I recently had the privileged of driving a car that most people can only dream of driving. Sure, you can pay a sum of money and head to LA or Las Vegas and rent one for a few laps, but those types of experiences are all about thrill seeking. When you get the opportunity to drive an exotic super-car, you take it and enjoy every moment of it.
I’m not going to bore you with the details of what makes up a 650S. That type of information can be found on the internet. Lets talk about how the car looks and feels.
The 650S literally looks like the bridge design between where McLaren production cars started and where they are now. The front is all P1 / 570S and the rear is all MP4-12C. The car is striking. I really love the front of the car. It’s aggressive and unique without being arrogant. The rear of the car is all business. It’s neat, tidy and functional. The high mounted exhaust exits are perfectly placed and convey that the 650S is no ordinary car. Some say it is the face-lift of the 12C, but other say it is a step up bringing it closer to the P1.
It’s not often one gets handed the keys to a million dollar car. Well in this case, about 1.6 million, but who’s counting? It’s ironic that I’m the one that gets to write about this supercar. You see, I’m not exactly a fan of Ferrari. Don’t get me wrong, Ferrari makes some great sports cars, but I’m a diehard McLaren fan in the sport of Formula 1 and Ferrari has been our biggest rival over the checkered history of the two teams.
For me, driving a Ferrari is akin to a Red Sox fan wearing a Yankees jersey or, something closer to home, a Flames fan sporting Oilers gear. It’s obvious that the owner of this car has a good sense of humor, as he suggested that I close off our Summer Series by taking his F50 for a day. I promised to be open minded about the experience. Hell, I even wore a red shirt to pick up the car.
I spend a lot of time on various car forums on the internet, and I always enjoy clicking on the car comparison threads because they bring me the most amount of enjoyment. You see, I love watching people argue on the internet, as long as I’m not involved. Car comparisons always have good intentions to begin with, on the internet or in real life, but they typically end in a shit show of fanboys trying to justify why their prized possession is better than someone else who owns a competing model. I have a theory which explains why this happens.
It’s very simple, the theory is that there are only 3 personality types that describe every car enthusiast in the world. While everyone is primarily 1 of these 3 types, they can dabble in the other categories but, in the end, they will argue to the end based on their primary personality. Let’s break it down.
Before we start, I need to apologize for being late. Partly due to real life getting in the way, but mostly due to the fact that I struggled to write this. My theme for this article was going to be “Growing up and growing old”. I was going to walk you through Benyl’s completely normal car history, where he threw whatever cheap mods he could to make his car stand out, regardless of whether or not they made the car any better. We were going to bring back memories of him crashing at the track (or on the streets) by driving like an idiot. We’d transition into his actual adulthood, where he owns a sensible home and drives a sensible wagon.
Problem is, none of those things are true. Benyl was born a 50 year old man and his cars have gotten consistently more powerful from the factory as time goes on. He didn’t really mod his cars until a money shift destroyed his STI’s engine and he was going to have to pay for a new one anyway. Even then, he built it right the first time.
Trying to predict which car will turn into an investment is like predicting the weather in Calgary. All the experts will think they know the answer but, in reality, it’s a pure crapshoot. When it comes to new cars, the odds of picking “the one” are even slimmer. Every automotive publication attempts to be Nostradamus with their future collectible cars lists, but look back at these lists and you will realize how silly these predictions truly are. I mean really, a Nissan Leaf?
Two cars, however, have beaten the odds in the last decade, the Ford GT and the BMW 1M; models that share really nothing in common with one another. You would think that the formula for success is fairly simple. Create a car that’s fun and exciting to drive, release it in limited numbers, cut off production after a short period of time, and then reap the marketing benefits over the next handful of years as enthusiasts and collectors rave over your halo model. If only it were that simple.
When Race City closed down in the fall of 2011, many purpose-built track cars lost their purpose. Cars that were terrible to drive on the roads but excelled on a power track such as Race City were left sitting on backyards and driveways, waiting for the day when a new track opens, allowing them to stretch their legs once more. Beyond’s co-founder, Kenny Chan, owns one of these track cars, where the car existed solely to lap the road course as fast as possible.
This Civic had quite the journey getting to where it is today. In its original configuration, it was a bare bones 1992 Civic Hatchback shell, completely stripped down, with a B18B1 Integra LS motor. Back then several Beyonders, including myself, were at the forefront of Honda tuning. Loaded with 94 octane fuel, a cold air intake, and an open exhaust, I was able to squeeze out 175hp out of the motor with some aggressive tuning. The car was making a name for itself on the drag strip, easily beating out 200hp Hondas with the ITR engine thanks to its low weight and excellent launch control system.