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SSO: Supercar Year in Review 2013
December 1, 2013 6:19 PM  |  Posted By: Secret Supercar Owner
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As this will be my final Blog for 2013, I have decided to take the opportunity to recap and summarize my year with supercars.  As per 2012 as much as things change, at least in my garage, the core pillars remain the same. The Ferrari F40 & F50 are parked exactly where they were when the year started.  The Jaguar XJR-15 also still holds a garage spot.  After those three, there have been a few changes.  A McLaren 12C Spider now sits next to the F50, having joined the line up back in April.  The 12C Spider arrived with high expectations and so far it has exceeded them.  It is the first supercar that we both enjoy driving.  The 12C Spider gets used in a huge range of situations and is always rewarding to drive.   The versatility you have in terms of setting it up allows you to shape the character of the car to the driving situation very nicely. 

The 1st half of 2013 marked the departure of the Ferrari 430 Scuderia.  This was a very tough one to let go and was only, barely, justified under the premise that it would be replaced by a LHD Scuderia in the near future.  That still hasn’t happened yet but may very shortly.  One potential stumbling block was recently provided by one of the experts at EVO who suggest I spend a bit of time in a Porsche 997 GT3 before rushing back into another Scuderia.  Then to make matters even more complicated, another friend suggested a LHD McLaren 12C coupe based on how much I have enjoyed the 12C Spider.  Given that we are now into the cold and wet season, these test drives could take a while to arrange.  One way or another, I am targeting a decision by the end of March 2014.

The other major departure of 2013 was the Mosler MT 900S.  It finally went to a new home via auction in July.  The sale was a disappointment and I would not go down that route again.  I do miss the Mosler, it was such an extroverted wild looking thing yet quite docile and forgiving to drive.  It was a car that both urged you to push it hard and was quite complimentary.  Time in the Mosler helped make me a better driver.  The Koenigsegg that left the garage in 2012 was a mad thing that you never were quite sure if it would bite your head off.  The K’egg was always a thrill to drive but there was also a sense of accomplishment in getting back out of it in one piece and alive.  The Mosler, despite the aggressive stance and huge rear wing, delivered a much higher level of trust and confidence when seated behind the steering wheel.

The list of near misses this year is much shorter than last.  I just have not had the time in the last 12 months to pursue a range of opportunities and ideas.  My man math skills have been getting rusty and this could have serious consequences in the future.  A few that were given a decent level of consideration included a stunning NART blue 430 Scuderia which turned out to have had a very hard life and a Porsche Carrera GT.  It was just not the right car or the right time.  I am sure I will acquire a Carrera GT at some point but car and timing need to be right.  Given the build numbers and similar to the F40, there will always be a fair number of Carrera GTs on the market.

On the limited edition supercar front, I have now seen all four of the cars that were announced in 2012 and driven one.  My far too brief seat time in the McLaren P1 was my automotive highlight of the year.  The P1’s performance is other worldly.  Nothing else I have ever driven comes close.  At the Goodwood in July I had the opportunity to see the now cancelled Jaguar C-X75 up close.  Aesthetically it is gorgeous and potentially the best looking Jag since the D type.  Hopefully the project gets reworked with a more conventional set up and makes it to production.  The LaFerrari has generated a ton of press and endless discussions on the name but has yet to be driven by anyone outside of the factory.  I am withholding judgment until customer cars start getting delivered.  At the other extreme, the Porsche 918 has been out and about in the public eye for quite some time now.  While I have seen the 918 a couple of times, I have not driven one but a few friends that have seemed generally impressed with everything except the brakes.   I still believe it would be a better car if they ditched the heavy hybrid system and turned it into a Carrera GT II.

The most memorable drive of the year would have to be taking the SS67 from Florence to Flori in the Ferrari F40.  It is 60 miles of sweeping corners, tight hairpins, short straights, and elevation changes.   It is both challenging and exhilarating to drive.  It is easy to get into a great rhythm and you feel like you are flowing down the road, not fighting against each corner.  A close second would be taking the F40 across the Furka, Susten, and Grimsel Passes in Switzerland.

A very Happy Christmas to all and safe driving in 2014. 

My Twitter account is @SupercarOwner . I will send out a message when the latest Fast Fleet article is out or blog is posted.

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articulatedjunk at 7:25 AM December 6, 2013

Re: the Carrera GT. I wonder if it had the new tires. And regardless, will show the same story with every exotic. They just haven't all had famous passengers. Anyway, thanks for the post SSO. It's always interesting to hear your perspective. I am sure I am not the only one who is waiting to hear more about the P1. When considering the triad, that's certainly the direction I would have gone.

Josh at 4:22 AM December 6, 2013

Yeah fair point. Its a car I've loved since it come out all those years ago and I found Chris Harris's article on piston heads interesting and i thought he was spot on.

Secret Supercar Owner at 6:36 AM December 4, 2013

On the Carerra GT, I don't. The people who are interested in buying these types of cars are normally very well aware of what they are getting into. The Carrera GT is no more or less difficult to drive than a F40 or Koenigsegg.

Josh at 1:57 AM December 4, 2013

You mentioned the Carrera GT in your blog. Now without being disrespectful to those involved after what happened with Paul Walker, do you think that will put off potential or current owners from purchasing/keeping the Porsche? Or is it like anything.... you do (presumedly) silly things on the road and you can get caught out

Secret Supercar Owner at 5:29 PM December 3, 2013

Per both questions, I don't think the partnership with Mercedes was either sustainable or in McLaren's interests long term. The new McLaren V8 is a terrific engine. I drove the F40 down to Italy. The missus had a conflict and ended up flying part way. I picked her up in Switzerland. Normally she would drive the whole way down and on occasion shares the driving duties.

speedingfine at 12:56 PM December 3, 2013

Merry Xmas SSO. One question - did you drive the F40 from the UK to Italy? Just how was that, and did the missus fly or travel with you :D

Josh at 5:48 AM December 2, 2013

Have a good christmas SSO, As you obviously hold McLaren in high regard like many onlookers, do you think the decision to part with mercedes as an engine supplier for their road cars has been a successful one? Now I believe the 12C sounds a lot nicer in person than it does on youtube, but their is no denying that their is also something magic about a V8 from Affalterbach.

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