There are two things you need to know about 14-year old Maddy Wagner: she loves supercars and she has autism.
The former may sound trivial compared to the latter, but Maddy doesn’t think of herself any less even with her condition. She has her dad to thank for that. Her father said that it was important for “Maddy not be defined by her autism. I’ve taught both my kids that they can accomplish whatever they believe they can accomplish. Yes, she’s autistic, but in every other way, she’s just like every other teenage girl. I hope people don’t see her as being autistic but rather as being a beautiful young lady who can accomplish anything she sets her mind to.”
And what Maddy set her mind to was a fascination for exotics and one of her holiday wishes was to get a chance to ride in one.
Last week, her wish became a reality, except that instead of riding in one supercar, Maddy was able to sit shotgun in 13 of them. From Bentleys , Ferraris , Lamborghinis , and even a Caterham , Maddy’s holiday wish came true with the help of some selfless supercar owners.
Full story after the jump.
The event came to fruition after Maddy’s dad, Rich Wagner, posted an ad on Craigslist asking if there was anybody nice enough to give his 14-year old daughter a ride in a supercar. This post then reached Bruno Silikowski - the owner of AutoMotorPlex, a complex that consists of deluxe garages that cater to exotic sports car buffs - after a late night bout of Internet trolling that ended with him reading Wagner’s ad on Craigslist.
Immediately, Silikowski went to work and asked a number of tenants to see if they could offer their rides. What he got were responses several times over, including two out-of-town owners that arranged to have their cars driven by other people.
In the end, instead of riding one supercar, Maddy got to enjoy 13 of them, including a Ferrari that despite being described as "really cool," still fell short to her favorite, a Lamborghini. In total, there were about $13 million worth of supercar goodness at her disposal.
“I just want to say thank you to all of you,” said Rich Wagner, admitting that he was struggling to hold back tears. “None of you had to be here today. You could have been home with your families.”
He added that it “will take time for Maddy to process all of this. She’s going to be saying a lot of thank-yous.”
Maddy’s autism hasn’t stopped her from living her life just like any other 14-year old. Her love for exotic cars, combined with her passion for speed, truly made her holiday wish one for the ages. It also solidified her career choice: to become a test driver for Lamborghini.