So you've always wanted to hop behind the wheel of a Lamborghini Gallardo, or perhaps a Ferrari 458 Italia or F430, but haven't had the cash for an expensive rental, much less the stack to buy one? Fear not, there's an answer.
For $100 (with a coupon--otherwise it'll run you $249), anyone over 21 with a valid driver's license and insurance can drive any of these cars, or potentially others, including a Murcielago, as hard as you'd like. How? Gotham Dream Cars' Dream Car Sprint
So what do you get for your short stack of cash? Three laps around an autocross course with an instructor in the passenger seat, or with the instructor driving if you'd prefer to see what the car can do in the hands of an experienced pro. As Gotham Dream Car founder and president Noah Lehmann-Haupt put it, "the Dream Car Sprint is an everyman experience."
Before you start thinking, "oh, who cares--driving around some parking lot in a supercar is kind of pointless," just let us say, no, it's really not. Even if you're not an avid autocrosser yourself, you'll be surprised at just how much fun you can have in the first three gears with a proper supercar. And getting do do it at all in cars worth $250,000 and up is the real treat here. Many customers have agreed so far--thousands of entries have been sold, according to Lehmann-Haupt, and the company plans to expand its current northeastern U.S. range to other parts of the country, too.
Of course, it's just a handful of minutes, maybe 10 to 15 if you take your time, but even at that rate, it's well worth it for the experience alone. And for those of you out there with plenty of cash but not a whole lot of time, and no proper environment to test a supercar (in safety) before you buy, this could be a great opportunity as well.
To test the system out, Gotham brought me out to the New Jersey Meadowlands stadium during the New York Auto Show's press days last week, and let me loose--for free--behind the wheel to see what it's like. It was, as you'd expect, a blast. But is it worth $100 (or $250)? Sure--if you're keen on driving the cars themselves. The autocross course wasn't as long or as challenging as you'll find in a proper SCCA Solo National Tour environment, though the top speeds were a bit higher.
On the other hand, the instructors were very capable drivers and easy-going, the atmosphere was friendly and welcoming, and the cars, of course, were tremendous. And for those under the required driving age, you can still ride along with an instructor.
But really, for most of us, this experience is unlike nearly any other, and far more accessible than even Gotham's own alternative programs, which range upwards from $900 per day. If you've always wanted to drive a supercar, even to the point of spinning one out in almost complete safety, check out their site for more info