At 53, I've had the chance to own and drive a number of really cool cars--Porsche, Audi, BMW and an assortment of American muscle cars (my 68 Pontiac Firebird was one of them). Sunday afternoon changed all of that! Gina purchased a "Speed Tour" (I have the coolest spouse!) from DFW Drive Your Dream last holiday season. We've been so busy that I had not had the time to set up the tour earlier in the year.
We arrived at their location in Haltom City about thirty minutes early and spent the time chatting with some others waiting to Drive Their Dream. It was Sunday afternoon and the city was quiet. The sound of exotic muscle coming up the street got our attention. It's a sound that just cannot be ignored in this day of high mile-per-gallon and under-powered cars. The cars pulled into the parking lot and while the first set of drivers went into the office to finish up their paperwork, we had a chance to look under the hoods of the four cars we would "pilot" in a few minutes.
Sunday's line-up included two Ferraris (a 599 and a 430) , a Lamborghini Gallardo, and the Aston Martin Vantage. After signing our lives away on close to $1m in automobiles (have I mentioned I love USAA?) we listened as the tour director gave us a run-down on each vehicle and the safety rules that would be followed during the tour.
Gina and I started the tour in the Lamborghini. As I started the V10 engine and listened to the 512 horsepower engine growling just behind our backs, a kid-like euphoria overcame me. We eased to car onto the street and we were off on an adventure. The 599 and pace car were in front of us as we pulled up onto the Interstate. The next thing I knew they were gone. I pressed down on the gas pedal and the Lambo took off like a rocket. I'd never driven a vehicle that could accelerate that quickly. The next thing we knew we were doing 90 in third gear and catching up with the tour. The Speed Tour takes place on some quiet and twisty back roads outside of Fort Worth. The Gallardo would go effortlessly through the turns at any speed. We both felt the car was way too performance oriented to be a daily driver.
Our second car was the Ferrari 599. The V12 engine produces 612 horsepower and will do zero to sixty in 3.7 seconds! The 599 is a fantastic car. While it is quick, the front-mounted engine makes the back-end light. It tends to drift a little under heavy acceleration and in tight turns. The cockpit is sexy! Supple leather, race-inspired wrap-around seats, and lots of bright yellow accents. This could be a daily driver if I had $365k lying around!
Our third car was the Aston Martin Vantage. We left the top down to enjoy the late Fall afternoon sun. The Vantage was very refined. I referred to it as "gentleman's sports car." The V8 produces 379 horsepower and will do zero to sixty in 4.9 seconds. After driving the 599, the Vantage felt lethargic by comparison. It's cool but not in the same class as the others. James Bond needs to update his ride!
Our final car was the Ferrari 430. The 430 is a formula 1 inspired design with a rear-mounted V8 engine that produces 483 horsepower, a more utilitarian interior, and some really sexy lines. It's not nearly as refined as the 599 but on some levels that's not a bad thing. You can really hear the engine growl at any speed. This car was fun to drive!
After two and a half hours of adrenalin filled driving, we arrived back in Haltom City. Gina and I jumped into our SMART Car and headed back to Dallas for dinner with friends. I felt like I had been rode hard and put up wet. Be prepared for a post experience emotional crash as the adrenalin wears off!
If you really want to experience the thrill of driving some really exotic cars--check out DFW Drive Your Dream. It is a great experience that will not be soon forgotten.
Photo Copyright 2012 Tom Branch
Originally posted at http://www.thebranchteam.com/wordpress/2012/10/24/drive-your-dream/
Tom Branch and Gina Branch, The Branch Team with RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs, service the greater North Dallas suburbs including Dallas, Plano, Allen, McKinney, Frisco, Lewisville, and Carrollton. While Gina concentrates on traditional listings and buyer/tenant representation, Tom specializes in assisting distressed homeowners to avoid foreclosure. Tom and Gina have published two books (Achieving Rock Star Status and The Field Guide to Short Sales) and are available for speaking engagements in the greater Dallas - Fort Worth Metroplex. Subscribe to The Branch Team Blog.
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