Thanks to my job, I have had the rare opportunity to drive several high-powered and expensive cars. From Porsche to Lamborghini with a few GT-Rs in between, I have spent a lot of time going fast. When I heard Gotham Dream Cars was coming to town, I didn’t really think too much about it. A few quick laps in a Lamborghini around an autocross course seemed to pale in comparison to some of the things I had done. Then I started to hear some of the other car fiends in the area talking about how exciting this seemed.
Even people I know of who aren’t that excited about cars were interested in this chance to experience the power and speed of a supercar. It makes sense though. Supercars are the most useless creation in the world of the automobile, but they still draw certain emotions from us.
It doesn’t matter how much you like cars or not, when a supercar rolls by, you likely pay attention. Maybe it’s the speed, the looks or the noise, but the majority of the world is simply drawn to them.
I decided that I would test this theory and I decided to head to the event. Aside from just experiencing what Gotham has to offer, I brought my wife. Thanks to me she knows about cars, but aside from the fact that she thinks Porsche 911s are pretty, she has little to no interest in anything to do with supercars.
Would she still enjoy this experience? Would she revel in the noise and the horsepower that all petrol heads crave? What about the other guests of the event? Are they gasoline-drinking speed junkies or just regular people drawn in by the allure of Italian horsepower?
Read on to find out more about my day with Gotham Dream Cars
The Lamborghini itself was a first-gen model so it was a full 40 horsepower down on the car I had driven in Gumball.
When we arrived it took me all of five minutes to feel disappointed. When I signed up I had been told there would be a Ferrari F430 available. Sadly the 430 had suffered transmission issues at the last event and needed to be repaired, so it was just the Lambo. The Lamborghini itself was a first-gen model so it was a full 40 horsepower down on the car I had driven in Gumball. To top it all off, the car was shod in all-season rubber rather than high-performance summer tires.
Thankfully the registration process was lightning quick, and within 10 minutes of arriving I was getting fitted for a helmet. During the whole time I was there I never saw anyone wait more than 20 minutes from arrival until time in the car.
The actual drive was okay, but far from impressive. Despite being beaten to death and down 40 horsepower on the last Gallardo I drove, the car felt quick. The course was limited to second gear though and with several tight turns, the Lambo’s notorious understeer was a huge problem. During the two straights I was able to nail the rev limiter, which in second gear is about 86 mph. Overall the few laps I had were fun, but I knew I could enjoy the car a lot more if I had some room to run. I nailed the rev limiter in every straight and had the tires howling in every turn. I had that car pushed as far as I could on such a small and short course.
I wasn’t quite sure it was worth the cost of entry. What about everyone else?
When her laps were over, she has nothing but a massive smile and slightly jittery hands form the adrenaline rush.
My wife, Jenna was excited when we arrived. She was hoping to drive the Ferrari also, she likes that it’s prettier, but finding out that she would only get to drive the Lamborghini didn’t seem to phase her. When I was discussing the tires with some of the staff, she didn’t understand why I was so worried about it. The tires were still new and name-brand units. Even when it comes to power output. I can complain about 520 horsepower over the second-gen car’s 560. She felt like 520 horsepower was enough.
When her laps were over, she has nothing but a massive smile and slightly jittery hands form the adrenaline rush. She really couldn’t care less about driving a Lamborghini, but being in that driver seat changed her thoughts on it.
These feelings were shared by everyone. I started to interview some of the other participants and they all felt the same way. Most didn’t even push the car that hard. When I came into the straights with the engine wailing at redline, most didn’t even experience full throttle. It didn’t matter. This was still the fastest, most powerful and most exotic thing they had ever had the chance to ride in, let alone drive. It changed all of them. Massive grins were spread around the paddock.
Was it worth it?
The process was quick, the staff was incredibly friendly, and I got to spend a day listening to an Italian V-10.
Short of having a generous friend with a supercar — or being an auto writer — this is the cheapest way to experience exotic Italian cars like Ferrari or Lamborghini. If you have lots of experience with cars in this level of speed and performance, you are likely to feel a bit underwhelmed. For everyone else, it may just change their life in some small way. Some even called this a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The process was quick, the staff was incredibly friendly, and I got to spend a day listening to an Italian V10. It may not have been my most exciting day, but it certainly was for a lot of people in attendance.