These hot wheels are the real deal

June 14, 2014

LOTUS ENTERTAIN YOU: This stunning, intensely yellow Lotus Evora is part of Jack Farr’s fleet of exotic sports cars that can be driven at his MotorSpoort Ranch at 9012 Performance Court in Cresson Sunday.

by Mark Wilson

Staff Writer

I wasn’t prepared for “the experience.”

There I was, climbing into an exotic Italian sports car featuring a 560-horsepower engine. It’s an incredible machine capable of traveling from 0-60 in 3.7 seconds and reaching 202 mph.

It was like being strapped inside a rocket.

Before I knew it, we were careening through one of the two closed-course race tracks at MotorSport Ranch in Cresson in the 10-cylinder, 5.2-liter Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4.

Jack Farr, owner of the MotorSport Ranch, graciously gave me a taste of his world ahead of the DriveXotic event at the track from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. (See our related story on P.1A.)

I never checked the speedometer during the lap, but I’m betting we set a Lamborghini record of about 250 mph going into the first curve. Then Farr downshifted his baby to what seemed about 199 – give or take a hundred mph or so.

Farr mentioned that the experience seems faster because the car is so low. As we were whipping through curves as if they weren’t there, that wasn’t all that comforting.

But I survived, and it was definitely a blast – more fun than I’ve had in awhile.

Farr described DriveXotic as an “experience” – to feel a true sports car in action.

And you do feel it, throughout your body. The passenger door handle was solid. I tested it with a death grip throughout the ride.

The G forces from the acceleration had me pinned to the leather seat.

“Just the smell of that Italian leather is pretty cool,” Farr said as we were climbing out of the car.

The seats could have smelled like pepperoni pizza and I wouldn’t have noticed.

The unbelievable stopping power of the car’s brakes and tires was just as impressive as its speed and acceleration.

At one point, before we got on the track, I thought we were going to go flying through a short fence on the parking lot and into a grassy area. Instead, we came to a dead stop in what seemed only a couple of seconds. What was I worried about?

When riding in such a powerful beast, you have no choice but to trust the driver. If you can’t, passing out might be the next-best option.

Farr indicated he wants to stage events with DriveXotic General Manager Josh Hough at his track on a regular basis, now that he has a fleet of supercars to fit almost anyone’s sports car fantasy.

“It’s not a racing school, and it’s not a car rental,” Farr said. “It’s a driving or riding experience.”

The Lanborghini name and look always grabbed me. The word “unique” doesn’t do justice to the mystique. The sleek design has been special to luxury sports car admirers all over the world for decades.

Farr allowed me to sit behind the wheel of another fascinating breed with gorgeous contours – the relatively tiny Lotus Evora, a 345-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 made in England.

Like many boys, I played with and admired Hot Wheels toy cars when I was growing up. As an adult, I bought them as a collector. My interest in Hot Wheels now is focused mostly on the European supercars like Ferrari, Jaguar, Porsche, Lamborghini and Lotus. I have the Hot Wheels version of the Evora. A Lotus Elise and a Lotus Espirit also are in my Hot Wheels collection, and there are too many different Ferrari models to count. I have at least five Lamborghinis, but no Gallardo.

One thing I noted while sitting in the extraordinary Lamborghini was that the rear-view mirror has that ordinary automotive phrase, “Objects are closer than they appear.”

Maybe that one should say, “Objects are about to be much farther away than they appear.”

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