick before I suddenly found us with a much higer car payment than we had yesterday. It cornered like you wouldn’t believe, was incredibly fast, and I had it up to 130 in a blink. I’d say I LOVED the 360.
Enter the Maserati Quatroporte. Yuk. Had a horrible forward/back swimmy feeling, motor felt flat, it was very comfortable but I can’t imagine ever wanting one. This comes, of course, right after our ride in the 360, and anything would pale.
I don’t even have a picture of it.
Bentley Continental GTC
Next up was the Bentley GTC. It’s exactly what you think it would be like. Very comfortable, all of the amenities, wallowy through the corners until I adjusted the suspension to sport mode. Very VERY powerful with 500 ponies under the hood. Again, it was very nice, but I just don’t GET this car. Why on Earth would you use such caucasiany colored leather?
Next up was the 430 – this is the one I couldn’t wait to try. 500+ ponies of sex on wheels. Interior was very nice, but all business. Motorwell right behind your head, body-contoured seats, it felt like the cockpit of an f16.
I can say this now in complete and total honesty.
The 430 is a F’N MONSTER.
Wholly crapola – when you punch that fuxor out in 1st, the tires roast briefly and the car EXPLODES – 80mph in a blink of an eye, paddle into 2nd and the tires roast again as it tears up faster and faster. Shift into 3rd and that now commonplace “Screeechverooooooooom” of the tires and motor. It throws you completely into seat (which were absolutely comfortable) like you are in a rocket heading to the moon. We were over 130mph so fast I couldn’t believe it. Every chance I got, I’d let some distance grow between us and the car in front of us so I could stomp on the gas and feel it again (while I held on for dear life).
90mph into a tight turn, don’t bother hitting the brakes – just throw it in and the car turns like it’s glued to the ground. I’ve been on bikes at all sorts of speed, and nothing quite compares to the raw violent nature of the 430. It was absolutely freakin incredible. I’m shaking now as I type this, the sensory experience still feels fresh in my mind. I loved it, loved it loved it. That car will steal your wife, beat your kids, sh!t on your neighbor’s front lawn and donkey punch a hooker before breakfast is served. God, it was awesome.
Bentley Silver Spur
Last up was the Bentley Silver Spur for the ride home – again, very much like the GTC, it was certainly nice but I just don’t “GET IT”. Super quite inside, very comfortable interior, the same 500hp+ powerplant (which, as I watched the computer, got anywhere from 3.9 to 8mpg as we crusied along). I flipped on the a/c (which was really just a small gold monkey who waved a fan at you), cranked up the in-seat back massagers (nice touch) and we worked our way back down the highway back to the shop. It was wallowy as hell until I turned up the suspension to sport mode again.
All in all, it was a great day – totally worth doing at least once to get a sense of what these cars are all like.
They gave us a 50% next Dream car Tour due to the lack of Lambo participation, next time it’s gotta be Fuzz’s turn