Monday, August 27, 2012

A Mid-Summer’s Afternoon Dreamin’

Ever daydream about being behind the wheel of a supercar on a sultry summer afternoon, the wind rushing through your hair as you and the car power down an open stretch of highway? On an August afternoon I was “living the dream” near Loveland, Colorado, at a select 2 day opportunity sponsored by Sill-TerHar Motors of Broomfield, Colorado.

Imagine my surprise a few weeks earlier when my husband, Randy, handed me not just one but 3 invitations to test drive a variety of Aston Martins, Maseratis or Lamborghinis at the Loveland Embassy Suites hotel. I knew demand for this test driving event would be HUGE and, since appointment times were limited, I called early the next morning to speak with the event coordinator, Steven Leonard, to make appointments for Randy and myself. As anticipated, Steven confirmed that even though the invitations were mailed only one and a half days earlier, he already had 18 RSVPs to schedule for this auspicious occasion. Within a day or so I received the coveted email confirmation…4:30 PM, Tuesday, August 7, 2012… a date of unqualified anticipation!

On the appointed afternoon Randy, Mom (our official guest) and I drove to the Embassy Suites in our 2005 Redfire Ford Mustang, one of the preeminent made-in-the-USA muscle cars. Upon entering the hotel’s conference center parking lot a bright yellow Lamborghini caught our collective gaze, followed in swift succession by a dark grey Aston Martin Vantage. While parking the Mustang we immediately spied a gorgeous red (with black convertible top – Mom’s favorite color combination!!) Maserati parked nearby. We exited our car and promptly walked over to mentally salivate over the sleek and sporty beauty of the Maserati Granturismo S exterior. After our comparison of the three makes of supercars there, the Lambo didn’t stand a chance!

We finally walked into the conference center and found the Lake Loveland room where we introduced ourselves to Steven and Jack TerHar, Jr. After reading and signing a short test driving contract (speeding tickets were each driver’s responsibility – if the police could catch us, that is!), photos were taken of each driver’s license. Steven then suggested that Randy, Mom and I should test out Aston Martin’s Rapide 4 door sedan first.

After escorting us to the car, we quickly discovered this was no ordinary sedan – even the opening of the car door was a unique experience! Once seated inside the 8 way memory power seats, all mirrors were adjusted for maximum visibility and comfort. Placing the car fob into the ignition slot and pushing in brought the 6.0 liter V12 engine to life with an impressive roar. So many buttons and knobs on the full grain leather with walnut facia trimmed console…I was almost afraid to touch one for fear of pushing an ejection seat button, if there had been one. (After all, Aston Martin IS known as the preferred ride for James Bond of 007 fame!)

Randy drove initially while Mom and I marveled at the trez chic ride. Mom was extremely impressed by the full console of individual controls for the two back seat passengers and I enjoyed the comforts from the front passenger seat. After getting a feel for the Rapide’s handling and acceleration capabilities by using the paddle shifters located on the steering wheel, Randy pulled over on a short side street and exchanged seats with me. Once settled in to the driver’s seat properly I elected to use the automatic transmission by pushing the “D” button on the dash and off we went.

The Rapide maneuvered well around several roundabouts and stormed down the straightaway while surrounding us in comfort and luxury. The interior of the car was also very quiet except for those brief bursts of acceleration. The test drive session ended much too soon as we arrived back at the conference center lot.

Walking back inside with HUGE smiles on all our faces, Randy struck up a conversation with Jack about performance cars. BIG MISTAKE!! Noting that Mom and I were anxious to drive another vehicle, Steven asked which car we were interested in driving next. Mom and I simultaneously said “the red Maserati!”. So, with Randy still Conversing with Jack, Steven escorted Mom and me out to the parking lot and opened the doors to our ultimate driving experience – the Maserati Granturismo S!!
Outstanding…Adrenaline…RUSH!!! It simmered the moment the driver’s door was opened on the 2012 Rosso Mondiale red with black convertible topped Maserati. The rush increased when switching on the ignition key and listening to a magnificent symphony of sound as the 4.7 liter V8 engine sprang to life. It intensified upon exciting the parking lot with very responsive handling round the roundabout. In the blink of an eye the 433 hp Maserati roared from zero to seventy mph without hesitation. By this time the engine sounded like “music to our ears” (Thanks, Mom). This supercar’s turning radius was surprisingly stellar as well, making a legal U-turn so very effortlessly. An extended test drive down another side street allowed a little more time to fully enjoy and appreciate this most stylish and powerful car – the ULTIMATE driving machine! Mom summed up the driving experience in the Maserati as “the most fun EVER in a car” and I absolutely agreed.

Meanwhile, Randy, having missed the chance to drive the Maserati, channeled his inner James Bond by driving the grey Aston Martin V12 Vantage two seat coupe. He was suitably impressed by the gear shifter (said it was “great”, which is no small compliment from him) and appreciated the blistering acceleration the 6.0 liter, 12 cylinder engine provided. The agility and handling capabilities of this extraordinary auto, one of the few supercars with an actual manual transmission, really “wowed” my Mustang-loving spouse. To paraphrase the Aston Martin literature, this Aston Martin Vantage was a smart looking, compact sports coupe engineered to perform like an exciting GT!

The sticker prices for the supercars tested by us were not as outrageous as initially thought! The MSRP list for the regal 2012 Aston Martin Rapide was $204,670 with a top of the line interior; $198,820 was the MSRP pricing for the athletic and sporty Aston Martin V12 Vantage. The price tag for the most perfect Maserati Granturismo S was a mere $157,000. So I guess maybe I’ll play Powerball the next time the big bucks roll around…

A huge “Thank You” to Jack TerHar, Jr and Steven Leonard of Sill-TerHar Motors from Broomfield, Colorado, for inviting us to test drive these incredible, truly elegant supercars! They both were gracious and informative hosts for this event. (Hopefully we will receive another invitation again next summer!)

Again, TallyHo! And I’m off…. to work on more travel tales to tell you about!


Sil-TerHar Maserati
125 Alter Street, Broomfield, Colorado 80038-0344
Phone: (303)469-1801 X769
Sil-TerHar Aston Martin
125 Alter Street, Broomfield, Colorado, 80038
Phone: (303)469-1801

No comments:

Post a Comment