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Thread: Exotic car tours??

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    yosemitemtb's Avatar
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    Default Exotic car tours??

    I'm turning 50 this year and Dad is 70 so we were thinking one of the exotic car tours would be a fitting celebration. A lot of guys say to just pick a car and rent it for the day, but with little experience in anything hotter than my Subaru, Dad's Caddy ATS and the muscle cars of my youth, driving 5 or 6 cars sounds very appealing. Does anyone have any experience with Club Sportiva in the Bay area? Any advice on when to go? Time of year, day of week, etc.? http://www.clubsportiva.com/
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    Jerry I was trying to talk my wife into getting this for my 30th. http://www.exoticsracing.com/schedule.php

    Seems like you could open them up a little more than a stroll down the coast. They have one in Vegas and one at Autoclub speedway in LA area.

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    Yeah, but 6 cars for 30 laps is only 45 miles and it costs more, not that that is a deal breaker. The Bay Area tour thing is 120 miles and my wife gets to ride shotgun, she's pretty jazzed about that. Maybe I'll squeeze in a track day in my WRX this summer for the higher speed buzz.
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    SO I thought I'd just bump this thread up to tell you guys about the tour we a few days ago! Club Sportiva is the real deal, they really put on a cool program. After a little bit of phone jockeying during the week to get my car insurance info to them and make sure the coverage was adequate, all went very smoothly. My dad and I were two of the six clients there for the tour, not counting our co-driver/wifies. We arrived at about 9am to find six gleaming cars lined up, I'll get into makes in a bit. We signed a few more waivers while we waited for the others to arrive and checkedd out the Club Sportiva club house. Room inside to park all the cars and then some, they offer temporary office space for members to use, couches, TV, a pool table (red felt with a Ferrari logo) a gym down the hall, a true man cave. Since a couple of the cars had manual transmissions, we each took a quick test drive around the block in what they considered their trickiest car to drive, a 2013 Viper with the Track Pack. 640 horsepower and what one of the CS guys called "the worst traction control system ever, it barely works!" Anyway, it was just a quick trip around the block while we were advised to roll into the throttle and to be careful accelerating out of corners. We were also told that was the one car not to turn the traction control off in. While each of us did our test drive, the rest chatted and admired our rides for the day. There was a gal there who bought the experience for her boyfriend, er, make that ex BF! He never even found out about it! Another father with his son co driving, a guy who won his day in a charity auction and another couple. My wife was my copilot while my stepmom rode with my dad. When it was time to get going, the keys were put in a hat and we all drew to see what we would drive first. I got the last key... Audi R8 convertible, the other manual transmission car with a 6 speed. Smooth as glass! It was a little scary driving that $130k car through San Jose traffic at first but as we rolled along, confidence grew. If I were more familiar with the area, I could describe the route better, but to be honest I was to wrapped up in the cars to really do much sight seeing. We headed up into the hills while our host in the Acura TLX paced us well. We got to drive each car about 20 miles and there wasn't a one of them we didn't touch at least 80 mph in on short bursts. Like I said, the Audi was super smooth, rolled into the power easily and sounded so fine!
    Last edited by yosemitemtb; 09-19-2015 at 01:45 AM.
    Jerry Kell
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    The second car I drove was the Nissan GT-R. After the Audi, I appreciated the seats in the GT-R as they were deeper and held us better. Driving a WRX, I'm used to the little bit of turbo lag the Nissan had, it felt very familiar in that way. What really surprised me about that car though, was how violent the acceleration was once it spooled up. It really pinned us back in the seat hard, the only other car that even came close to scooting like that was the Viper. It was just instant fast...after a second of anticipation. Our next stop was at Alice's Restaurant up on Skyline Blvd where Club Sportiva treated us to lunch. Great burgers there, but I had the brisket sandwich and garlic fries.
    Last edited by yosemitemtb; 09-19-2015 at 01:46 AM.
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    After lunch, my next ride was in the Porsche Cayman GTS. Awesome car! It has this cool button that opens up the exhaust! After the GT-R, which wasn't as aurally satisfying, this was awesome! We headed towards the coast and had the chance to open it up a bit on some straighter sections of road. I might have exceeded the speed limit when I got a burst in up to triple digits on the speedometer. I really enjoyed this car and of all the rides, this one would probably fit in my garage at home the best. It just felt like a Porsche should.
    Last edited by yosemitemtb; 09-19-2015 at 01:48 AM.
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    Next stop was at a beach access with surf pounding. Did I mention the weather was perfect? Blue skies and 80 degrees! My next car was very British, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage convertible. This car has a system that keeps the exhaust quiet at low rpms but the guys at CS were smart enough to pull the fuse on that. While this car felt the heaviest and slowest, and the transmission seemed to be a full two beats behind what the paddle shifters were telling it to do, it had this awesome growl you only get from a V8. Best sound ever! And with no top (the car, not my wife) it was pure automotive porno moaning at full volume! Of course, being a Brit, it had quirks like a tach with a needle that swept right to left, but ooooh that sound! Our trip took us back to Alice's where we swapped cars again and took a short break.
    Last edited by yosemitemtb; 09-19-2015 at 01:49 AM.
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    Next up was "The Beast"! The Viper was just incredible. I would never own one only because I'm sure it would eventually kill me. Such a roar! With a 6200 rpm redline, I even managed to bounce it off the rev limiter! Drive it like it's a rental! You can barely see out of the narrow windshield and forget seeing behind. We were warned the hood goes much farther than you can see and it's a very wide car. One of those waivers I signed said the minimum charge for curbing a wheel would be $300 plus loss of use fees so it was a little nervewracking for the first .625 seconds, then it was time to mash, I mean roll into, the throttle!
    Last edited by yosemitemtb; 09-19-2015 at 01:51 AM.
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    Last, but certainly not least, was the Ferrari Callifornia. Black with an outrageous red interior, heads swiveled in our direction when we drove through town in this car! I couldn't help it, we caught a couple of stop lights and at each one I would shift into neutral and rap the throttle like a kid in a hooptie Camaro. This was Bea's favorite car, probably because at $200k it was the richest ride. Carbon fiber steering wheel? Of course, but don't forget they put the shift lights right there in the wheel. It was all I could do to not shoot past our lead car and just drive it off into the distance. All in all, it was a once in a lifetime experience for this not so rich mountain man. The guys at Club Sportiva were awesome and really put together a great experience. Each car was very unique, they own several more and what goes on the tour depends on what is being serviced or rented out to members on any given day. The route was spectacular but I think I mentioned I was to wrapped up in the cars to notice much else besides twisty roads. All in all, it was even better than I had anticipated. This trip was a birthday gift from my dad, but the f*cker told me about it at Christmas last year so I would have plenty of time to think about it all beforehand. Now, afterwards, I still can't get it out of my head.
    Last edited by yosemitemtb; 09-19-2015 at 01:53 AM.
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