Groupon featured a deal last fall that allowed you to buy a discounted driving experience with Motorsports Lab here in Phoenix. My wife grabbed up the deal for $89 vs. the normal $499 rate and surprised me. It took me some time to work out the details around clearing the schedule and arranging the drive. Phoenix gets busy in the spring with Barrett Jackson, PGA golf and Spring Training.
I sat in my BMW M3 waiting for my ride to show up early one morning. Within a few minutes a yellow Ferrari 360 slid into the empty lot and parked. I met my driving Sherpa, Eugene, who was dressed in tan designer suit, sunglasses and driving moccasins. We stepped into the office and completed the paperwork required by the company to protect their investment.
Back at the car, I reviewed the basics of Ferrari operation and hit the road. The well planned route included some highway, back roads and a small amount of stop and go traffic. I was happy that I was able to try the engine’s capability in several places during the drive and enjoy the smoothness of this classic Italian supercar. Our drive took about 45 minutes in which we talked cars, autocross, Ferrari and business. At the end of my drive, I returned to the parking lot we started at and thanked Eugene for making my experience enjoyable.
And for for my little dark secret. The forms you sign before you climb behind the wheel include video waivers, charges, fees etc. One fee is called a redline charge of $2,500 if you hit the rev limiter while driving the car. That charge protects their investment and ensures that the drivers’ keep it under control. You can avoid the whole issue by driving the car in automatic. Yes, I drove a Ferrari in automatic mode as opposed to using the paddle shifters. I have always hated paddle shifters and realize that someday when the last real auto manufacturer gives up on manual transmissions I will be forced into a tough place.
I climbed back into the 1999 BMW M3 and turned the key. The engine revved and I felt comfortable exiting the parking lot and blipping the throttle to the redline of my own supercar. The clutch and shifter working in unison as I raced back home. Driving a Ferrari was a once in a lifetime experience but driving a BMW M3 everyday is the Ultimate Driving Experience.
Or an event called, ” I spent a lot of money on my Ferrari or Lamborghini and I can’t find it on the field.” This was a staggering collection of high dollar sports cars held at a local golf course on bright and sunny Saturday morning. I raced over to the event as soon as it was due to open to get a good parking spot and beat the crowds and heat.
The cars were carefully placed in neat rows with gems hidden among them like this race car, Bugatti Veyron or even the Jensen Interceptor. I am certainly sure that when the 2 McClaren’s showed they had an “moment” like two women at a party with the same dress.
Crowds leisurely gathered and admired the beauties. I almost expected to see wine glasses and appetizers followed by gentle conversations of the day on the golf course or polo field. Actually, many talked engines, oil and modifications. Don’t let the photo below fool you–camera’s snapped and jaws dropped as hoods and engines started.
I have been to a lot of car events and museums over the years and this one had some beauties that I have never seen. Do yourself a favor and browse the Photo Gallery from the event to see them for yourself.
I caught this early production car in the wild the other day. Part BMW and Scion-wonder what the industry scope is on this?
Does it have a BMW engine and rear wheel drive to add that layer of fun to the boxy shape?