Feature: The ‘Lottery Win’ Car Purchase
Today was a particularly good day. I had been asked by the Supercar Driver team if I’d come along to help document the experience of some of the latest and greatest cars on sale.
This was to form part of a £1million pound “lottery winning feature”, whereby a ticket would be purchased that weekend and should it hit the jackpot, then all of the cars featured would be bought for the use of all Supercar Driver members.
A Neat idea and particularly good fun as it meant I got to passenger in all the cars, starting with the Mercedes SLS. A flagship car for the German manufacturer, it features a long nose and decidedly small cabin. Particularly uncomfortable for me at 6’4″, it just wasn’t big enough and I couldn’t get comfy. But that 6.2 litre engine sounded sublime!
The destination today was the middle of the peak district in the north of England, as we ascended higher and higher into the mountains the temperature got particularly cold as we got closer and closer to eh clouds above – which in turn generated a lovely misty backdrop for the photoshoot.
The blue Ferrari 458 with us was one of the first customer cars delivered in the UK. The owner, a Ferrari fanatic had just traded in his blue 430 Scuderia, leaving the 458 with the duty of bed buddy to an (also blue) Ferrari 308! I asked his opinion of the new Ferrari “It’s very nice”, he said “But not as silly as the Scuderia. My wife commented that she likes it as she can do her knitting in the passenger seat!” Perhaps not the response he was looking for as a die-hard Ferrari fan, but he loved the noise and the power.
Swapping cars later into the Aston Martin V12 Vantage, my immediate impression is one of quality. The Vantage is, in my opinion, one of the all-time great car designs. The interior is fantastic too. A swooping design which looks ‘just right’ in every sense, ensuring the balance between digital and analogue is perfectly aligned. No silly ‘i-drive’ systems here, just buttons and gears and a steering wheel. And lots of leather. Noise is a familiar trait amongst these cars and the V12 Vantage is no different. As we set off from standstill, the owner put his foot down and with the opening of the taps came the deafening sound from that V12. You can’t help but smile. Neither could the owner “I had a V8 Vantage before this and think the little Astons are just superb. The V12 is faster and the noise really adds to the experience”. It certainly does.
We arrive at the top of another mountain and use the opportunity to take some photos. On the way back down, I jump into the Porsche GT2 RS with owner Rob. As a Porsche owner myself I’m already familiar with these cars in a generic sense, but the GT2RS is something else. The sound deadening is much less and with its track focussed interior, the engine sounds like its sat right behind your ears. As a result, this car sounds really mechanical – you can hear all the spats, whirs and turns of the engine as it accelerates at rapid pace down the hills and through the twisties. The noise is raw, intoxicating and the acceleration keeps you pinned to your seat. In some respects it is like a rally car; a great big go-cart. And an extremely rare one at that, just 500 examples were made with this car being number 238.
A 911 Turbo also joined us for the shoot, in case the GT2RS was unavailable. Predictably fast, but outshone on this day – just – by the track focussed GT2RS!
On the way home, I jumped into the final car here, the raging Lambo’ bull. An LP560, this was loud! It really looked the part and, as we drove home through the sleepy towns at around 3.30pm, kids leaving school pointed and shouted as we drove past. Adam, who was driving, delighted them with a press on the accelerator, allowing the 5.2 v10 to resonate off the buildings – much to the delight of the young petrol heads!
The Lamborghini seems to attract carnal attention too. Whilst filling up at a Petrol station, a young lady, who was returning to her car spotted the bright white Italian supercar and honed in on the owner with a rather obvious advance starting with “What a beautiful car…” After a little inescapable small talk whilst Adam – a married-man-to-be – uncomfortably waited for the tank to fill, he decided to cut the conversation declaring “sorry, but the car isn’t mine”, and hurried off into the shop to pay for the fuel.
He arrived back momentarily, sat back in the car with his sunglasses on, smiled and started the engine.
A great day indeed.