Cars Supercar Day
dates : 25th July 2004
29th July 2004
Cars Supercar Day is a celebration of speed and automotive
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
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
Other rare exotics included the Ferrari F50, the first
supercar to use a race-bred carbon fibre chassis, a la Formula
The smaller Lamborghini recently launched, and priced at a
"more realistic" two-comma five million, is the
This uses a V10 engine with a delightfully raucous exhaust
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
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
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.
Car Torque is