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Investment Cars Supercar Day

Broadcast dates : 25th July 2004
29th July 2004

Investment Cars Supercar Day is a celebration of speed and automotive beauty.

Held each year at Kyalami, Supercar Day provides owners of rare exotic cars the chance to lap, and lap up, the Grand Prix race track near Johannesburg. And for once the drivers don't have to worry about speed traps.

Unlike many other club track days, the accent is on go rather than show and the event is by invitation only. One of the reasons for this is that the organisers want to maintain the supercar status for the event, and not make it a free-for-all for any common-or-souped-up street car. So what is a supercar exactly?
It is a subject open to debate, but many enthusiasts will agree that the concept was probably invented by Lamborghini back in the 1960s.

The Italian manufacturer, which is perhaps the only true rival to Ferrari in the world of exotic cars, was the first to begin building superfast road-going cars with a mid-mounted engine.

Previously these cars had been built for sports car racing by the likes of Ferrari and Ford with its GT40. But Lamborghini set a standard in looks and layout that everyone would follow.

The Countach is not the first Lamborghini supercar, but it is perhaps the most dramatic ever created.

Built by Lamborghini in the 1970s and 1980s the Countach is the wildest supercar of all time with dramatic swooping bodywork and outlandish wings and wheel-arch flairs.

By Countach standards the latest Lamborghini Supercar, the Murcielago is almost restrained in appearance, but it remains one of the most desirable and dramatic cars on the planet.
Powered by the umpteenth development of the Lamborghini V12 that made its debut with the first supercar, the Muira back in 1966, the Murcielago boasts a power delivery of some four hundred and twenty six kilowatts. Top speed is rated at three hundred and thirty kilometres per hour and a zero to one hundred time of three comma eight seconds.

These cars cost over three and a half million rand, give or take an exchange rate fluctuation.

Are they worth it? Well if you have to ask, as they say, you will probably never know.

A car that preceded the Murcielago is the Diablo, or "little devil" It is not for the faint-hearted, but who says that blondes were not allowed to have fun?
Supercar Day is about variety as much as anything and cars that make the grade include the Dodge Viper GTS, a rather brutal V10 machine from America. It is styled after the famous Shelby Cobra coupes of the 1960s.
Another American supercar is the race-bred GT40. This is a replica version, but true to the original down to every last nut and polished bolt.

Of course the ever-enthusiastic Porsche owners were there in droves and most of them are extremely hard and skillful drivers.

Other rare exotics included the Ferrari F50, the first supercar to use a race-bred carbon fibre chassis, a la Formula One.

The smaller Lamborghini recently launched, and priced at a "more realistic" two-comma five million, is the Gallardo.

This uses a V10 engine with a delightfully raucous exhaust note.

As with most Lamborghinis the Gallardo name is from a breed of fighting bulls. The company founder, Ferruccio Lamborghini adopted the bull as his symbol after his birth sign of Taurus.

Styled jointly by the famous Giorgio Giugiaro and Belgian Luc Donckerwolke, the Gallardo is reckoned by some to be the best looking Lamborghini of all.

Its V10 engine was developed after Audi took control of the company in 1998 and it is said to be 30 per cent more powerful than its rival from Ferrari, the F360. It produces an impressive three hundred and sixty eight kilowatts at seven thousand eight hundred rpm.

This gives the Gallardo a claimed top speed of three hundred and seven kilometres per hour and a zero to hundred of three comma nine seconds.

Very rare amongst Lamborghini models is this Diablo VT Roadster. One of just four in the country it features four-wheel-drive, a screaming V12 and four hundred and twenty five kilowatts.

After some behind the scenes negotiations, a couple of BMW CSL lightweight coupes were allowed to join in the fun. These cars could probably be described as supercars in business suits, as their lap times can easily match some of the supercars around the demanding Kyalami circuit.

With many owners never having been on the track before, expert tuition was offered by experienced racing drivers for owners learning to exploit supercar potential.

And of course, impressing the fairer sex has always been part and parcel of supercar culture.

All in all a celebration of speed, beauty and a test of driving skills.

And for our lucky ticket holders at the upcoming Investment Cars Car Torque promo day this Friday, there will be a lot more thrills on offer.

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