The Countach screams for attention, but I am also drawn to some of its refined details. I love the subtle courses of perforation in the upholstery, seen in this shot I took at Greenwich last year.
Entries in Lamborghini (13)
I had to post this incomparably cool photo posted by Motoring con Brio earlier this week. Might be my favorite photo of 2012.
For those of you who live in New York or New Jersey, you may have seen Groupon and other deal sites advertising a discounted ticket to "Drive a Supercar!" I have been emailed by many friends about this and had been wondering myself if it's worth the money (around 70 bucks with the promotional discount). Thankfully, a very generous friend bought some tickets and invited me along! Since there seems to be a lot of interest and uncertainty about this promotion, I thought I'd let you all know whether I thought it was worthwhile!What it is:
It's pretty simple. There's an autocross track consisting of a bunch of cones in a vast parking lot at the Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey. You get to choose between a Lamborghini Gallardo or a Ferrari F430. I had two tickets so I got a ride in each.
There is a chaperone in the car with you just to make sure you don't do something stupid, but generally he encourages you to have fun. And yes, you can floor it and drive the car as hard as you want!
What you get:
You get 3 laps of this autocross track, so basically one outlap, one flying lap, and one in lap. There's no timing, but I figured each lap is about 28-40 seconds depending on your skill level and exuberance. So that's roughly 2.5 minutes of driving.
After you get out of the car, you pose for photos inside and standing next to the car. The guy also takes a few action shots while you are driving. All these photos are burned on a CD right on the spot and handed to you, and this is an no extra charge, which I thought was great! (the photos in this article are examples of what you get)
You can also opt to buy a second run at a slight discount if you want more. And they also have a 458 Italia which can be driven for an extra 100 bucks. My friend tried it and said it took him to another planet. He got out of the car and all he said for the first 2 minutes was "Oh my god! It's SO tight! The steering! It's so TIGHT!."
In the brief moments I was in the cars, I had a blast. The exhaust notes of both cars are awesome to hear when you drop the hammer. In the end, I recommend readers to select the F430. Even though the Gallardo is a great machine, the all wheel drive and electronic nannies make the car understeer badly at low speed and the car just feels sort of dead on this very twisty, tiny, track. The F430, on the other hand has better handling on the tight course and willingly lets you slide the tail around. I was grinning from ear to ear. Both cars have paddle shifters, so no worries about clutch pedals.
So, was it worth the money? That is hard to say for sure. I think for the cost of 70 dollars, it would be nice to have more than 3 laps in the cars. I also think some people would find the idea of driving through cones in a parking lot a bit pedestrian. However this is definitely not a scam. You really do get some time in someone else's genuine exotic car and can basically do what you want for 3 laps. Unlike a high priced exotic rental, you don't need to worry about traffic laws and you can just have fun in a safe environment! The fact that they throw in the photographs for free is a very nice touch, and definitely adds to the appeal of the experience.
I don't think Gotham Dream Cars gives a trememdous value for thrill compared to going karting, but I don't think it's a ripoff either. If you are the type who has always wondered what it is like to drive one of these cars and feel the acceleration and cornering they offer, this is the most economical and trouble-free way to have that experience. Let me know what you think!( Note: This review was in no way paid for or endorsed by Gotham Dream Cars)
I really wanted to get this review done for the Holiday Season, but now that it's 2012 and some of you have some Amazon gift certificates from loved ones, this is the book you should spend them on. I've obtained some really top notch car books this year which will be covered in subsequent reviews, but I have to say that Veloce Publishing's new Lamborgini Urraco book by Arnstein Landsem --himself an Urraco owner--really provides the perfect balance of historical background, comprehensive documentation, copious amounts of photos and smart yet objective editorial observation on the topic. Veloce has gone from strength to strength lately, and at this point I would consider them the foremost publisher of affordable automotive books in the world. Veloce consistently delivers books that are comprehensive without being pedantic, profusely illustrated, well produced in terms of printing and layout, and accessibly priced. And the new Urraco book is no exception.
From a purely casual browsing point of view, this book is just crammed with gorgeous shots of the Urraco, combining historic press photos with scans of magazine reviews, and top notch modern photography that looks like it was taken right out of the pages of Octane. There are also plenty of detail shots for the true restoration enthusiast showing how the interior and engine bay should look. For an underappreciated car like the Urraco, you are unlikely to find more shots of these cars in one place even on the web. In addition to this wealth of imagery, there is a very thorough telling of the history of the car and of the ups and downs of the Lamborghini company in the tumultuous late 70s. Extensive quotes from famed Lamborghini development driver Valentino Balboni add character and first-person intimacy to the subject matter. There is a lot of discussion of the car's development from both a technical and stylistic point of view. Another nice feature is that each styling iteration is accompanied by a very nicely done photoshop rendering so you can really follow the changes that occured in the car's gestation.
After the history section, there are also extensive summaries of period road tests and magazine articles. The Silhouette and the Jalpa, which were both cars developed off the Urraco's platform are both well described here as well. Although Landsem isn't a gifted writer, I think he did a remarkable job of packing a lot of information into a very attractive and digestible package. He also provides the reader with a very honest, sometimes blunt description of the pros and cons of owning and maintaining an Urraco which I found very refreshing and enjoyable to read. There are helpful pointers about what to look for when buying one of these cars, as well as a value guide. At the very end, there is a very cool chart allowing you to compare the specifications of the various Urraco models to the other cars of the period.
Overall, this is a really solid book that will provide enjoyment on multiple levels, and definitely a commendable effort at telling the story of an under-appreciated classic.
My friend Syed over at IEDEI posted a heartwarming follow-up story about the car below, which he and I respectively featured on our sites a while back after a visit to Gullwing Motor Cars in Queens. The metallic green car, which had a Chevy V8 swapped in for the original Lamborghini V12, was very straight and not rotten, but looking shabby as it languished outside in the lot.Had I the resources at the time (or now, come ot think of it), I would have loved to take this car under my wing and breath new life into it. Thankfully, its new owner has done exactly that. He's doing a light rolling restoration and keeping the car mostly as found (she sure polished up nice!), and although we'd love to see the original V12 back in the car, the current owner says the lighter, smaller V8 improves the handling and weight distribution. We wish him all the best of adventures in his wonderful new ride!
Click HERE for my original post about the car.
Click HERE to read about its current whereabouts on IEDEI.