Gotham Dream Car Tour

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.

Maserati GranTurismo

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 &amp 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.

Maserati Quatroporte

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?

Ferrari 430

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 :)

Zumo Zumo Zumo

So, I caved and picked one up before a recent trip to the Gap. I say caved, but really, I’m a gadget fiend, and I have used an eMap for the past few years for basic navigation – so it’s not a far stretch.

For me, the main drive for purchasing one is for its ability to find gas stations, hotel/motel accomodations, food, etc on the fly – we often ‘wing it’ when we travel, and give ourselves a rough idea of the area we want to end up in by the end of the day. Sometimes we go further, sometimes not, and often it becomes a ‘ok, we’ve gone far enough for the day, let’s see if we can find a place to stay’. Once while we were cutting across Wyoming, we found ourselves running pretty low on gas with no clue how far it would be before we ran into civilization again – it sure would have been nice to be able, with a few button presses, to find a gas station and how far we’d have to travel to get there.

I found a great deal on a Zumo 450 at Comp-U-Plus (currently selling for 519$). I’m a Sirius guy, so I didn’t need the added XM on the Zumo 550, nor the bluetooth. Both come with a ram mount and all the trimmings for wiring it up, City Navigator and a usb cable (which happens to be the same as my phone usb connector).

First impressions? Awesome. It did the ‘here’s gas and a warm bed’ job quite well (though I am sure most GPS devices work similarly). I was very impressed with how easy and intuitive the interface was. Very easy to navigate around the menus with gloves on, easy to upload routes and custom POIs (I will post a few POIs I’ve found for dealership lists, etc in its own section on the blog one of these days), and pretty good at coming up with routes on the fly (as long as you want highwayish routes). In addition, the waterproof case is sure nice – It rained a bit while we were on the road, and it was nice to not have to worry about pulling over to quickly pack the device up in my tankbag. Apparently, it’s bug-carcass-proof too, as it managed to repel junebug innerds without skipping a beat as well

As I don’t bother to RTFM, I need to go over the best methods of coming up with routes on the fly that allow me to map specific roads I want to travel – I’m sure its relatively simple, but I didn’t spend much time playing with it.

The Gas Tank feature is nice too, though it’s just an estimator which works against an arbitrary number you enter for your typical estimated MPG. About 25-30 miles before you hit the target number you entered, the device alerts you that you are approaching the threshold, then displays a small gas icon in the corner which shortcuts you to a list of the gas stations in the area – very nice!

Seriously, at 519$ you can’t beat it. Absolutely recommended by me.

Plug me, Plug me

Just thought I’d toss up a quick plug for http://www.motorcycleroads.us/ . They provide localized descriptions of great riding roads all over the country, broken down by state and regions of states. Support these guys, send in any of your good routes if they haven’t gotten them already!

Get down, get down, get down, get down tonite…

New tires – why must it be such a chore to find a dealer willing to do tires and not rape you?

Ugh. Normally I do my own tires at a friend’s garage – but due to bad planning, and an upcoming trip, I had to bite the bullet and go retail for new sneaks for the triple because I am leaving Thursday and needed them asap.

I went past Ramp Triumph, who had marked up the tires about 100 per tire! I eventually stopped off at another dealer, who took me in Saturday morning and did them pretty quickly. The guys over there are nice, and I don’t mind paying them the $$ if someone has to get it.

However, I got raped. I don’t mind paying an extra 50-100$ for both tires, but don’t rape me for 45$ a tire for mounting! Normally, I’d expect that kind of installation charge if I brought my own tires with me, as I am pulling from their bottom line – but I am buying the tires from you! There’s no way it took him a legitamate 1.25 hours (roughly the 90 bucks for hourly rate I paid) to swap out 2 tires.

I blame myself – but it’s BS anyway.