Club Sportiva - An Exotic Car driving experience: Part 1 of 3
What an amazing day for a car enthusiast. Club Sportiva is a must-do for anyone, and I stress anyone, who has ever wanted to know what it's like to drive an exotic car. Especially on some of the best roads imaginable favored by enthusiasts on two wheels and four. You must be able to drive a manual transmission and a driving academy is offered in case you don't know how. The exotic cars were the Ferrari F430, Aston Martin DB9 Volante, Audi R8, Lotus Elise, Ferrari F355 substituting for the Lamborghini Gallardo and a Porsche Cayman.
Everyone involved made the event just about perfect. The morning started at the fascinating Club Auto Sport facility with a continental breakfast in the Club Sportiva car condominium. The six person group size made for an intimate affair with easy introductions and smiles. The cars were all parked in the hallway outside of the condo space. There was a quick tour of the facility and overview of the vehicles along with a briefing before the staff lined them up outside and took photos of the group and then individually with each car.
I have to give kudos to Rick and his staff who were fun, professional and knowledgeable. There was never a sales pitch for membership throughout the event, just fun, informative conversation. They are an enthusiastic group and never too chatty. You can learn a lot from them. They all made sure we were well hydrated on this hot day and Rick announced several times that sunscreen was available. That is unexpected thoughtfulness for his customers, especially for this pale-skinned mutt. After all, three of the cars were convertibles or targa top!
About the car variety, which was excellent: 3 mid-engine V-8s, a front engine V-12, a mid-engine inline 4-cylinder (in a very light car), a rear-engined boxer 6 (horizontally opposed). Whether the car or powertrain was Italian, German, British or Japanese, the variety was excellent. They were in great condition and even the F355 with 67K miles on it was superb. When was the last time you heard of a Ferrari with that many miles on it? There were a couple of minor glitches with the cars that actually made the experience more fun. Driving on the lightly traveled, twisting mountain and coastline roads sure helped.
Take a look at listings of exotic cars for sale. Notice how there are almost all low miles and priced many tens or sometimes hundreds of thousands less than the original MSRP? The concept of Club Sportiva, either to taste, rent or share ownership is a great idea. Buyers of these cars will lose far more in depreciation and sometimes they are not driven any more frequently, so why not rent instead of buy, right? Not only that, the benefits and events add to the overall "experience". So, are you experienced?
Part 2 will cover my experience with the Aston Martin DB9 Volante, Ferrari F355 and Lotus Elise.
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