The below article was featured in the San Jose Mercury News:
Six Exotic cars plus 120 miles of adventure equaling one memorable day of thrills.
BY JIM LAMASCUS
I have one claim about driving cars that few could make…I have driven nearly 30,000 of them. I formerly worked as a vehicle testing mechanic and could boast “I have been behind the wheel of literally every type of car save a Lamborghini.” Recently I had the opportunity to join an Exotic Car Tour offered through Club Sportiva and drive a Lamborghini for the first time. So, would that really seem special to someone like me who had so much driving experience?
My driving experience began as I greeted my cohort of fellow car enthusiasts. We all appeared quite reserved on the outside, but our conversations made it obvious each was very eager on the inside as we eyed the six convertible exotics lined in formation before us.
My tour started in the very nimble Lotus Elise. The final car I was to drive for the day would be a Lamborghini. We started our trek heading from Club Sportiva’s newly opened “clubhouse,” located not too far from San Jose’s airport, and headed towards Saratoga. Surprisingly, cars were pulling alongside of our caravan with cell phone cameras pointing in our direction shooting videos. All this attention was reminiscent of the feeling I had when I participated in a parade as a youth.
Once through Saratoga, we traversed up Highway 9 toward Skyline Boulevard. The little Lotus was right at home taking me through the series of “Road to Hana” type turns and short straights. We wound our way to the top where we stopped to switch vehicles. I did not want to give up my little road warrior, but the Porsche Turbo awaited me.
The Porsche gave me a case of the Gs, G-force, that is. This experience was demanding of all of my senses. The sound of the reverberating exhaust, the breeze swirling, the smell of the redwoods, the sight of the valley below and the anticipation of our group lunch at Alice’s Restaurant. Before I knew it, our group arrived at Alice’s in exotic style. We were mid-way through our trek and the group no longer appeared so reserved.
Then, in James Bond fashion, an Austin Martin was to take me to the coast. It was the perfect accompaniment to ocean breezes on this crystal clear day. The ocean background provided the perfect photo-op setting.
My gratification already seemed complete when I shifted, no pun intended, into the Maserati. This was the iron fist in the velvet glove. Comfort, power and luxury all rolled into one. It was the beginning of our return leg of the trip. The Maserati set up the perfect contrast for the hard charging Lamborghini that awaited me.
After a brief stretch break, I found myself just sitting in my Lambo preparing for my capstone ride. I am even tempted to replicate the scene from the old Gumball Rally movie and pull off the rear view mirror, saying “… what’s behind me does not matter.”
Starting up the car, I could sense the power as I heard the distinct high pitch whine from the exhaust. Of all the cars I had driven, this was the first time I had the feeling like I was behind the wheel of a real race car. As our tour made its final approach heading back to Club Sportiva, again I saw people turning heads and activating cell phone cameras.
So, was it a special experience to drive a Lamborghini for someone who has driven 30,000 vehicles? Does a roller coaster enthusiast ever tire of the thrill riding that next biggest ride? I think not. Driving the Lamborghini was absolutely special!
Jim Lamascus is an automotive account executive for the San Jose Mercury News.