Secret Supercar Owner
Looking back at the highs and lows of supercar ownership – and to the future
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 evo.co.uk, 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