Se­cret Su­per­car Owner

Looking back at the highs and lows of su­per­car ownership – and to the fu­ture

Evo - - FAST FLEET -

IIT’S BEEN MORE THAN FIVE years since I first wrote an evo Fast Fleet re­port, and if there has been a theme for the last half- decade, it has been ‘change’.

When I started off – ini­tially on, then in the mag­a­zine soon af­ter – my garage in Sur­rey con­tained a Fer­rari F40, an F50, a Koenigsegg CCR, a Mosler MT900S and a Jaguar XJR-15. To­day the garage is in Texas and only the F40 re­mains from that orig­i­nal fleet. Now the other mem­bers are three Mclarens – a P1, a 675LT Spi­der and a 650S Spi­der – plus a Fer­rari 599 GTB HGTE and a Maserati Gran­cabrio. In the in­terim, three Mclaren 12Cs have come and gone, as have three more Fer­raris: a 612, a 430 Scud­e­ria and a Scud­e­ria Spi­der 16M. The shift from a Fer­rari- dom­i­nated garage to a Mclaren-fest will likely con­tinue, al­though the two cars that are def­i­nitely keep­ers are the F40 and the 675LT Spi­der.

I of­ten get asked which are my favourite cars that I have owned. Well, those two would def­i­nitely be in my top five, and join­ing them would be the P1, the F50 and the 365 GTB/4 Day­tona. All are won­der­ful, en­gag­ing driv­ers’ cars that leave you ful­filled and im­pressed af­ter each out­ing.

The bot­tom three would be the Fer­rari 456, the Porsche 993 Turbo, and the Maserati Grans­port. The 456 would de­velop me­chan­i­cal is­sues ev­ery time you looked at it, the Turbo had a nasty habit of going light at high speeds, and the Grans­port was just very poorly put to­gether.

Both the Koenigsegg and the Jaguar de­serve spe­cial men­tions and I still have fond mem­o­ries of both. The CCR was wild and en­gag­ing, re­quir­ing com­plete con­cen­tra­tion and com­mit­ment to drive well. The driver’s seat was a very spe­cial place to be and emerg­ing from a spir­ited drive in­tact al­ways gave me a sense of ac­com­plish­ment. The race-bred XJR-15, mean­while, was sim­ply unique in its raw­ness.

I’ve been for­tu­nate to have driven at highly mem­o­rable lo­ca­tions in many of the afore­men­tioned cars, too. The Swiss Alpine passes in the Fer­rari F40, north-west Scot­land in the 430 Scud­e­ria, cen­tral and south­west Scot­land in the 12C Spi­der, the coun­try roads of Ver­mont in the Mclaren 675LT Spi­der, and Wales in the Day­tona. For Mrs SSO and me, noth­ing tops a great car on great roads as the per­fect va­ca­tion.

The su­per­cars I own are never treated as museum pieces. Sev­eral have served as daily trans­port, in­clud­ing a Fer­rari 575. It’s the Mclaren 650S that gets the nod as the most ac­com­plished daily-driver, though. With the vast im­prove­ments in re­li­a­bil­ity and use­abil­ity of mod­ern su­per­cars, this is not the stress­ful gauge-watch­ing ex­er­cise of old. Trust me on this – I’ve also pressed a Fer­rari 308 GTB and the Day­tona into daily duty for lim­ited pe­ri­ods and it was not re­lax­ing.

What does the fu­ture hold for the SSO fleet? Well, in­spired by evo rat­ing it as the best car it has ever tested, I’ve re­cently taken de­liv­ery of a 997.2 GT3 RS. It’s been nine years since I last had a 911 in the garage. Hope­fully I will bond bet­ter with this one than I did with the 993 Turbo.

Above: an early in­car­na­tion of the SSO’S Fast Fleet garage: XJR-15, 430 Scud­e­ria, F50 and F40. Clock­wise from above right: 12C Spi­der, P1, Gran­cabrio, XJR-15, 675LT Spi­der and 599 have all ap­peared in these pages

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